Did you know that switching energy suppliers could save you $1,000? No? That’s because no one has told you.
In fact, energy tariffs can quietly creep up, and up, and you’ll be the last person to find out. Even worse, EnergyAustralia, AGL and Origin have all dropped their fixed rate electricity plans, meaning everyone will need to keep an eye on variable prices.
The retailers offer heavy discounts for on-time bill payments and up to 22 per cent if you pay by direct debit. The thing is, they can afford to offer such generous “discounts” because the base cost is huge. They also lure you in with an introductory offer but don’t tell you when the discount is due to end or how much it’s going to cost in future.
Like health insurance policies, mobile phone plans and bank accounts, researching the options is so confusing that most of us just give up, but it turns out we’re paying the “lazy tax”. One journalist researched his options on the Energy Made Easy comparison site and found 77 offers ranging in price from $997 to $2,659.
The PM has hauled up the energy bosses this week and is threatening tougher rules for the electricity market. In the meantime, know your watts. We’ve brought tips in the past to keep your energy bills down. Now, you can find out how much energy your household is using, item by item, courtesy of Ausgrid. These figures are based on 20.2c per kWh but for a more up to date cost, check out their small appliance calculator. Ausgrid also offers a hot water calculator.
|What||How many watts?||Cost per hour||Per quarter based on average usage|
|Aircon||1,500 - 6,000||Portable 30c|
|$75.80 - $303.00|
|Computer and monitor||100||2c||$2.50|
|Fridge - from 250 litres to 650 litres||35 - 83||0.7 - 1.9c||$15.50 - $41.10
($65.50 for a 20 year old fridge)
|Large flatscreen television - 3 stars||210||4.2c||$14.80|
|Large flatscreen television - 6 stars||100||2c||$7.10|
|Large oil column heater||2,400||48.5c||$72.70|
|Lightbulbs||LED downlight - 11|
Halogen – 52
Incandescent – 75
|$0.80 - $3.80|
|Mobile phone charger||5||0.1c||$2.20|
|Washing machine (warm wash cycle)||900||18.2c||$18.20|