Looking around the energy market is one of the best ways to reduce energy costs. That’s why many consumers grab the opportunity to compare and switch plans if they are eligible to do so. However, the energy market itself is a bit confusing which stops consumer to enjoy the benefits of deregulation.
It’s important to know the basic of energy market before shopping around. It helps consumers to become more meticulous in deciding about their energy plans.
Related topic: Energy markets
History Of Energy Market
Australian electricity industry was entirely own and run by the government. No private companies are allowed to operate.
The government of New South Wales starts an analysis because of continuous blackouts. As a result, the market becomes deregulated. Private companies also start offering electricity services to minimize power interruptions.
2000’s – Present
Customers are allowed to choose their gas supplier too. Gas offers make the energy market more competitive. States like NSW, VIC, SA and some part of QLD become fully deregulated. However, WA, NT, and TAS are still considered as regulated-states.
Types Of Energy Contracts
Type of Contract
Energy deals which are offered by energy regulator. It is usually government-owned in regulated states. Also, prices may vary and depends on location. However, it may also be regulated.
§ With terms and conditions set by law
§ Designed to protect consumer’s rights.
§ No exit fees.
§ Prices can only be changed every six months.
These are more competitive and offer lower prices than a standard contract. Offer by energy retailers in deregulated states like NSW, VIC, SA and some part of QLD. Also, prices may change at any time.
§ More limited in the conditions set by law
§ Lower prices than standard contracts.
§ With expiration dates and exit fees.
§ Offer renewable energy options.
Negotiate A Better Deal With The Retailer
On negotiating a better deal, there are some factors which need to assess by the consumers. These are:
Fees and charges relating to the bill
Check rates, which charged by the retailer, especially supply charge and the rate per kWh. These charges have a huge impact on energy bill costs. Ask the current retailer if it’s possible to lower the rates if it’s too expensive. If still unsatisfied, switch retailer with lower charges.
Contracts are typically last for 12 to 24 months. Many retailers do have exit fees to pay when a consumer terminates his contract earlier. To avoid this charge, choose standard retail than the market one.
Most market retail contracts are with conditional discounts. For example, a consumer is eligible for discounts if he meets a certain condition. Some conditions like pay-on-time and pay-in-full. Ensure to meet conditions set by the retailer to enjoy discounts. Do self-assessment, if it’s hard to meet the conditions, it’s better not to accept the offer and look for another one.
Many consumers support renewable. If this is the case, choose retailer which promotes renewable than fossil fuels and coals.
Read about: How to measure “cleanest” electricity retailer?
No need to become an expert to understand the energy market. Just learn the basic or ask help from professionals. These things help consumers like you to decide which is the best deal for your needs.
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