The energy landscape has changed so much in the past few years. There are new retailers and suppliers, different tariffs and thousands of plans available to Victorian households.
When you sign up for a new energy plan, you’re entering into a contract. That doesn’t mean you’re locked in – it just means there’s an agreement between you and the retailer about how energy will be supplied to you and how you pay for it.
These agreements are made up of tariffs, rates and fees, plus any applicable discounts. Some come with different methods of payment. A few come with bonus discounts on other services when bundled together. All of these have an impact your bill. Understanding how to read your bill and being able to analyse it can save you hundreds of dollars per year and ensure you are receiving the best rate possible.
The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning has a website called Victorian Energy Compare where consumers can research their energy bills and check that they are receiving the best deal. This is the only place with up-to-date information on every deal available to you.
As a special incentive to check your bill, the Victorian Government has introduced the $250 Power Saving Bonus for eligible concession holders. By simply visiting the Energy Compare website and doing a simple bill comparison exercise, you can receive a $250 payment.
COTA Victoria is offering free help for people who wish to compare their bills and can’t access the website. Call our Information Line on 1300 135 090 and leave your details. A team member will call you back and arrange a time to do the exercise over the phone. At the same time, we can help you to understand the time of use tariffs, potentially helping you to save even more.
Victoria also has a Utility Relief Grant Program to help vulnerable and low-income people with energy bills. Find out more about the grants and how to apply on the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing website.