Choosing the best energy plan can be a daunting task, with so many details to check including tariffs, rates and supply charges. To make the process easier for you, we’ve put together a list of questions you should be asking to make sure you’re getting the best energy plan for your needs.
Are my needs met?
Energy plans vary to meet the needs of consumers, so when doing an energy comparison there are a number of things to consider.
● Price – what plan has the best electricity rates and fees/how can I get a fixed price energy plan?
● Convenience – what is the quickest way to be connected/how can I organise my bills and payment? How will I handle my account/what are the service centre hours?
● Control – how will I know my energy rates/how can I check my usage to help with energy conservation?
What is my current plan?
If you’re looking for ways to reduce your electricity bill, the best place to start is with your current plan. Some key things to look out for are:
Does my plan account for my household usage?
Does my plan have any bonuses or discounts for paying online or on time?
Is my plan flexible? Can I exit at any time without getting charged?
Are my needs met?
You should also check for any hidden fees you might be paying or will have to pay as result of changing your plan.
The first thing you should do is look at your old bills, paying close attention to how many kWh of electricity are consumed each quarter, your product type and the energy plan duration/expiry date.
It’s also helpful to understand usage charges, supply charges and other fees.
If possible, try looking at all four quarters as energy use fluctuates as the seasons change. Take note of your average daily usage, and make sure you use this as the basis for getting a new energy plan.
Next, examine how you’re being charged on your current plan. This will help influence your decision when looking to see if there’s a better deal.
Your current plan should be one of the following:
● A single flat rate that’s set for 12 months, regardless of consumption.
● Charged different energy rates, but only for what you consume.
Once you have this information, it’s time to look at what plans are available.
What options do I have?
If you’re on a usage-based plan it’s good to understand what’s influencing your electricity rates, as you’re only charged for what you consume.
When doing an energy comparison on usage-based plans it’s useful to consider the following:
● Look at the rate per kWh and check the fine print – Origin don’t charge exit fees, so you can try any product and swap to suit your needs at any time
● Even if you don’t use any electricity, you could still incur fixed supply charges – the fee for the cost of getting electricity or gas to your residence. These charges can vary from retailer to retailer.
● You could be eligible for discounts for using direct debit, e-billing or pay on time. It can be helpful to see how these discounts will be applied.
● Check if you’ll be charged late fees and if there’s a way to avoid them.
● Find out how often you’ll receive your bill and how you can pay.
● See if there are any other fees around things like set-up or receiving paper bills.
● Find out if there’s a contract, how long it’s for and if there are any exit or moving fees.
● Check for other terms and conditions you need to know.
View your bill to find out what’s influencing your electricity rates.
What are Origin’s usage plans?
Origin Supply offers the greatest flexibility, it can be set up quickly, has no contract, and no discount benefit.
Origin Saver and Origin Maximiser have 12-month contracts, but offer a pay-on-time discount and guaranteed usage discount, respectively.
All three plans are based on the standard market rate and have no exit fees – although other fees may be incurred.
How can I avoid bill shock?
While fixed plans mean the same price is offered for 12 months, customers will face no exit fees if they choose to switch.
Other features include:
● Direct debit – to never miss a payment
● Email and billing communications
● Green and Gas options available – also for a set amount.
Now you know about the plans offered, have a think on your needs and decide what works for you.
If you’d like more help exploring which of these plans best suits your need, head to our website or contact one our energy plan specialists.