There comes a time when you need to break up with your energy supplier. Whether they’re charging you too much for utilities or offering sub-par customer service, you’ll need to decide if it’s worth the effort to switch in the first place and when’s the best time to do so.
Should I Make the Switch?
While looking at electricity comparison tables from different companies in Australia, you may have noticed that other suppliers are charging less for a service you already have. Oftentimes, energy suppliers will jack up their prices due to inflation, competition, or just because they can.
Energy companies are banking on the fact that people will feel it’s too much of a hassle to switch suppliers. Customers also fear their bill will skyrocket after the discount period, making the switch more expensive than its worth. Change-over time may also play a factor.
Fortunately, due to government regulations, companies have to be transparent with their pricing policies. If you plan appropriately, your home won’t be without electricity for more than a few hours. Suppliers will walk you through the steps of switching, making the process hassle-free.
How Often Should I Switch?
There’s no right answer to this question, but we recommend you avoid switching if you can. It’s more effective to ask your current electrical supplier for a deal that is comparable to the competitor you wish to switch to. Most companies will lower your bill if they’re afraid to lose you.
You should also subscribe to your suppliers’ mailing list or check their website monthly for deals. If what they’re offering is lower than your current bill, ask to switch to it by contacting them by phone or email. The switch should appear on your next bill, and you’ll avoid paying set-up fees.
When is the Best Time to Switch?
While energy deals are available year-long, there are specific months or instances where suppliers are more likely to offer a lower introductory price for new customers. Switch when:
Demand is Low (Best Time)
Scarcity typically leads to higher costs, but not with energy companies. When energy consumption peaks, local utility companies will often resort to secondary sources to meet customer demand, leading to a rise in costs from transportation and plant usage.
However, In late spring, summer, or early fall, energy companies won’t have to resort to secondary sources to keep their electricity on because homeowners spend more time outside. A nationwide dip in electricity usage will cause suppliers to offer more deals.
Months With Moderate Weather
Depending on where you live, moderate weather is never a reality. Still, if you live in Australia and experience a typhoon or storm season (November to April), you should expect to pay 2x the amount you otherwise would during the dry season, especially if you use an electric heater.
If you use gas, you can probably cut down your energy bill (for now, gas is steadily becoming more expensive). Regardless, during bouts of moderate weather, energy usage is at an all-time low. Energy suppliers are more likely to give Australians better deals during this time.
Peak Times (Sometimes)
While it isn’t always the case, some suppliers will offer lower prices during peak times or special events, like in September for the start of the school year. If you’re a student, it may be in your best interest to see what deals they’ll offer in August, although you may miss out on June deals.
However, peak times are also the worst times to switch providers, so you’re rolling the dice here. Try to research past deals your company used to offer to determine if you should wait.