THE energy pricing shake-up in many locations nationally shouldn’t be reason to rest easy on your energy charges, experts say.
From July 1, households in Victoria, NSW, southeast Queensland and South Australia stuck on standing offers – deals where they have failed to negotiate a better deal – should have seen their overall electricity costs fall.
Customers on old standing offers in these locations have been transitioned over to a Default Market Offer (DMO) or Victorian Default Offer (VDO) depending on where they live.
In other areas, customers should also be proactively reviewing their deals to ensure they are not getting ripped off.
New independent research commissioned by energy comparison website Compare The Market found 48 per cent of respondents had no idea if they were on a standing offer.
As for what would prompt them to switch plans, 53 per cent said getting good discounts and added perks was a reason to switch.
And 21 per cent said they would only switch to a well-known energy brand.
Comparethemarket.com.au spokesman Rod Attrill said the new direct market offer DMO or VDO “doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best offer in the market”.
“Virtually all the customers on a DMO would have seen their rate come down,” he said.
“They would be the ones who just pay their energy bill every fortnight or quarter over and over again and the bill has gradually crept up.”
He urged customers to analyse their bills and speak to their provider to see if there were ways they could bring down their costs, including reducing their consumption.
EnergyAustralia’s executive of customer, Mark Collette, said the “reference price” was the key thing to ask a retailer to help you score a decent deal.
“Every provider will be able to say this is the discount relative to the reference price so customers can then ask how they compare to the reference price,” he said.
“For example if they get a 6 per cent discount from one supplier and a 7 per cent discount from another supplier, they know where they can get the best deal.”
Origin executive general manager of retail Jon Briskin said the retailer wrote to 550,000 customers following the introduction of the DMO and VDO to tell them they would be getting cheaper prices.
“We’ve also removed conditional pay-on time discounts, which means that discounts are guaranteed on new contracts,” he said.
“This helps customers to see upfront how much their bill is and when it’s due.”
• Ask you retailer to look at your bill.
• Ask what discount applies to the reference price.
• Do online comparisons.
• Use the official government energy comparison websites to compare prices.
Originally published as The new energy deals to save you money