Comparison tools help you to compare the price of different energy plans and to make an informed decision about which offer best suits your needs.
Usually, you enter information about where you live and your current energy usage into the website and it will use this to identify and compare the prices of different energy plans available to you. It will then be up to you to contact your chosen retailer to arrange your new energy contract. Your new retailer will then arrange for your service to be switched over.
Comparing energy plans is easy with our energy price comparison website, Energy Made Easy (www.energymadeeasy.gov.au). Wherever you live in Australia, you can use the website; however, the energy price comparison feature is only available in states and territories where the National Energy Retail Law has commenced (at this stage Tasmania, the Australian Capital Territory, South Australia, New South Wales and Queensland). This feature is available to residential and small business customers.
Energy Made Easy allows users to compare all generally available gas and electricity plans, including details such as GreenPower options or solar feed-in tariffs, discounts and incentives, and key terms and conditions. This should make it much simpler for you to find a plan that suits your needs. You can use Energy Made Easy to find a retailer for a new connection, or to check how your current retailer compares.
If you are in a state or territory that has not commenced the Retail Law, you can still visit Energy Made Easy for general information about how to understand and compare energy plans.
Energy Made Easy also offers a bill benchmark tool that allows users to compare how much electricity their household uses compared to other similar-sized households in their area. All households across Australia can use this tool.
For small energy customers in Victoria, you can visit the government run energy price comparison website (https://compare.switchon.vic.gov.au). When your state commences the National Energy Retail Law, you will also be able to use Energy Made Easy to compare all generally available gas and electricity offers in your area.
Commercial switching services will offer to find you a better deal for your energy service. Similar to comparison services, you will need to provide them with information about your current energy bills and usage. You can normally do this online or by phone.
The switching service will then cancel your existing agreement and sign you up to the new retailer that you have chosen. It is important to know that some switching services have preferred retailers and may also receive a commission from retailers for switching customers to them.
If you use commercial switching websites it is important to remember:
- Switching services do not always compare all offers from all energy retailers. You may not be provided with the ‘best’ or ‘cheapest’ offer available.
- Not all switching services quote the same price for the same deal or offer. They may have been provided different quotes by energy retailers.
- Switching services may not explain the terms and conditions associated with moving to a new contract. You may find that you are charged an early termination fee by your current retailer, or do not make the savings you anticipate because you haven’t met the terms and conditions of the new contract.
- Switching services can calculate quotes in different ways. Entering information into different websites can make it hard to compare quotes.