Energy prices are rarely out of the news these days, and prices rose again in Queensland on 1 July. Spot On Conveyancing has a few tips to getting value for money and avoiding bill shock this summer.
1. Audit your bills
In Queensland householders can choose who to buy your gas and electricity from. But with that freedom comes the necessity of being well-informed enough to make wise choices.
Unfortunately, the energy providers can employ pushy sales tactics. Don’t sign anything until you have had the time to research your options, and take advantage of the compulsory cooling off period. If in doubt contact the Australian Energy Regulator.
The plethora of contracts in the market can be difficult to compare. Make use of comparison services such as Compare the Market, and be prepared to set aside some time to make the best decision. Good decisions can be well worth your while.
You’ll find that some providers offer discounts, but be sure to read the fine print, as these may only apply under certain circumstances, such as early payment, and leave you comparatively worse off otherwise.
2. Reduce your usage
Switch appliances off at the wall when you are not using them. Energy Australia has found that appliances on standby account for up to 10% of your power bill. Try making it easier for yourself by using power boards so you only have to turn off one switch for several appliances. Try also making a night-time routine of going around your home to switch off everything you don’t need overnight.
Choose the cold water cycle and/or the economy or quick cycle to wash your clothes. Also try the economy cycle on your dishwasher.
3. Pay on time
Penalties for late payment can be high, especially if you get disconnected. If you are struggling to meet your bill, be sure to contact your provider before the bill due date to make an arrangement with them.
Another good strategy to manage large bills is to set up periodic direct debits from your bank account that you can synch to your payday. These can be adjusted to your usage, and some providers even offer discounts for selecting this option.
Stop your power bills from going through the roof this summer. Take control – and stay cool.