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5 Things to Consider in Choosing Energy Provider

Are you looking to switch energy plans? Don’t leap hastily into a decision without first reading our five simple tips on choosing a suitable energy provider!

5 Things to Consider in Choosing Energy Provider

Published on 11/03/2024

By Shweta Mittal

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Energy helps sustain us. It’s a vital part of our everyday lives that can nevertheless have a devastating impact on our monthly or quarterly bills. So, it’s only fair for you to make choosing an energy provider that best fits your usage requirements, household needs, and budget (above all) an absolute priority.  

However, we know that it’s easier said than done. While, at a glance, every other energy retailer in the market seems to be selling the same services and products, in reality, they are not all like-for-like. There are differences in the products they provide, the tariffs they charge, and the promotions they may offer to secure you as a customer.   

So, how do you place your best bet on ‘the one?’ Well, it’s best to avoid making an impulsive decision (for starters) and then compare your options thoroughly, keeping a firm understanding of some of the tips we outline below. Check them out and turn the exercise of choosing an energy provider that suits your household’s needs into a breeze!  

Learn How to Switch Energy Provider?

How to Choose an Electricity Provider?

Choosing the right energy provider can sometimes be troublesome, taking unnecessary time and effort. Luckily, Econnex has your back! From examining it from a cost-effective point of view to discovering everything else that matters beyond the price, our five tips and tricks break down everything you need to keep in mind regarding your energy decision, all in one place!    Let’s get started. 

1. Understand the Energy Pricing 

Pricing is easily the most influential determinant of your decision regarding which provider to choose. So, feel free to take as much time as you need to find a price that best serves your budget (keeping sign-on bonuses and promotions in mind). It’s worth noting that there is no ubiquitous ‘standing rate’ on electricity or gas that applies nationwide across Australia. Each state and territory has its mix of energy policies and regulations, determining factors such as relevant reference prices for its jurisdiction. 

Because many state energy markets across Australia are comparatively unregulated compared to areas like WA, you may encounter energy providers that might charge you more than you could be paying elsewhere. That’s where pay-on-time and direct debit discounts can help you compare and take the final call. 

  • Pay-on-time Discounts are applied when the total amount due on the electricity bill is paid before the due date. 
  • Direct Debit Discounts, on the other hand, are meant for those who tend to be a bit forgetful about their bill payments (no judgement here). This payment method allows the supplier to collect recurring bills automatically from the customer’s account, rewarding them with fixed discounts in return. 

Before falling for these lucrative offers alone, however, you should know that these discounts (more often than not) come along with an expiry date. So, make it a ritual to check for the discount benefit period the next time you’re looking to choose a good energy company. 

2. Understand the Tariff 

This is where your electricity usage and, in turn, the electricity usage scheme that you choose to go for plays a crucial part.   

In simplest terms, your applicable solar feed-in tariff defines the amount you pay for your energy consumption as per your contract. But here’s the twist: it could be fixed (single rate tariff) or variable (flexible tariff). Let’s break down the difference: 

  • Single Rate Tariff: As the name suggests, this is a fixed rate that you pay regardless of the hour of the day you consume energy.  
  • Flexible Tariff: Also true to its name, the price you pay as a Flexible Tariff, or Time-of-use Tariff, is directly proportional to the time of the day you choose to consume energy. The times are typically divided into three types- Peak, Off-Peak, and Shoulder hours: 
  • Peak hours refer to the times of day when electricity usage is at its peak, so you can understandably expect them to hurt your pockets the most.  
  • Off-peak hours refer to the times of day when electricity consumption is at its lowest, so the electricity price is lower, relatively speaking, during these hours. 
  • Shoulder hours refer to the times of the day between peak and off-peak hours. You won’t find electricity consumption during these hours to be as expensive as in the peak hours. 

So, the next time you switch and choose your electricity provider, see that you go for a deal that best caters to your energy consumption needs, depending on how that varies throughout the day. 

3. Going Green is a Green Flag 

With the concerning rise in greenhouse gas emissions, irreversible climate change events, and natural disasters, going green on energy is most definitely the need of the hour! So, if you’re a consumer who already cares about that, thank you for contributing your share.  

The good news is that there are energy providers just as environmentally conscious who offer renewable energy options like solar, bioenergy, hydro, and wind. However, you’ll also come across energy retailers who don’t bat an eye.  

But if you care about making a difference, you nearly always have the option of choosing a greener energy provider (depending, of course, on the level of marketplace competition in your area). 

4. Looking Beyond the Price: Customer Service 

There can (at times) lie a difference between what an energy provider claims to be and what it is. That difference becomes crystal clear once you experience their customer service, which is a factor that you should not compromise on.  

Do as much research as you need to collect the answers. Review their reviews, website, and pages, and observe their online presence. Verifying their contact details, testing their online interface, and even seeing to how they interact with customers can make a big difference. 

Since tracking your energy usage throughout the day is near impossible without a tool, go for an energy provider that makes the job easy for you with a tracking app that is easy to download. 

Check Average Electricity Bill in Australia

5. The final decider, Retailer Reputation 

Most providers spend a lot on advertisements; their marketing tactics are genius. Some offer lower charges that climb up after a few weeks or months or attempt to hide significant fees. You need to ensure you choose a company that promotes integrity and reliability. 

An energy retailer that has been in the market for quite a while is more likely to be reliable. On the other hand, if you encounter a provider infamous for distributing information that isn’t transparent or easily accessible, that’s a big red flag.  

So, overall, ensure you only place the final bet on an energy provider after conducting a proper background check. 

Compare & Switch to a Suitable Plan with Econnex  

The easiest thing to do in the cluttered market of energy providers is to confuse yourself into making the wrong choice. So, the next time you’re looking to make a switch, let our five tips and tricks for choosing an energy provider help you take the final call.  

Moreover, with Econnex, you can always compare your options from our wide panel of energy retailers and find the one that seems like the best available fit for your space. All without any ads, sponsored products, or third party links. The power of choice rests in your hands. Make it worthwhile. Happy switching! 

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