Everything You Need To Know About Distributors

A lot of the time, when Australians think of the electricity market, they are only thinking of the people who send them the bills. Energy retailers, whilst important to the process of getting energy from where it is generated through to your home, don’t stand alone. They are a part of an energy chain, and understanding how this chain works and interacts will enable you to ask the right questions and gain the knowledge necessary to make you a more informed buyer – ultimately saving you more when it comes to your household energy. An essential part of the energy chain in Australia are the distributors. They play a primary role in getting energy to your home so it’s important to understand just how they fit in.

What is a Distributor?

The distributors are responsible for actually delivering the electricity and gas from the production (or generation) location to your home. While retailers act as a point of contact between customers and distributors, it’s important to remember that retailers are not actually responsible for the delivery of the electricity itself.

What Are Distributors Responsible For?

Distributors take care of the maintenance of power lines and poles, they read meters and maintain pipes. When a storm or emergency occurs, it’s the distributors to make their way out to the site in order to fix things up and have gas and electricity ready for household consumption again.

Distributors are responsible for handling emergency situations and providing any repairs or maintenance to your electricity and gas distributing system. This is the team you call when you experience issues with the energy itself, whereas retailers will handle any issues with payments, plans, or prices.

Distributors in Your State

Knowing who your state’s distributors are will help you understand who to call in an emergency, so it’s important to be aware of who’s in charge of your energy distribution.

What Effect Do Distributors Have Of The Price You Pay For Energy?

As displayed in the tables above, you can see that there are significantly fewer distributors per state than retailers. This is because the energy that is being delivered to your home is all the same. It was all generated in the same place and will be distributed to your home by the same system, regardless of where you live.

This means that you’re paying for the same energy, no matter which retailer you go through. There is no such thing as one retailer having better quality than the next, because they are all selling the same product. This should help you make your decision in which retailer and energy plan to sign on to. Some companies may charge more for other plan features, but paying more never equates to having better energy.

Three Questions to Ask Yourself When Choosing an Energy Supplier

Our main goal here at Seek The Deal is to help set our customers up with an energy deal and energy supplier that suits their unique needs. When you choose to compare energy providers with our energy experts, we’ll present you with a list of available and desirable deals in your area of Australia. After we’ve presented you with this personalised list, it’s up to you to decide on which energy provider is right for your household needs.

If you’ve never compared providers before, it might be hard to know what to look for. We’ve laid out the three most important questions you need to ask and answer for yourself when selecting a new energy provider. Whether you’re looking for clean energy options or big savings on your electric and gas bill, these are the three most important things to look out for in your next energy supplier.

  1. Do They Have a Good Track Record?

Choose a company that has a great track record in the industry and with their clients. Sometimes providers use business and marketing strategies to reel you in and then raise their prices once you’re signed on. Be sure to do your research and choose a utility provider that prioritises integrity. Chances are pretty good that if they’ve been in the industry for several years and have several positive reviews across their prices, services, and customer care, they’re a safe choice.

2. Are Their Plans and Prices Fair?

A lot of factors go into deciding whether or not an energy provider’s plans and prices are fair. The cheapest price may not always provide the best value for a number of reasons. Some energy providers offer cheap contracts but sky-high exit fees, some don’t offer fixed-rate plans, and some may offer an excellent electricity price but leave much to be desired when it comes to their solar energy plans. Depending on where you are and what you want out of your energy contract – there are several questions you need to answer for yourself before weighing out your options.

That being said, for the most part, fixed-rate plans are the best way to go for many households, so always be on the look out for this key indication of a reputable energy provider.

3. Do They Put The Customer First?

Customer service can make or break your experience with your energy supplier. While they may not always be the cheapest, finding an energy supplier with a good reputation in customer service is always something to strive for. If something goes wrong or you’re wanting to make a change mid-contract, or you simply have some questions you need answered – you’re going to want an informed, friendly, and accommodating team doing their best to provide you with what you need.

Ready to start looking at alternative energy suppliers? Compare now and our Seek The Deal team will help you make the switch!

Utility Scams and How To Stay Away From Them

It can often be hard to spot a scam in the moment. Sure hindsight is 20/20, but unless you’re prepared and know exactly what to look out for, it can be easier than you think to fall victim to a utility scam.

It’s easy to be manipulated when put under pressure, particularly when it comes to necessities like power and water in your home. That’s why we’ve outlined the key things to look out for when it comes to utility scams. The more prepared you are, the less likely you are to be tricked into paying money you shouldn’t.

Someone Knocks on Your Door

Many utility scammers will come door to door, give you a sales pitch about an energy plan or contract, and then ask for money on the spot. Even if they have ID and are wearing a uniform, it’s important that you don’t give any cash to these representatives until you’ve checked with your energy company to verify that they’re a true employee of theirs. It’s always best to be extra cautious and say no to any payments on your doorstep – if the representative is honest, they won’t mind you calling the company, and you’ll still receive the deal that’s been discussed.

Someone Asks For Cash

Utility companies never ask you for cash. Whether they are over the phone representatives, or coming to your door to fix an issue. If someone comes to your home claiming to be a representative of your utility company and asks for a cash payment, you can be sure it’s a scam.

How You Can Avoid Scams Altogether

There are a few proactive steps you can take to avoid the threat of scams all together.

Compare your energy plan on a regular basis

Comparing your energy plan against the market helps you gain an idea of what you should be paying while saving money in the process. It’s a lot harder to be scammed into paying more than you should when you’re aware of the market price.

Stay on top of your bill payments

If a scammer calls to tell you you’re behind on bill payments and threaten to cut off your electricity, it’s a lot easier to fall victim to the scam if you actually are behind on your payments. Stay certain of your payments by keeping on top of them as they come in.

Err on the side of caution

Whenever you’re unsure of someone’s identity or validity, it’s better to be cautious and refuse to give them anything until you’ve checked with your supplier. It’s always preferable to be safe rather than sorry when it comes to potential energy scams.

Signs You’re Paying More Than You Should for Your Energy

Many customers who seek out our comparison services do so because they realise they are being overcharged for energy. Sometimes it’s obvious, other times not so much. How can you tell if you’re paying more than you should for energy? We’ve outlined a few key signs to look out for.

  1. Your Energy Price Changes

Take a bit of extra time to pay attention to your energy bills. A lot of us just pay them without thinking about it, but this can make it trickier to spot of your energy price has changed or not. About once per year, energy prices will change depending on where you are in Australia. Energy retailers will usually try and contact you with a letter that more often than not gets discarded without much attention. If your rates change, whether you remember the notification or not, chances are pretty good you’re paying more than you should be and it might be time for a switch.

2) Your Discount Changes

Remember when you signed on to your chosen retailer’s contract and it included a discount that you just couldn’t refuse? A lot of the time this discount will change or be diminished as the months go on. Sometimes retailers will offer a discount that only lasts a few months or a year, before boosting the price back up to a lesser discounted or full price. This money-making tactic relies on customers not paying attention and works in a lot of cases where customers can’t be bothered making a switch to a new supplier. Switching over doesn’t have to be hard, and if you notice your energy discount has changed over time, filling out a quick online form could mean saving hundreds of dollars on your energy bills.

3) Your Bill Increases Significantly

We all know that bills tend to increase in the colder months. Those heaters can really spike your costs, but there is a difference between a usage spike and an ‘increased price’ spike. Keep an eye on your bills and if something seems a bit off, it might be because of a price increase. If you’re concerned, have a chat to your energy retailer to see if there have been any changes to your price plan. If it turns out you’re paying more than you should be, consider comparing the market and finding a better deal.