Keeping on top your life admin can be a tedious task, especially when it comes to comparing your electricity and gas plans. Finding the best plan for you, with the right provider and saving money without a compromised result is the tricky part. But the good news is InfoChoice is here to make it easy. See our provider list here or compare electricity now through our partner company iSelect.
Guide: What you need to know when comparing energy providers and plans
Whether you are looking at saving money, getting a more flexible plan or having an on-shore call centre, Infochoice provides you with all the facts to find the best energy provider for you.
Use our tips & guide to compare before your make an informed decision. Need more help? We are part of the iSelect group – click the link below to let them compare the best energy plan for you.
– Review your current energy plan
– Compare your plan
– Switch providers
1. Review your current energy plan
Reviewing your current plan is important to be able to understand what you are already getting with your provider and what the process is if you decide to end your contract. This is as easy as logging into your customer portal or reading your last bill.
The important areas you want to assess are:
– Pricing structure, Tariff and Rates
– Early Termination & Cancellation Fees
What is a tariff? A tariff is the pricing structure charged by the retailer for providing the energy to you the consumer. There are usually three types of tariffs for electricity & two types for gas. This gives you an indication if you pay the same rate at different times of the day or year. See the table below to see types & definition.
|Tariff structure for electricity||Definition|
|Single rate||You pay the same rate throughout the entire day|
|Time of use||You pay different rates depending on the time, peak, non-peak or shoulder periods.|
|Controlled load rates||Also known as a ‘two-rate’ tariff, this is the rate you pay for using a specific appliances – for further details check with your provider|
|Tariff structure for gas||Definition|
|Single rate||You pay the same rate throughout the entire year|
|Seasonal rate||Rates usually change as the seasons change|
Tariffs can be confusing to compare as they can differ depending on your metre, provider and area. If you are unsure what you are looking at? We are part of the iSelect group and can compare for you. Call us today
Rates – How much is your bill? Your rates will be shown in the same area as your tariff in your energy bill. This will give you an indication of how many cents you’re paying per kilowatt hour (c/kWh) for that exact tariff.
Do you have any early termination &/or cancellation fees? Any early termination fees can differ depending on your area and agreed upon contract when you first took up the service. All providers generally state the maximum cancellation fee in their Critical Information Summary, but keep in mind this could be a pro-rated amount depending on the time left in your contract.
InfoChoice Tip: Most providers have an online customer account dashboard that calculates this for you.
2. Compare your energy plan
What is important when comparing?
-Your post code / area
-The contract type (No contract, 12 month, 24 month, 36 month)
-Fees and charges
-Discounts and benefits
Your post code / area determines what companies and products are available for you.
InfoChoice Tip: Make sure this is selected when comparing for yourself as packages & discounts differ depending on area, region and/or state.
Contract types can be flexible depending on your choice of provider. You usually have two options: ‘Standard Retail Contract’ or a ‘Market Retail Contract’.
|Standard Retail||Set terms and conditions that can’t be changed by a retailer. In some cases, the price is set by the state or territory government.|
|Market Retail||Have minimum set terms and conditions, but may have others that change from contract to contract. In some cases, you may pay less or get offered discounts depending on the provider.|
Key questions to ask and check:
How long is my contract and what are the costs involved if I decide to cancel my contract early?
What costs are included/excluded from that cost?
Are there any upfront costs?
Fees & Charges
These are important to take into consideration when you are trying to reduce the cost of your energy bill.
Key things to ask and check:
Are there any Exit fees?
What are the Early Termination fees?
What is the Connection fees?
Discounts & Benefits
Key questions to ask:
Are there any discounts or benefits available?
How long is the discount/benefit available?
Is the discount deducted from part or all of the bill?
How often will they expire? Will I be notified of the expiry date?
3. Switch Energy Providers
Switching is simple – as soon as you have made a decision, call iSelect on 13 19 20 and they will help you find the right energy plan for you.
Disclaimer Infochoice or iSelect do not compare all products in the market. Not all products are available at all times. Any advice provided in this content is of a general nature and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You need to consider the appropriateness of any information or general advice we give you, having regard to your personal situation, before acting on our advice or purchasing any product.