Data shows that, on average, most Australian householders and residents use 40 percent of their household energy on heating and cooling and 23 percent on water heating. Entertainment appliances and laundry appliance usage contributed to 14 percent of home energy consumption. The rest of the average household’s total electricity usage pertains to fridges, freezers, lighting, cooking, and standby power. Ultimately, the amount of energy consumed in a home—measured as kilowatt-hours (kWh)—may differ depending on the appliances used and how old they are and can change with time. Other factors that can impact how much electricity a household consumes include the number of residents in the home, how frequently appliances get used, energy efficiency levels, the type of home it is, and if the household uses electricity, gas, or both.
A family of five residing in a standalone house in the suburbs without an alternative energy source but using most of their electricity for cooling, heating, hot water, electronics, and entertainment may consume more electricity than a couple living in the same style of home with fewer appliances and less uses for energy. Likewise, both of these households likely use more kWh than smaller-sized households in city apartments. Among apartment dwellers, having more appliances and uses for energy consumption can increase one’s electricity bills. Australian homeowners and renters who think their electricity bills are too high and want to cut costs should consider switching energy plans and electric providers. Listed below are practical tips and tricks for comparing energy providers, energy plans, and energy rates.
Determine what’s important to you.
Before beginning the search for a new energy provider and plan, consider what aspects of energy use are crucial for you and your household. For example, if you’re big on using renewable energy, consider that in your search for a new plan. Of the various renewable energy sources—solar power, wind power, and hydropower—solar power is the most commonly used across Australia. Over 2 million Australian households include a solar system on the roof and may utilize solar energy through air conditioners, hot water systems, and other methods. Be sure that the companies and plans you consider switching to can meet your preferences regarding your solar energy, electricity, or gas needs.
Use the web to identify and compare local electric providers.
Different electricity providers offer energy plans across Australia. Customers can compare electricity plans using a web resource such as a reputable site that partners with energy companies and provides comparison guides. A website that handles comparing electricity providers and the features of the energy plans they offer can make the comparison process more efficient. Ultimately, when using such a site, consider details like each company’s peak electric rates, non-peak electric rates, supply charge, and green energy rating. Once you choose the best retail energy provider, determine which of the options provided by that company is the best plan for your household.
Factor your finances into your decision to make a switch.
After identifying the energy provider and plan you think can benefit your household and lower your energy bill, ensure that the new plan is superior to your existing plan. Find out the cost per kWh for electricity or gas prices, and see how this stacks up to your current rate. Determine if service fees and fixed costs accompany your new plan. Will you be responsible for paying exit fees when moving to a new provider and plan? What is your contract length? Are prices subject to change during the contract? Will you get a discount for making payments on time? By asking yourself such questions, you can ensure you’re making a switch that will benefit your household and allow you to make the best use of your money.