There’s simply no sugar-coating it: household budgets are hurting, and energy bills have become a significant burden. As we head into the final month of winter, the cold weather may soon be on the way out but the sting of winter power price increases is set to stick around, with some major energy retailers hiking rates for many residents.
It may not be too late to opt for a jumper instead of switching on the heater, or forcing the kids to cut short those long, hot showers, but power-saving steps around the home alone may not do enough to lower the cost of your energy bill.
So, keep on reading as we break down these winter power price hikes, and explain the top ways you could save money.
How much more are you going to be forking out to keep the lights on?
Depending on your energy provider, plan and where you live, the price you pay for power either likely increased in July or August or may in September. This comes after recent hikes to the Default Market Offer (or the Victorian Default Offer) which is the maximum price a retailer can charge a customer for electricity if they live in NSW, South East Queensland, Victoria or South Australia. This came into effect from July 1, meaning many Aussie families could be facing hikes totalling hundreds of dollars a year! 
Worried? You’re not alone! A recent survey commissioned by comparison service, iSelect, revealed that most Aussies (78 per cent) surveyed are worried about higher power bills in 2023, with 30 per cent saying they’re ‘extremely worried’.
Don’t set and forget
Your retailer must let you know when, if and by how much your electricity rate changes, so if you’ve been notified of a winter power price rate change, it’s time to act. In the current environment, every dollar counts so try to find a few minutes to sit down and compare other plans to ensure you’re getting a competitive deal.
iSelect General Manager – Utilities & Credit Cards, Julia Paszka, said:
"While energy prices may be higher across the board, there could still be differences between plans and providers and even a small price difference could have a big impact to your energy bill over time.
Whether you’re on a default or market offer, if your rate just increased or may soon, you’ve got no time to waste.
Now’s a great time to see if you can save money, ensuring your energy deal suits your household, and your wallet!”
So, how much could you actually save?
Well, the study we mentioned earlier also found that Aussies surveyed who switched energy providers and/or plans in the last two years, 73 per cent say they saved money, and of that 73 per cent, more than half estimate to be saving more than $100 a year.2
We understand it might seem like a daunting task when you have so many other things on your plate as a single mum, no doubt. But it’s also not as difficult as you might think. Help is out there! Call an energy comparison service like iSelect and make sure you have a copy of your latest bill handy to see if you can switch and save.
*iSelect does not compare all energy providers or plans in the market. The availability of plans may change from time to time, depending on who iSelect’s providers are and what plans they make available to iSelect. Not all plans made available from iSelect providers may be compared by iSelect either due to commercial arrangements, area or availability, so not all plans or providers compared by iSelect will be available to all customers. Some plans and special offers are available only from iSelect’s contact centre or website. Energy plans are available only for properties located in eligible areas of Victoria, New South Wales, South East Queensland, South Australia and ACT. Click here to view iSelect’s range of providers.
 Source: EnergyAustralia announces electricity and gas price increases for residential and small business customers | EnergyAustralia, AGL, Origin announce upcoming energy price rises for households, small businesses - ABC News, Victorian Default Offer 2023–24 (esc.vic.gov.au) & Page 6: AER - final determination - Default market offer prices 2023-24
 Source: iSelect commissioned i-Link Research to conduct a national online survey between 28 April and 3 May 2023. The sample is n=1,000 Australians 18+ years, with data weighted to represent the population by age, state and gender, and is representative of all Australian adults 18+
Further reading: How to stop your power bills spiralling out of control.