With heaters, long hot showers and electric blankets on overdrive every winter, a lot of us have succumb to the fact that expensive winter energy bills are just a part of life.
After all, there’s no compromise on keeping your family warm and snug.
But the good news is you can still reduce your energy bills without sacrificing your family’s comfort this winter.
iSelect has rounded up their top 3 savvy ways to help reduce your winter energy bill without even touching the thermostat.
Steer clear of discounts
If you’re looking to save money, it may sound strange but steering clear of the biggest discount may be your best option.
While attractive discounts advertised by energy providers are very enticing, it’s important to know that these offers are often conditional. This means that you must meet certain criteria such as paying on time to be eligible for the discount.
Juggling family life is stressful and time consuming enough so if you’re likely to pay your bills late every now and then, you’re probably going to be better off steering away from conditional pay-on-time discounts and instead go for a plan with a guaranteed discounts or a lower ongoing rate without a discount.
Avoid paying the lazy tax
If you haven’t reviewed your energy plan within the past two years, chances are you’re paying the ‘lazy tax’. The lazy tax is the money we waste simply because we haven’t found the time to shop around and compare our energy plan with others in the market.
It’s important to remember that most energy discounts expire after a year or two and after this time you’ll most likely be rolled over onto a higher priced plan. Retailers are now required to notify you when your discount period expires and this should be your prompt to compare energy plans.
But between playing chef, cleaner, household CEO, taxi and nurse (to name only a few!) who has the time to sit down and review thousands of policies?
There are comparison services like iSelect who can do all the hard word for you. In a quick 15 minute call, their trained energy consultants can do the hard work for you to help you select a suitable energy plan from their range of energy providers.
Don’t default to the default
In an effort to end confusing energy discounts and protect customers from the lazy tax, on July 1 new default energy offers will be introduced in NSW, South Australia, Victoria and South-East Queensland. The default offers will replace higher-priced standing offers that around 10% of customers are still on.
If you haven’t changed energy plans or providers for many years, you’re more than likely on a standing offer and will automatically be moved across to the new default offer on July 1.
The default offer will also act as a ‘benchmark’ against which all discounted offers will be compared, making it easier to compare different energy plans and figure out which one will give you the best value.
Unfortunately, the new default offer will only reduce bills for the approx. 10% of customers still on standing offers. They won’t reduce bills for the majority of customers in NSW, VIC, SA and South-East Queensland who are already on discounted market offers.
So don’t sit back and default to the default price, a great way to reduce your energy bill could be shopping around for a better deal.
It’s important to still remain smart with your energy usage around the home but your family certainly don’t have the shiver through winter in order to avoid energy bill shock. A more practical way to keep costs down is to make sure you’re on a great value plan to begin with.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed about your options, an energy comparison service like iSelect can take the hassle out of comparing plans and even do the switching for you, leaving you time to focus on the more important things in life.