Spring is arriving, the birds are singing and the flowers are blooming. You might even find that your mood is improving with the warmer weather, everything is coming up roses…Until your energy bill arrives of course!
And while energy bills are never fun, this one may hurt a bit more than usual. That’s because your next bill will cover the winter months where energy usage is at its highest with appliances like heaters and electric blankets working in overdrive to keep your family cozy during those cold winter days.
For many, a winter energy bill can be a real downer and take your mind away from the extra sunshine and longer evenings and onto the household budget. With energy prices continuing to rise (in July electricity prices increased by as much as 20 per cent in some states), many Aussie families are looking to cut back on things like holidays, shopping and entertainment in order to pay their increasing energy bills.
However, it begs the question: instead of cutting back on life’s pleasures like eating at your favorite restaurant or buying a new pair of sunnies before summer, why not cut back on your energy costs instead?
And while it’s too late to do anything about the winter bill you are holding in your hands, there are some simple things you can do to avoid future bill shock and ensure you are getting the best value deal moving forwards. But how do you compare electricity provides to find the best deal?
- Keep it on your terms
Energy bills are complicated and let’s be honest, pretty boring. For this reason, many people are unaware of the range of billing options available to them.
If quarterly bills are difficult to manage, a good option could be requesting to pay your bills more frequently, such as weekly, fortnightly or monthly. Although you will get energy bills more often, they are going to be smaller and easier to manage within your household budget.
- Split and save
Another little energy hack is splitting your gas and electricity providers and find the best deal for each power source separately. This can be a decent money saver as some new electricity providers have competitive deals which you can sign up to while keeping your existing gas provider.
- Bye bye paper bills
With many electricity providers, there can be savings if you choose paperless billing online. Some plans also offer discounts for customers who pay via direct debit.
- Pay on time and save… But don’t be late
Some providers are offering plans with significant savings (up to 30 per cent off in some states) if you pay your bill by the due date. This is great if you know you always pay your bill on time, but if you often forget to pay bills by the due date you could end up paying a lot more than you were expecting so you may be better off opting for a different type of plan.
- Get a helping hand
If you don’t have the time, expertise or the interest to investigate the galaxy of energy options available on the market, why not just get someone else to do it for you? An energy expert such as iSelect can talk you through the overwhelming variety of choices, help you compare electricity providers and find the best value plan for your household.
Once that is organised you can focus your attention back onto spring and all of life’s little pleasures.