By Jessie Petterd, iSelect spokeswoman
With the air-conditioner and fans on overdrive every summer, a lot of us have succumbed to the fact that expensive summer energy bills are just a part of life. After all, there’s no compromise on keeping your family cool and comfortable.
But the good news is you may be able still to reduce your energy bills without sacrificing your family’s comfort this summer. iSelect has rounded up their 3 savvy ways to help avoid summer energy bill shock without even touching the air-con remote.
Opt for flexible payment options
Opening your dreaded energy bill at the end of summer can have you sweating more than you would on a 40-degree day. This is what we call ‘bill shock’. However, it could be avoided by choosing to opt for flexible payment options.
Most energy retailers allow you to pay your bills weekly, fortnightly, or monthly or to sign up for bill smoothing. Bill smoothing may help bring your blood pressure down when opening your seasonal energy bills as it divides your predicted annual usage into even monthly installments.
Many Aussie families benefit from this option as it helps them to better manage their bills and avoid energy bill shock.
Avoid paying the lazy tax
If you haven’t reviewed your energy plan within the past two years, chances are you could be paying the ‘lazy tax’. The lazy tax is the money we waste simply because we haven’t found the time to shop around and compare our energy plan with others.
It’s important to remember that most energy discounts generally change after a year or two and after this time you could be rolled over onto a higher-priced plan. Retailers are required to notify you when your discount period ends and this should be your prompt to compare energy plans*.
But between playing chef, cleaner, household CEO, taxi and nurse (to name only a few!) who has the time to sit down and review a range of different plans?
There are comparison services like iSelect who can help with the hard work. In a quick call, their trained energy consultants can do the hard work for you to help you select a suitable energy plan from their range of energy providers*.
Don’t default to the default
In an effort to end confusing energy discounts and protect customers from the lazy tax, in 2019, ‘default energy offers’ were introduced in NSW, South Australia, Victoria and South-East Queensland.
The default offer acts as a ‘benchmark’ against which all discounted offers are compared, making it easier to compare different energy plans and figure out which one will be suitable.
If you haven’t changed energy plans or providers for many years, you may be on a default offer.
While the default offer is a great fallback for those who cannot shop around for whatever reason, they will unfortunately almost always be more expensive than market offers, which are the offers you see advertised by energy retailers. So don’t sit back and default to the default price, a great way to reduce your energy bill could be shopping around for a market offer.
It’s important to still remain smart with your energy usage around the home but your family certainly doesn’t have to sweat through summer in order to help avoid energy bill shock. A more practical way to keep costs down is to make sure you’re on a great value plan, to begin with.
iSelect energy disclaimer
*iSelect does not compare all energy providers or plans in the market. The availability of plans may change from time to time. Not all plans made available from iSelect providers are compared by iSelect and due to commercial arrangements, area or availability, not all plans compared by iSelect will be available to all customers. Some plans and special offers are available only from iSelect’s contact centre or website. Energy plans are available only for properties located in eligible areas of Victoria, New South Wales, South East Queensland, South Australia and ACT. Click here to view iSelect’s range of providers.