Energy supply deals not always what they seem

http://www.smh.com.au/business/energy-supply-deals-not-alway...

Dunsford, a man with a keen eye for detail, parsed the letter with scepticism. He knew he had previously locked in a 12 per cent discount on his electricity charges and 8 per cent off gas charges until his two-year contract ran out. The letter from Energy Australia offered 4 per cent off both under a new one-year contract.

So he got on the phone - braved the automated voice menus, the musak and the friendly marketing messages - and eventually got to speak with a human being.

''When I protested, I was offered 15 per cent off electricity and 12 per cent off gas under a two-year contract,'' Dunsford says. Had he accepted the ''new offer'' contained in the letter, he would have been $600 a year worse off.

Dunsford then wrote back to the EA executive David Hamilton, saying the offer was ''highly deceptive and misleading conduct'' and demanded an explanation.

The lesson is that customers are likely to lose if they do nothing. Price deregulation is already in place in Victoria and South Australia. In NSW it comes into effect on July 1, hence the flurry of correspondence from companies.

Dunsford's experience is mirrored by research from Choice: ''If you haven't reviewed your energy plan recently, the chances are you are paying too much.''

And now, the profits of the industry hinge on hoping customers get the worst deal possible by doing nothing.

In fairness to Energy Australia, all retailers are hoping for the same outcome: zero action from customers.

comments suggest that 15-16% off electricity and 10-15% off gas is possible with no contract - but of course the key question is off what base prices…

Energy/Electricity Plan Comparison for NSW (Spreadsheet)

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Comments

  • I only look at the discounted daily charge and usage prices when comparing/deciding on electricity providers. Of course the percentage discount is irrelevant…

  • That Google Doc hasn't been updated in a while I wouldn't use it.
    Just use the Gov site Energy Made Easy

    Also I can't believe this hasn't be posted in the forums just due to this fact:

    Price deregulation is already in place in Victoria and South Australia. In NSW it comes into effect on July 1, hence the flurry of correspondence from companies.

    That would explain Origin sending a letters begging customers to comeback.

    • Will get this updated soon! Sorry…have been too busy with work, etc. to call around again. Still a great reference for how to organise your own research.

  • the first thing you need to ask yourself is 15% off what?

  • Um that article is complete waste of time lol. When your contract runs out for anything, foxtel, car insurance they always give you a crap deal. That's the time to shop around and find the best deal :D

  • I think that article is more pertinent for Victoria and any other states that have been fully deregulated, where the rates are different

    NSW our rates are the same, the only thing they can vary is the discount. Different distributors also have different peak and non peak volumes

    • Price deregulation is already in place in Victoria and South Australia. In NSW it comes into effect on July 1, hence the flurry of correspondence from companies.

  • Energy Australia have been doing this for years. Every time my contract is up I get a lousy offer. So I just ring them up, bargain with them for a better deal and sign a new contract for two years. I have checked with other companies and I usually get a better deal with Energy Australia than the rest.

    My contract has just run out again and I'm thinking that it may be worth waiting till July before getting a new contract. Any thoughts from anyone on a new contract?

  • the profits of the industry hinge on hoping customers get the worst deal possible by doing nothing.

    Yup. It's the "lazy tax" at work.

  • Always phone and make threats to leave, magical disounts suddenly appear….