7 Not-So-Obvious Ways You Can Save Money On Your Energy Bills (And One Obvious Way)

Energy in Australia isn’t always cheap, and chances are most of us are doing our very best to cut down on costs however we can. We know the basics of wearing warmer clothes rather than cranking the heat, or closing the curtains to keep the sun out – but there are several other ways that we can save money. Ways that may not seem so obvious but are just as easy to put into action.

1 ) Unplug your microwave and other devices when they’re not in use

This may not seem like the most obvious option, because we often think of our appliances as being ‘energy-draining’ when they are actually in use. But this isn’t the case. Keeping your microwave (and other similar appliances) on at all times is using electricity that’s unnecessary and costly. Getting into the habit of only plugging in these appliances when you need them will really make a difference when it comes to saving money on your energy bills.

2) Cook with your pot lids on

Keeping the lid on your pots while you boil water or simmer a curry could make a greater impact than you think. Not only does keeping the lid on your pots cook your meals faster, but it requires less energy (from either a gas or electric stove top) to cook. Considering how many times you are likely to use your stove each week, the amount of energy you’ll be saving will really add up.

3) Swap the stove top kettle for an electric one

Although it might seem like boiling water the old fashioned way may save you energy and money, electric kettles are actually the way to go. They’re faster and more energy efficient than using the stove top method. Consider boiling water for your pasta or potatoes in a kettle before you add it to the pot to cook. Your meal will be ready faster and you’ll save energy in the process.

4) Defrost your food in the fridge

A lot of us defrost our frozen food in the microwave because it’s quick and easy, but taking the time to plan ahead and defrost food in the fridge actually works out better in a number of ways. Putting your food to defrost the day before you plan to eat it will not only help you save energy (by not using the microwave), but food that is defrosted slowly often turns out to be more enjoyable when it comes time to eat it. Pastries in particular maintain a much higher quality when defrosted slowly.

5) Keep your home temperature consistent

Try and make sure you’re not heating or cooling your home to extremes. Every degree over 20 results in a 10% increase in your energy bills on average. If you can’t stand the cold and want to stay warm, we recommend heating one area of the house rather than the entire home. Alternatively, blankets and sweaters are always the best way to go.

6) Do laundry in cold water

Adjust your laundry settings to use cold water when it comes to washing every day loads of laundry. The less hot water you consume, the more drastically your energy bills will improve. Continue to add your normal detergents and softeners, but simple switchover to cold water – we bet you won’t even notice a difference!

7) Clean the filters of your air conditioner

Cleaning the filters in your air conditioner is all about staying energy efficient. The cleaner the filters are, the more efficient your air conditioner (or other similar devices) will be. When your home runs efficiently, you can be sure your energy bills will showcase the benefits.

The most obvious solution?

Compare the energy suppliers in your area to make sure you’re on the cheapest plan available to you. At Seek The Deal we run comparisons for Australians looking to pay less for energy. Get in touch with us today, either online, or by calling 03 9088 1750.

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.

Why You May Want To Consider a Fixed Rate Plan

At Seek The Deal, we use the phrase “we will help you find the best plan for your needs” on a regular basis. A lot of the time this means helping Australians find the cheapest energy plan available to them – but not always. Different people have different priorities, and it’s our job to help you find the energy retailer that best meets all of your unique requirements.

While some homes may want the cheapest energy deal, others may want the best customer service. If you’re looking to switch energy suppliers in the near future, it may be worth your while to consider prioritising a fixed rate plan. While they may not always be the cheapest option in the short term, they often end up saving money in the long term.

We’ve outlined the pros and cons of a fixed rate plan to help you determine if this kind of contract is something you and your household can benefit from.

Why You Should Do It

  • Energy companies sometimes raise their prices soon after you’ve signed on with them. When you sign onto a fixed rate plan, you can rest easy knowing that any price rises won’t affect you or your energy bills
  • Fixed rate energy plans are hugely popular, which means energy retailers are competing to provide you with the lowest price – you should have a lot of luck finding an affordable, long term deal.
  • Most energy retailers offer these plans, so you don’t have to worry about being limited in your choice of supplier.

Why You Shouldn’t Do It

  • If there is a price drop while you are on your fixed price plan, you’ll end up paying more than you need to. (This can be avoided by finding a plan that doesn’t have a cancellation fee – you can switch over to a cheaper plan if there is a price drop)

Ultimately deciding if a fixed rate plan is best is up to you and what you think is best for your current financial situation. If you’re looking for future protection and consistency, a fixed rate plan is for you. If you’re able to compare the market on a regular basis and switch energy suppliers accordingly – they may not be worth it.

Our team at Seek The Deal is happy to help you compare energy retailers and determine what will work best for your lifestyle and budget. Simply fill out a form online, and our experts will be in touch with you shortly.

Let’s Take a Look at Small Energy Retailers?

There are a lot of small energy retailers out there offering some of the cheapest energy deals on the market, but a lot of consumers are reluctant to switch over. Many people are worried about signing up with a company they’ve never heard of. This worry is understandable, yes, but is it necessary? Not at all.

Outstanding Customer Care

Small retailers have some of the best customer service ratings around. They are often working with a much smaller customer database than larger companies like Origin, Agl, and Energy Australia, meaning they work hard to keep the customers they have happy. You’ll be dealing with personalised services, dedicated experts, and companies who are truly focused on meeting all of your energy needs and requirements.

They’re Cheap

The gas and electricity rates that come out of smaller retailers are some of the cheapest on the market. Small retailers have smaller overhead costs than more established companies, and as a result can offer a cheaper price on their services.

Are They The Best Option?

When you’re comparing energy retailers, it’s important to not just consider the price. Different people have different priorities and require different things from their energy providers. For example, your ideal supplier might not be the least expensive if your top priority is outstanding customer service.

Small suppliers might be the best option if you’re looking for the cheapest rate in the market, but they may fall short if you’re interested in incentives like vouchers, gifts, or point system.

To make sure you get the right deal for you it’s important to weigh out the options that are out there and compare smaller retailers to larger ones.

How Do I Compare My Options?

At Seek The Deal, we work with a wide range of Australian energy suppliers – both big and small. With a short, simple, and free process, we can put together a list of suppliers in your area so you can compare your options and choose the right one for you. Our energy experts will help you switch providers if necessary and offer any advice and guidance you require.

Fill in our short online form today and we’ll handle the rest.

How to Cut Down On Your Energy Bills This Winter

Winter is well and truly on its way, and while that might be great in some aspects (Hello, snuggly movie nights, hot tea, and hearty comfort foods!), it also usually means an increase in energy prices.

You home will be working overtime to keep you warm and comfortable, and things like heaters, long showers, and electric blankets can really rack up your energy bills.

We want you to be able to stay warm and save money on energy this winter, which is why we’ve put together a few handy tips for how to retain heat within your home.

Rug Up

Stock up on soft sweaters, bulky blankets, and hot water bottles to stay cozy this winter. Upgrade your bedding to heavier duty duvets and quilts, and purchase that pajama-slipper combo you’ve been considering. If you can avoid blasting the heat when you’re home, and can even manage to turn it off overnight, it’ll do wonders for your power bill, we promise.

Block That Breeze

Using a door snake to prevent any breezes or draughts from sneaking in under your doors will help you keep heat trapped in and cold trapped out. Making sure your windows are sealed is another surefire way to keep your house warmer during the winter months.

Open Your Curtains

The cheapest form of heat we have is natural and easy to capture on warm sunny days. Capture that sunlight by letting it flood into your home wherever it can. Leaving your curtains open on bright days will help heat your home, and closing them at the end of the day will help keep that natural heat trapped in with you.

Get A Timer

Putting a timer on your thermostat can really work to your advantage when trying to save money on energy this winter. You can set this timer to turn down when you’re out of the house, overnight, or away on a holiday. This way you don’t have to remember to do it yourself. The added bonus of these timers is that you don’t have to return to a cold house when you’ve been out – simply set the timer to turn the heat on half an hour before you’re due to arrive home.

Consider Switching Energy Suppliers

If you haven’t switched things up with your energy supplier in the last year, or even if you have, it might be worth looking to see what kinds of discounts are out there. Using a free comparison company like Seek The Deal to help you find, choose, and switchover to a cheaper energy supplier this winter could be the best financial decision you make. We work with the top energy suppliers in Australia to find you the best electricity and gas rates on the market. It’s fast, free, and hassle-free, so don’t hesitate to fill out our short form today to see what kind of options are available to you!

Moving House? We’ve got some energy tips for you.

Whether you’re a homeowner or a renter, moving into a new house can be as stressful as it is exciting. From packing that first box to placing that final plate in your new kitchen cabinets, there are so many things you need to do and consider before feeling truly settled in your new home.

One of the most important parts of moving into a new home is setting up your electricity and gas service. Stepping into a cold, dark house isn’t something most people want on their big moving day.

Should I Consider Looking at a New Retailer?

To switch or not to switch, that is the question. Do you stay with your existing energy retailer or shake things up with a new energy supplier? We suggest at least looking into the latter. Not only will this give you the opportunity to choose an Australian energy company with the lowest rates out there, but it’ll allow you to pick and choose a company that meets your customer service and payment plan needs as well. The best energy retailer for you may not always be the cheapest, but the one that suits your individual needs and requirements.

Dealing with poor customer service and overpriced plans is the last thing you want to be worried about when settling into your new home. So if you know you’re moving, why not look into other options. You want a team that has your back and has everything set up and running by the time you arrive with the boxes.

How Do I Find the Best Retailer for My New Home?

There’s a lot of options out there, and it’s hard to find the time to sift through them all under normal circumstances, let alone in the middle of a big move. That’s where Seek The Deal comes in. We’re a free energy comparison service who will find the best deals available in your new neighbourhood.

We’ll ask you to fill in a short form with your new postcode, energy usage, and a few personal details, then our utilities experts will take care of the rest. Moving in with the best energy retailer available is simple with the help of our enthusiastic team and no-hassle services.

Get in touch today, and we’ll make sure you have a smooth and stress-free moving day.

Haven’t Switched Energy Suppliers in the Last Year?

You could be paying one of the market’s highest rates.

Loyalty Tax. It’s a thing, and if you haven’t switched up your home energy deal in the last year, you’re probably paying it. There’s often a huge difference between the discounted rate you receive when you first sign your energy contract and the rate your Australian energy supplier puts you on when that 12 -24 month discount period ends.

Depending on where you live in Australia, you could be paying, $250, $300, $500, $800 too much annually! That’s ridiculous, and often avoidable.

So if you haven’t switched energy suppliers in the last year, or moved into a house recently and didn’t choose the Australian energy provider that accompanied the property – there may just be hundreds of dollars in savings to be had.

But Why Am I Paying So Much More As a Loyal Customer?

It doesn’t seem fair, does it? You stay with one energy supplier for years, yet your loyalty is met with far higher fees than customers who have just joined.

That’s where standing offers and market offers come into play.

A standing offer is the amount of money you automatically default to in most situations. If you don’t actively choose the market offer, or your contract on the discounted market offer comes to a close, you will automatically be paying a higher set rate. The price is higher to make up for consumers with bad credit and various other risks, which essentially means you’re paying for protection against issues you don’t personally have any involvement in.

Market offers, on the other hand, are usually significantly cheaper options because they offer a range of discounts for things like paying on time and other reliable payment plans. These factors apply to several consumers so earning these discounts often falls within normal payment practices anyway.

How Can I Start Paying Less?

Understandably, you’re probably wondering how you can get yourself onto a better energy deal. There are a couple options you could try:

  1. Ask your company if you’re currently on a standing offer and if there are any better deals they can offer you.
  2. Compare energy providers and contrast the best market deals out there and consider making a switch to a cheaper energy supplier that caters to your unique needs.

Unless you’ve already done a lot of research and are incredibly happy with your current supplier, we recommend comparing your options. When you do it with the help of a trusted Australian energy comparison company like Seek the Deal, receiving a personalised list of energy options best suited to your needs is simple, efficient, and completely free of charge.