A growing number of frustrated Australians are opting to swap to a new electricity provider, and it’s no real surprise as to why. According to a recent report conducted by the Federal Government, the average household energy debt for gas and electricity has increased 12% from $897 in 2019 to 2020, to $1,000 in 2020 to 2021.
Even more concerning is the fact that the average electricity debt for a customer upon entry into their retailer’s “hardship” program grew 21% over the same period, from $1,304 to $1,584. When saddled with other rising costs of living in the Land Down Under, many of us are taking charge when it comes to things we can actively save funds on, such as our power bills.
However, if you’re unsure what the process of swapping electricity providers involves, then the good news is that it’s actually much more straightforward than most people think it to be. In order to ensure the transition is a seamless and stress free one, there’s a few key fundamentals to consider before you take the plunge.
Your Guide To Swapping Electricity Providers
As a consumer, it’s important to be wary of comparison websites that filter options for electricity providers. Keep in mind that particular products or providers may be promoted or recommended more heavily than others because of commercial arrangements. To the unsuspecting customer looking to swap electricity providers, many fail to read the fine print when it comes to extremely cheap introductory offers, but are shocked when they discover that these are often only twelve month contracts. After the introductory period ends, the tariffs go up in price and can land a customer in a more expensive contract than the one they originally had before the swap.
Depending on which state or territory you reside in, your options for electricity providers can be as limited as choosing between just two separate suppliers. Different tariff rate types apply and vary depending on your postcode. Before you jump ship, consider contacting your current provider and see if they’ll match it or offer you a better deal. However, if you’ve done your research and believe to have found yourself a good deal, then the process of swapping electricity providers is often quite straightforward.
Check For Exit Fees – You don’t need to notify your old electricity provider of your decision to switch, your new electricity company will take care of this for you on your behalf. However, electricity contract exit fees can range between $15 and $150, so be sure to read the terms of your existing contract and factor these in before you make the swap.
Have Your Details Ready – Some of the details you might need when you sign up to swap electricity providers include the supply address, your bank details for direct debit payments, and your NMI, which is the national meter identifier required to check your meter and can be found on any of your previous billing documents.
Read The Contract – Are you going to be subject to a rate hike in six to twelve months time? Are there any late fees or administration charges? Are you expected to pay a security deposit? Before taking the plunge with signing up to a new provider, be sure to carefully read the fine print of the new contract to avoid any nasty surprises.
When undertaking the task of swapping electricity providers, it’s also important to understand that the switch will not take place on the date you sign up with the new electricity company, and will instead take place on the date of your next meter read. This process can take from just a few days up to three months, depending on where you are at with your current billing cycle and when your next meter read is due.
Remember that electricity providers are ultimately run as businesses – and brands of this size not only want to attract new customers, but to retain their existing ones as well. To avoid getting caught out with rate hikes or less than ideal contract terms when swapping between suppliers, look for electricity providers who are able to offer favourable rates over longer periods of time.
Keep in mind that even if you do decide to swap and are unhappy with the services provided, consumers have the option to cancel a new agreement via a legally binding ten day cooling off period without facing any cancellation fees or charges.
How To Save Money On Your Monthly Bills
Kyco is a member based buying group that ultimately aims to save Australians money on their energy, health and insurance bills. The more members we have, the more negotiating power we have to arrange low, long-term deals with service providers.
Kyco doesn’t play one provider off against another taking commissions of up to 30% like most comparison sites. Instead, we’re leveling the playing field with a low 3% capped commission. It’s free to become a member, and with no lock in contracts or unexpected price hikes, spending less on your annual bills has never been easier.