Queensland customers who switch to the cheapest market offer can lower electricity bills, according to an energy watchdog. Data from the Queensland Competition Authority (QCA) shows residential customers could have cut their electricity bill by 35 per cent in the June quarter if they had switched to the lowest market offer.
That amounts to a saving of $149, the QCA claims. In addition, small business customers could also have saved $144 (23 per cent) on electricity between April 1 and June 30 this year.
Queensland Competition Authority: Choose best offer
The QCA monitors the electricity retail market in Queensland. Its quarterly report focused on prices charged by electricity retailers in south-east Queensland in the June quarter.
According to Queensland Competition Authority chair Professor Flavio Menezes from the University of Queensland School of Economics, customers on standing offers can save by switching to market offers. Even those already on market offers can make further savings by shopping around for a cheaper deal.
Available standing offers for the quarter ranged from $354 (Powershop) to $506 (QEnergy) for a typical Queensland household. For market offers, these ranged from $279 (Click Energy) to $428 (Mojo Power).
Standing offers for typical small business also spanned from $547 (Next Business Energy) to $768 (QEnergy). Business-based market offers stretched from $472 (Red Energy) to $616 (AGL).
Check the small print: Supply and usage fees vary
However, Menezes says customers should always check the fine print before taking up offers. He cautions customers to study supply and usage charges when comparing offer prices. These determine the discount level.
It’s also important to check the value of incentives attached to market offers as well as eligibility criteria and the incentive terms and conditions. Some offers are also only available for new customers or those willing to lock in a long contract.
It’s easy to compare electricity prices on the Australian Energy Regulator’s Energy Made Easy page.
Game changers: Victorian Default Offer and Solar Homes
While the Queensland Competition Authority helps those in the Sunshine State, meanwhile in Victoria, the Andrews Labor Government has introduced new legislation to make it easier and cheaper for Victorians to find the right electricity plan.
As of July 1 this year, all Victorians on standing offers will automatically be rolled over to a fairer plan which saves them money.
The Victorian Default Offer is part of the Victorian Government’s Energy Fairness Plan. This is designed to reduce retail confusion and give consumers the best plan for them.
Victoria is also ahead of the game with its ambitious $1.3 billion Solar Homes program. This offers eligible households solar panel rebates along with half-price solar batteries like the Tesla Powerwall 2 and Enphase batteries.
Solar power with battery storage is a proven way to slash electricity bills and protect the environment by using clean energy.