Orange residents can save more than $300 a quarter on their power bills by shopping around.
An online search by the Central Western Daily has revealed wide price variations.
We used an online comparison company Mozo to compare 58 energy plans for a family in Orange with medium daily power useage [16.1 kilowatts].
It found the prices varied from $458 to $790 [$332 difference] for the same amount of power, depending on the power company and the plans offered to consumers.
The variation was even larger for a family with high power useage [24.2 kilowatts a day] with the costs ranging from $646 to $1113, a gap of $467.
The same power company, Amaysim, had the lowest and highest quotes in both surveys.
And even for single people or couples with a low electricity use of 12.1 kilowatts a day, the plans varied by $272 [$366-$638].
The St Vincent de Paul Society said shopping around was one method of cutting your power bill.
Vinnies Orange regional president Michael Horth said consumers should contact their supplier if they were having difficulties meeting payments.
“Some immediate steps we recommend for reducing energy costs is to call your provider, explain your situation and request allowances or concessions on your bill,” he said.
“Also you can shop around and do comparisons between energy companies.
“However these steps are not addressing the real problem of electricity price rises and the significant impact on those struggling to make ends meet.”
One company, Energy Australia, is offering a plan where the power bill is frozen for two years.
Usage and daily supply charges are exempt from price rises over the term.
It was quoted at $446 in our low use search, $546 in our medium use search and $747 in the high use search.
Energy Australia chief customer officer Kim Clarke said the plan had been on offer for a limited time since October.
She said it would be available until January 31.
“Demand has been strongest in NSW, more than 35,000 households in the state have signed up, including dozens of customers in the Central West,” she said.
“It’s for households that want certainty of knowing their energy rates won’t go up – and can only come down.
“It’s like hitting the pause button on some of the cost of living pressures people are under.
“With energy prices at record highs more and more people are considering plans that let them fix energy rates for a year or two to avoid price rises.”
Ms Clarke said shopping around was vital for consumers to minimise power bills.
“Energy prices have been rising by up to 20 per cent in some states,” she said.
“There should always be things you can do, and things that your retailer should do for you, so you stay in control of your energy and save money.”
She said people needed to be wary about special discounts offered by retailers.
“When you are shopping around there are two key numbers you need to know so you can compare one retailer’s offer against another,” she said.
“The first is your daily supply fee and second is how much you’re charged for each kilowatt hour of electricity you use post [any] discount.
“Ask what happens to your discount and other benefits when your plan’s term expires.”
There are several energy price comparisons available online.