NOW the carbon tax is here, consumers are urged to re-think energy usage and understand their bills to combat rising power and gas prices.
The following tips from Energy Quotes guide consumers on how to compare energy providers and make an informed decision when choosing an energy plan:
Top 10 tips
1 Look closely at your bill and check if you are on a low or high energy rate (cost per kilowatt hour)
2 Check how much electricity or gas you are using and when are you using it the most? (this will decide which tariff you are charged)
3 Are off-peak rates available and when do they apply? (do you have an off peak meter?)
4 Does a discount apply to the whole bill or just energy usage? (some providers do not give a discount on the supply charge)
5 Are there conditions for the discount to apply? (pay-on-time, direct debit, electronic billing)
6 Are there any late payment fees or early exit fees? Some retailers use high early termination fees to lock consumers in to the contract period, even if they have a large rate increase
7 Check the surcharges for payments made by credit card – some retailers charge up to 1% for Visa and MasterCard payments to cover the costs of processing the transaction
8 Look for a low service charge – daily service charges can add up quickly, regardless of how much energy you use
9 Get more than one quote based on your energy needs – would you buy a car or hire a tradesman without getting several quotes?
10 Remember – it can take another 30 – 90 days to switch to a lower cost energy provider (depending on where you are in the bill cycle)