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How I Saved Big On My Electricity Bill

written by Shelley Marsh 03/12/2013
Save Electricity Bill

I hate to think about it, but our electricity bill is high, really high.  I opened it recently and was shocked to find it was $1400 for the last quarter!  Ouch! Okay our house is all electric with no gas, but really?  It is not even a big house, it is a small house.  We don’t even have hordes of people living with us.  It is just the 3 of us.  Yes, the bill was for over the winter period but even then it seems ridiculous.  Surely I could get a better deal?

With my mission set, I went off in search of more spark for my buck.   My first stop was the Australian Government website called ‘Energy Made Easy’ (click here to check it out)   This site is designed to help you compare all the electricity and gas retailers in your area to see if you are on the best energy deal for your needs.  All you need is a recent bill and they will give you a run down on the most appropriate deals for your location and usage levels.

From the bill I needed:

(1)    The time period for the bill

(2)    The total amount of electricity we used (usually on the second page)

Then the only other things I needed were my postcode and what type of tariff you are on (they help you figure out that).  The results came back that there were 3 providers that had the best deals for me and interestingly they were 3 companies that I had never heard of!!

Next I visited the individual company’s websites.  As it turned out one of the companies was in Tasmania so they were out of the running given I lived in New South Wales!!!  So I contacted the remaining two companies and got them to give me a call.  It is a bit of a pain to have to go through all the rigmarole of talking to the companies – but nothing beats leg-work when it comes to getting a great deal!  Besides you learn a lot about how your bill works and how electricity is charged.

In the end I went with a company that gives me:

(1)    A rate structure that is far more favourable than my current provider.

(2)    5% off the total bill for paying on time.  This is an easy win for us as I always pay on time using direct debit.  This discount alone is worth $70 a quarter off my bill as with my previous energy company I did not get any discount.  (Note: If you have a Healthcare card you are also eligible for a further discount so make sure you tell your electricity/gas or telephone company if you have one).

(3)    No surcharge for using my credit card to pay by direct debit, unlike my previous provider.

(4)    It is a two year contract but with no break fee if we leave the house.

My guesstimate this change in supplier will save us $160 per quarter or $640 per year.  Not a bad payoff for a couple of hours work.

Now my next project is to get our electricity usage down 🙂

p.s always contact your current provider before making a change and find out any costs that may be involved in switching.

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Sarah @ Hunting for Ladybugs 04/12/2013 at 9:27 am

Oooo, well done you! I wish we had more than one provider here in WA :(. There’s no negotiating for deals or anything – just take it or leave it. We ended up installing solar panels and even on cloudy days I’m generating more power than the house uses. Now just need to work out how to submit my metre readings and I’m looking forward to seeing what my first bill is like.

Shelley Marsh 05/12/2013 at 6:44 pm

Hi Sarah, I love the idea of generating solar power and selling it back to the grid! Then they are paying you! Yay!

Mums Take Five 04/12/2013 at 10:21 am

hmm our bills are like that too. i actually lowered them a bit by only uses dishwasher, dryer etc in “off peak” times we have a big tv and turning it off at the wall at night i think actually helped its a big thing to leave in standby 24/7. even little things like i realised my milk frother even when its not in use is still using electricity (the base element was constantly very slightly warm) so now after coffee is done its off at the wall, takes no shorter or longer time to heat the milk when i need it.
great post shell i’ve bookmarked that site to come back to it tomorrow and have a good look 🙂

Shelley Marsh 05/12/2013 at 6:43 pm

Thanks Bel, yes I think we are going to have to start turning things off at the wall. Our house is quite old so we don’t have a meter that can tell the difference between peak and off peak use 🙂 Maybe I should look into that!

Bec @ The Plumbette 04/12/2013 at 4:30 pm

We had a bill around the $900 mark and I did the same thing as you and ring around for the best deal. I also got solar panels installed to help reduce the cost while we had little kids to help with the budget even though it was a high up front cost. I sometimes wonder if they actually read every meter? I wonder the same thing about water meters too. Looking forward to your future post on what you do to reduce the use. 🙂

Shelley Marsh 05/12/2013 at 6:41 pm

Hi Bec, yes I have wondered about solar panels but as I don’t think this is our forever home I am not sure it is worth the investment. On the other hand maybe with our bill size it might be 🙂

Alison @ The Thrifty Issue 04/12/2013 at 7:17 pm

Nice one! That’s a great saving! Our bill is usually triple at the end of winter too … not (nearly) as bad as yours considering we live in sunny Qld though 😉 Thanks for the tips. Cheers, Alison

Shelley Marsh 05/12/2013 at 6:40 pm

Thanks Alison for the tip! Maybe a move to Queensland is needed!!!

Emily Morgan 09/12/2013 at 10:39 pm

wow – who knew there were so many electricity providers out there?

Renee Wilson 11/02/2014 at 10:44 pm

Not a bad pay off at all! I am definitely going to look into this. Thanks 🙂

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