Recently, the Australian government estimated that millions of customers have reached the end of their discounted energy plan and are left on a default tariff rate. The message is clear ― when your plan ends, contact your retailer. However, to get your retailer’s best offer, you need to understand what a ‘discount’ means. This can be tricky. A recent Essential Services Commission report showed that the highest discounted plan might not be the cheapest offer available.
So while most retailers advertise that you can get a discount on your bills by joining their company, what does this actually mean?
- Be aware that the discount applies to the base unit tariff price, and this often varies ― not only from retailer-to-retailer, but also within the same retailer.
- A discount may not apply to the fixed portion of your bill, known as the service to property charge.
- Discounts are often conditional on you paying your bill on time.
So while confusing, it’s important to consider these discount factors when agreeing to a new contract. The biggest discount doesn’t necessary mean the cheapest bills.
For a step-by-step guide on talking to your retailer to get the best energy deal, go to the Energy Consumers Australia's website and make a PowerCall.