The ACCC urges consumers to take action on rising energy bills

Desperate to keep your energy bills down due to the rising cost of electricity?

Energy prices have surged to 10 to 20 percent above the regulated safety net and in response, the ACCC (The Australian Competition and Consumer Commision) is urging households and small businesses to take action and explore the possibility of securing cheaper electricity plans. How, you might ask?  By simply asking your electricity provider if there is a cheaper plan available.

What is the electricity safety net?

The electricity price safety net was designed to shield customers by establishing pricing rules that limit how much energy companies can charge customers on standing offer contracts. 

According to the ACCC, only about 10 percent of residential customers are on standing offer contracts, while approximately 90 percent are on market offers.

Usually, a standing offer contract is more expensive than a market offer, however with recent price increases causing energy prices to soar above the regulated safety net, it may well be cheaper for customers to be on standing offer contracts.

While anyone can choose to be on a standing offer contract, energy companies are not obliged to move customers when the price of an existing market offer becomes higher than the safety net.

This means that many Aussies are likely paying more for electricity than they need to.

How to find out which option is cheaper?

To find out if you could be saving money by changing to a standard offer contract, all you have to do is contact your energy provider and ask how your current plan compares.

The good news is, energy companies are obligated to display the percentage difference between the price of their market plans and the regulated standing offer so you will easily be able to compare. 

How much could you be saving?

According to the ACCC, “an average household on a market plan that is now 21 per cent above the reference price could save about $400 a year simply by moving to a regulated standing offer.”

Are there any other ways to save on energy?

While it may be easier to save money by switching to a different plan through the same provider, you can also make savings if you are willing to switch energy providers all together.

ACCC Commissioner, Anna Brakey explains that “the case for switching to a different energy company is strong because the cheapest offers in the market appear to be reserved for new customers, rather than existing ones.”

Another way to keep your energy bills down is to use less electricity! Here are some easy bad energy habits that are costing Aussies a lot of unnecessary money and ways you can break these habits and save!

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