Earth First | It really pays to ask your provider for a better deal

ASK YOUR PROVIDER: Consumers are usually bound to a contract period with their electricity provider which usually covers a one to two year period. After that you can negotiate a new offer.
ASK YOUR PROVIDER: Consumers are usually bound to a contract period with their electricity provider which usually covers a one to two year period. After that you can negotiate a new offer.

Winter is over and you can now enjoy our pleasant Orange spring/summer.

But first you have to pay that big winter electricity/gas account. How can you pay less next year?

First try to understand the important bits of your account.

Consumers are usually bound to a contract period with their electricity provider which usually covers a one to two year period. At the end of this period, you must phone the energy retailer to either confirm an extension of your contract, or ask for a better offer.

It is important to realise that if you take no action, the reseller will then place you on basic (highest) tariff. The Government has now stipulated that resellers must notify you close to end of contract period that your contract has expired and you have to renegotiate its terms.

The pricing authority reviews tariffs each July. Alert consumers look for these notifications and change to a better tariff or to a different reseller. You have the right to make such changes at any time.

Discounts vary from 5 - 25 per cent but only for the contract period.

Then you have to look for a new offer. Discounts are mostly applicable only to usage charges, before GST, and not to the daily standing charge. There are exceptions who do offer discounts on standing charges as well as kWh charges eg. Red Energy.

In kind offers are available from some resellers.

These offers are discounts for goods bought in their shop, or free tickets to football games or other irrelevant gimmicks.

All benefits, discounts etc. are only available to those who pay on time. If electricity/gas accounts, particularly in winter, are a burden, then speak to your reseller.

They are able to estimate your annual consumption, and divide it by four. You then pay that average amount each quarter and so avoid peak winter rain.

Solar Photovoltaic Panels are the best solution to reduce your electricity costs. The equipment cost is recouped over several years. Remember all solar power produced is zero energy cost.

Energy Locals is a new reseller. Check their rates against yours at ‘Electricity and Gas Market offers’, the Federal Government website. Many resellers are now returning to the traditional No Frills, No Contract Period.

News this week. from CE4G (Community Energy For Goulburn), who now have access to cheaper power for their community.

They have partnered with Energy Locals, one of the few resellers that support renewable energy and local communities. They return half their profit margin to the Goulburn community through this partnership.

What a great idea for Orange to emulate.