Take control of high energy bills
There are many things you can do to avoid and reduce the stress of high energy bills.
Check how you use energy
Making simple changes to the way to you use energy around the house can help reduce costs. For instance, standby power can account for up to 10% of household electricity use so simply switching off electrical appliances at the wall that you are not using such as the TV or toaster can help you save.
Also, hot water accounts for about 25% of the average household’s energy usage, with most of this being used for showering and bathing. As well as saving water, shorter showers and fewer baths can help reduce your energy bill.
If shopping for new appliances, pay attention to the appliance’s star rating – the higher the star rating, the more energy efficient it is.
Check your energy plan
Electricity prices can change at any time if you're not on a fixed price plan and July and January are the most common times for retailers to change prices. If your rates have changed, your retailer must tell you no later than your next bill.
Price change time is also a great chance for you to check the plan you’re on and see if it still suits you or if you can find something that works better for you. It only takes a few minutes to search for plans on Energy Made Easy. You can also call your retailer and ask what plans they have for you.
Speak to your energy retailer
If you’re having trouble paying your energy bills, the first thing you should do is tell your retailer. Your retailer might be able to:
give you more time to pay
waive late fees
let you pay small amounts regularly—this is sometimes called a payment plan
give you tips on using less energy, and
check that your energy plan is right for you.
A payment plan can be helpful if you’re struggling to pay your energy bills or if you have an energy debt.
Speaking to your retailer can reduce your chances of getting charged late payment fees or being disconnected as well as giving you the opportunity to ask your retailer whether they can help you get in control of your energy bills.
Understand your rights
If you are experiencing payment difficulties contact your retailer – energy retailers are required to assist consumers experiencing financial difficulty.
You cannot be disconnected if the amount outstanding is less than $300 and you have agreed with your retailer to repay the amount.