You can sort, filter, and shop by pricing at YOUR specific usage level, which lets you shop and compare electricity plans based on the rates you’ll actually experience on your bill, inclusive of hidden fees and taxes. This ensures you’re not misled by the cheaper rates often advertised by electric providers…those “teaser rates” associated with higher usage levels that many households never enjoy because their usage level never reaches that pricing tier.
Adjust your furniture to improve cooling efficiency. Sometimes your sofa is directly under or covering an air duct. Rearranging your furniture so it is in the ideal position for airflow will help lower your electric bill. When you cannot feel the air coming out of a vent, you will change the temperature on your thermostat unnecessarily. Moving the furniture from the vent will help prevent excess energy use and cut your monthly costs.
While this price comparison report looks at the biggest electricity providers in NSW, it’s important to know there are many more to choose from – more than 25 in fact. Competition between the retailers is intense, which is great news for consumers looking to reduce their costs. There are opportunities to save money, provided you are willing to look.
Based on the cents per kWh usage costs and daily supply charges of the energy companies in this review, plus average energy consumption statistics from the Australian Energy Regulator, we can show households that are connected to the Ausgrid network in Sydney and the surrounding areas (including Newcastle and the Central Coast) where they can find the cheapest electricity prices. The Ausgrid network covers large parts of inner, northern and eastern metropolitan Sydney, plus other surrounding areas. Costs for other distribution networks of NSW may differ slightly.
Use smart power strips: Some electronic gadgets never truly power off; instead, they sit in standby mode using a trickle of power that can add up over devices and time. These are usually — but not exclusively — items with a remote control, because the remote sensor needs power while waiting for your input. Plug these electronics into a smart power strip, which cuts off the current when the devices aren’t in use.
For many households, the cost of energy will be the most important factor when signing up to a new plan. However, other considerations, particularly customer service, are also worth giving some thought. Everyone wants low prices, but at what cost? This is why Canstar Blue annually surveys electricity bill-payers across NSW to find out how they rate their provider based on a number of variables, including customer service, bill clarity and value for money. In 2018, Red Energy is the highest rated provider in NSW for overall customer satisfaction.
At the very least, the programmable thermostat could be set to ease back the throttle at night when no one is awake. That’s what we do at our house, since my wife is home with the kids all day. The thermostat is set to kick up to 80 or so overnight in the summer, then drop back down to a more normal temperature shortly before everyone is up for the day. Gives 6-8 hours a day at the more energy-saving temperature, without much of a sacrifice in comfort. And in the winter, everyone has more than enough blankets to keep warm without the furnace blasting constantly, so it’s even less of an inconvenience.
The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that a heater set at 140 degrees or higher can waste $36 to $61 annually in standby heat losses to keep water at that temperature, and more than $400 to bring fresh water up to that high temperature. To save even more money, you can turn your electric heater off or turn your gas heater down when you go on vacation to save even more.
Are they going to increase their rates any time soon? Most suppliers keep their rate rises in line with the cost of living but have the ability to change rates with just 28 days notice. Some energy retailers may tell you that they don’t have a cap on their rate rises—if this is the case, then avoid these suppliers, as this signals that they could be looking at increasing their rates in the near future. Always look for affordable electricity options.
All forms of electricity generation have positive and negative aspects. Technology will probably eventually declare the most preferred forms, but in a market economy, the options with less overall costs generally will be chosen above other sources. It is not clear yet which form can best meet the necessary energy demands or which process can best solve the demand for electricity. There are indications that renewable energy and distributed generation are becoming more viable in economic terms. A diverse mix of generation sources reduces the risks of electricity price spikes.
One option is to look out for fixed and variable rate plans. Most plans are offered in variable rates, but some providers offer a fixed rate over a set period of time. It’s impossible to say how variable rates may rise and fall, but if you look at energy rates over time, you may feel that a fixed rate plan will offer cheaper electricity in the long run.
Many utility companies offer more than one time-of-use policies. These plans may have different hours classified as peak hours, or may even include some “partial-peak” hours that charge less than peak rates, but more than off-peak rates. Many rates will depend not only on the hour that you’re using electricity, but also the season. Summer rates are often higher than winter rates because of energy-intensive air conditioning systems running during hot days. You might also have a plan that has lower peak rates, or fewer peak hours, on the weekends.