Summertime means we can relish in BBQs, outdoor adventures, mangoes, beach swims and quality family time over the festive season. But as much as summer has its perks, it can also mean higher energy consumption which results in – you guessed it – higher energy bills.
That dreaded summer energy bill is unwanted guest at the end of the warmer months for any family, particularly those single-income households.
However, before you nag the kids to turn the air-conditioner off there are other ways to help keep your energy bills from spiralling out of control this summer.
Choose your usage moments
New Demand Tariffs were introduced in 2021 which may result in a potential increase in your energy bills depending on your meter type and energy use in peak times.
If your demand is being measured in peak times, then it makes sense to avoid excess energy usage in those times. Try and avoid unnecessary cooling (for example, turn the air-con on in the afternoon only) or choose an off-peak time to do a load of laundry or a dishwasher cycle.
It’s not only important to know when peak usage times occur but also what devices and appliances are draining your power (and wallet!). It can be helpful to understand whether the air-con, hot water, lighting or home appliances are causing your bills to increase and help you make informed usage decisions.
Avoid paying the ‘lazy tax’
It’s common for single parents to fall victim to paying the ‘lazy tax’ on their energy bills because they’re much too busy juggling family life to shop around and compare other plans. The ‘lazy tax’ is the money we waste, simply because we’ve failed to shop around. As a result, you could end up paying much more than you need to for your summer energy bill.
It’s important to remember that energy discounts usually change after a year or two and after this time you could be rolled over onto a higher priced plan. Retailers are required to notify you when your discount period changes and this should be your prompt to compare your energy plan*.
Don’t default to the default
In an effort to end confusing energy discounts and protect customers from the lazy tax, in 2019, ‘default energy offers’ were introduced in NSW, South Australia, Victoria and South-East Queensland.
The default offer acts as a ‘benchmark’ against which all discounted offers are compared, making it easier to compare different energy plans and figure out which one will give you the best value.
If you haven’t changed energy plans or providers for many years, you may be on a default offer.
While the default offer is a great fall back for those who cannot shop around for whatever reason, they will unfortunately almost always be more expensive than market offers, which are the offers you see advertised by energy retailers. So don’t sit back and default to the default price, a great way to reduce your energy bill could be shopping around for a market offer.
While reducing energy usage around the house this summer is always a good idea, it may not necessarily reduce your energy bill dramatically. A more practical way to help avoid summer bill shock is to make sure you’re on a great value plan to begin with.
But who has time to find a more suitable energy deal with all the different hats you wear as a single parent? An energy comparison service like iSelect can take the hassle out of comparing a range of plans and even do the switching for you, leaving you more time to focus on the things you love to do this summer.
iSelect energy disclaimer
*iSelect does not compare all energy providers or plans in the market. The availability of plans may change from time to time. Not all plans made available from iSelect providers are compared by iSelect and due to commercial arrangements, area or availability, not all plans 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.