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A Guide to Changing Electricity Providers
Switching energy providers can be a hassle, that's why we've put together some information to make the switch as easy as possible. Find out more!
It can be difficult to determine who’s the most suitable electricity provider for your home or business usage and budget without properly comparing with other electricity companies out there. Many consumers tend to stick with the same provider because they’ve always used them or through word-of-mouth recommendations. But what’s best for someone else’s circumstances may not always be what’s best for your home or business. This is why energy consumers should do their own research and consider consulting with professionals, like HOOD, to connect them with the right electricity provider for their needs.
Why Review And Switch Energy Providers?
There are various benefits of changing your electricity provider every so often. One of the main reasons is that the value of energy usually decreases over time and although it may have been a good deal for you at the beginning, as prices go up, it’s no longer the most cost-efficient option.
Can You Change Your Electricity Provider?
If you live in Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia, Tasmania, south east Queensland or the ACT, you can change your electricity provider. Those in the Northern Territory or Western Australia can’t switch electricity companies due to the lack of alternative companies.
What to Compare and Consider When Switching
Below, we’ve listed all the things you should consider and compare when you request quotes and speak to new energy providers. You should also keep in mind that your location, having solar panels and how many people live in your household will affect your usage and costs.
Current Rates And Usage Charges
Price is obviously the most important thing you should be concerned about when it comes to searching for a new electricity plan. You should look at what the cost per kilowatt hour is, and ask if the provider offers a single flat general usage rate or a time-of-usage rate. The first option means that you pay the same amount to use power at any time of day whereas the second option means that it will be cheaper to use electricity at off-peak hours compared to peak hours. Time-of-usage rates are better if you can take advantage of off peak hours because you can reduce your bills.
Good customer service can make or break your experience as a consumer. When you’re having electricity-related issues, you want to be able to reach your company immediately. Ideally 24/7 customer service support is the best option so you can get your issues resolved more quickly.
Before signing any new contract, make sure you’re aware of the fees associated with breaking the contract in the future. You may also want to consider how much it costs to leave your current plan and see if you can avoid it or if it is worth leaving your provider, this could mean waiting until the contract ends before making the switch.
Some electricity companies will bill you monthly or quarterly, if you much prefer one option over the other, be sure to ask how long the provider’s billing cycle is.
Most electricity suppliers have standard payment options such as card, cash, BPAY, etc. However, you should see if there are any surcharges associated with any payment options that you prefer to use.
If you prefer to receive paper bills, ensure that there is no extra cost to get it sent to your home or business.
One very important thing you should enquire about when entering into a new contract with an energy supplier is the contract length. Some contracts require you to stick with it for 12 months or 24 months. If you see yourself changing your mind about the company, keep this in mind before making your decision.
Cooling Off Period
Most companies should have a cooling off period when you first join so that if you change your mind, you can easily terminate the contract without exit fees. If you’re still doubtful about your choice, make sure the provider you’ve chosen offers a cooling off period.
Concession For Discounted Prices
If you hold a concession or pension card, always ask if you might be eligible for discounted electricity. This can reduce your energy costs and make a huge difference in your choice of company.
Negotiation With Your Current Provider
When you find a cheaper alternative to your own electricity provider, it could be worth seeing if your current company is willing to match or discount your plan. This could mean you get a better deal without having to pay the additional costs of exiting and disconnecting from your current provider. It's important to remember that this may not be applicable for those in government regulated states.
Make sure to ask about extra benefits as some electricity providers have bill credits, promotional offers, sign up rewards, programs, or conditional discounts. Remember not to choose a provider just for their customer incentives, as this could mean paying higher electricity usage and supply rates.
When doing your research about the additional charges of new electricity plans, don’t forget to read the fine print or ask about the connection fees incurred on top of your plan which can add up.
How To Switch Your Electricity Provider
Changing to a new electricity company is pretty simple. All you need to do is contact your current and new electricity company and they will handle the paperwork for you. Your current company will organise the switch for you with the new provider and will check your meter reading to issue a final bill. The new company may do a credit check therefore you should make sure you’re in good standing. This also includes ensuring that you have no outstanding bills to pay with your current company.
How Long Does It Take To Make The Switch?
These days, changing electricity providers is pretty quick. You can make the switch within 2 days, however, you’ll still be billed for the final month of your energy usage before the new provider takes over.
Choose the Right Energy Provider For You with HOOD
As the experts on connecting homeowners with electricity providers, we know which companies would best suit your consumption and budget. We can also arrange the connections for you to ease the burden of setting up a new energy contract. If you need urgent electricity connection or have any questions about our services, contact us on 1300 242 824 or request a quote if you’re thinking about switching your energy provider today.