Reduce your energy bills
Making the switch—compare electricity and gas market offers in your area
One way to reduce your electricity and gas costs is to shop around to see if you are getting the best deal for your particular energy needs. In most areas except Tasmania, the Northern Territory, Western Australia, and areas outside South East Queensland, you have a choice of which electricity retailer to go with. It's important to note that even in areas where there's only one electricity retailer there will still be a number of energy contracts to choose from. So no matter where you live it’s important to make sure you are on the contract that is most suitable for your particular needs.
EnergyMadeEasy.gov.au lists a range of tools and calculators to help with finding the best option for your household. These tools allow you to compare electricity and gas contracts available from licensed energy retailers. They can help you estimate your annual energy costs under each contract. You'll need access to your previous electricity and/or gas consumption information. If you don't have previous bills available—your current energy retailer can provide you with this information.
Keep in mind that the calculators are intended as a guide only. It's important to consider the recommendations against your particular household circumstances and any exceptions that might apply. Be aware that some of the non-government comparison services receive a commission for transferring customers to an electricity or gas retailer with whom they have an agreement.
You can follow our checklist for comparing offers and use the comparison tool for your state or territory to help you make your decision. Visit EnergyMadeEasy.gov.au for more information and to find out the average electricity usage for a household of your size in your area.
If you choose an energy contract where you’re rewarded for moving some of your energy away from peak times you may be able to maximise savings. It’s important to be aware, however, that if you choose a contract that does not suit your household or lifestyle, you could end up paying more.
Keep in mind, switching providers can help to lower your contract costs but it won't lower your energy use.
Managing your bills
You can ask your energy retailer to set up regular payments towards your bill, so it’s easier to budget, especially if you're on a fixed income. Or you can ask for a more frequent billing cycle and pay monthly instead of every three months. Be sure to check with your energy retailer that there's no increase in the rate you'll be paying for energy with either of these options. Regular payments can make it easier to manage your energy budget and avoid surprises when your bill arrives. Many retailers offer discounts for on-time payments so make sure you check if this option is available.
If you have a dispute regarding a bill there are a number of services available to assist you. These include Energy and Water Ombudsman services (see Resources and assistance section) in each state and territory. The first step, however, is always to try to resolve the issue with your retail energy provider. This fact sheet helps to explain your rights as an energy customer in more detail.