On this page

What you need to know before you change energy providers

3 min read

Author: Compare Club

Bills are going up and, in many households hit hard by financial pressures, so are stress levels. But it is possible to reduce some expenses, simply by changing energy providers after locking in a better deal. 

What You Need To Know Before You Change Energy Providers

To help you trim your utility bills, we spoke with Compare Club’s general manager of utilities, Paul Coughran, to find out what you need to know before you change energy providers. Picking up the phone to ask your utility provider a few important questions is the best way to begin, he says.

3 questions for your energy provider

Start with these three questions, so you can compare which energy provider can actually save you money.

1. How does my (current/new) plan compare to the energy reference price for my state or distribution zone? 

  • All energy companies must provide you with a reference price that gives an apples-for-apples comparison.

  • While nothing beats getting a full bill comparison – the reference price provides an easy way to check you how competitive your offer is

2. Does this plan suit my circumstances? 

You may already be receiving other benefits or rewards related to your energy plan, including;

  • solar feed in tariff

  • bundled discount with your broadband

  • rewards program

  • a fixed-rate plan (similar to locking in your home loan interest rate).

You want to make sure that your new plan also meets your needs.

3. Is this the best offer you can give me?

Make sure you check that the offer you are given is the best available from that retailer. They are obliged to tell you! And for people who are keen to change energy providers for reasons other than price, understanding how to research whether your potential provider actually walks the talk on ethics, sustainability, customer service delivery – or whatever other factors you care about – matters. To find out, Mr Coughran says asking them is often the quickest way to unpack all of this information, without feeling overloaded or confused. 

“If you prefer to do your own research, you can look at the energy retailer website, Trustpilot or Facebook for reviews,” he says. If your decision to change providers is based purely on price and you’re looking for a practical way to save money on your future bills, there are some key numbers to compare to ensure you really are switching to a good deal. Again, Mr Coughran says it’s all about “the energy reference price in that particular distribution zone”.

And he gives an example from Red Energy, to explain:

  • Qantas Red Saver delivers the best value today. 4% discount + Qantas points.

  • The Living Energy Saver is the same, without Qantas Points.

  • The Red Fixed Saver provides the best peace of mind, because the rates are fixed until January 2024. (Just like locking in your interest rates.)

“Lastly,” Mr Coughran says, “I would assure customers not to stress. “Energy companies can’t lock you into a contract with penalty fees. You can always change later, if unhappy.”

The bottom line

If you suffer from a pathological fear of picking up the phone to actually talk to your energy provider, or you are worried about being bamboozled by all the numbers to do with rates and charges, there is another way. Although understanding how to read your utility bills is good info to have up your sleeve, simply visiting a comparison site makes understanding how to make the switch easy. And with Compare Club claiming to help you save as much as *$443 on your energy bills, what are you waiting for?

Financial disclaimer: The information contained on this web page is of general nature only and has been prepared without taking into consideration your objectives, needs and financial situation. You should check with a financial professional before making any decisions. 

On this page

Share on:

Never miss an article

Subscribe to news and trends to help empower HR and business leaders do their jobs better each week.
Bills are going up and, in many households hit hard by financial pressures, so are stress levels. But it is possible to reduce some expenses, simply by changing energy providers after locking in a better deal.