How Australians can double their $300 electricity bill rebate

The government has unveiled fresh energy subsidies, but you can make it go further.

The government has unveiled fresh energy subsidies, but you can make it go further. Photo: Getty

Australian households are looking forward to $300 of energy bill relief from July, but new analysis shows there are ways to make the rebates go much further if you’re willing to shop around.

Figures from Canstar Blue reveal residents in New South Wales can save up to $439 on top of the energy rebates, while those in Victoria could save as much as $476 on their power bills.

That’s more than double the value of the federal government’s support program and can be realised by anyone moving from an average energy deal to the best ones on the market.

“Switching to the cheapest currently available plan on every network on our database offered an opportunity to make the newly announced energy bill relief payment stretch further,” Canstar Blue editor-in-chief Christine Seib said.

“This has the potential to effectively help households double their bill relief in the coming financial year.”

The federal government unveiled billions in new energy bill support for all Australian households in the budget last week in a bid to take the edge off the cost-of-living crisis hitting many families.

It comes as the energy market experiences a period of flux, with with sky-high prices over the past few years receding rapidly on the back of lower commodity prices, which is finally starting to deliver families relief.

That much was evident in the latest default market offers (DMO) unveiled by regulators at the federal and state level in Victoria earlier this year – they delivered sizeable falls in prices.

Only the most active customers can maximise their savings though, with the latest deals hitting the market reflecting lower wholesale costs at a greater rate than plans for existing customers.

And that includes customers on default offers, who typically pay among the most expensive bills in the market because they don’t shop around and find the best deals being offered by retailers.

“The cheapest plan in the market is available on Victoria’s United Energy network and costs just over $1000 a year, based on an annual cost estimate that uses regulatory assumptions,” Seib said.

“This is almost $400 cheaper over a year than the average plan price on the same network.”

Canstar Blue’s analysis finds households across the country can save money by switching from an average priced plan to a cheaper deal.

That includes potential savings of $380 a year in Queensland, $437 annually in South Australia and as much as $441 in the Australian Capital Territory too.

Tips for making the switch

The need to routinely check your energy plan has become even more pressing lately because as prices fall retail deals are being updated more frequently, making it a good idea to check every few months to maximise savings.

“If you make the switch, don’t set and forget,” Seib said.

“Energy rates and plans change frequently, so remember to regularly compare your options to make sure you’re not missing out on a more competitive deal elsewhere.”

So what do you need to know before switching your energy deal?

Well, first remember that you shouldn’t experience any period of disconnection simply by changing providers.

Secondly, make sure to read the fine print carefully when comparing energy deals in your postcode.

That’s because around this time of the year many retailers are offering inducements like discounts and special conditions to get new sign ups.

Those could save you money, but they could also lock you into a contract, so beware.

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