Chicken salt and chips, meat pie and tomato sauce, Rhonda and Ketut – if there’s one thing Aussies know, it’s how to spot a good pair. So, if two is better than one, does that mean getting your electricity and natural gas from the same provider holds up against our most iconic duos? Doubling up your energy could score you a nifty discount, but will it really provide you with the best value at the end of the day? We’re here to answer all of your questions, so you can go back to enjoying your shrimp on the barbie.
What is a double up discount?
Doubling up your energy means you’re choosing the same energy provider for both your electricity and gas needs. A double up discount is a percentage amount taken off your bill for doing just that. More often than not, the modest discount is applied to the gas bill rather than both bills combined.
Like most energy discounts, a double up discount is conditional on you purchasing electricity and gas from the same provider, but again like most discounts, it’ll only be applied for a benefit period, which is usually the first 12-24 months.
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Will a double up discount apply to my whole bill?
In most cases, when doubling up your energy, you’ll still receive separate bills for electricity and gas. Usually, what you’ll find is that the double up discount won’t apply to both bills, but just the gas portion.
Not only that, the discount normally applies to just your usage charge, rather than both your usage and supply charges. For those who are confused, your gas bill is made up of both usage and supply charges – the usage charge referring to how much you actually use, and the supply charge a daily fee you pay for having gas in your home. The supply charge typically sits in the 60c to 90c range, which depending on how much gas you use, could make up a decent portion of your bill.
So, with that in mind, realistically your already modest discount will only apply to a small portion of your overall energy bill, so it’s worth tossing up whether it may be worth it in the long run.
Are dual fuel and double up discounts the same thing?
We get it, the energy industry is confusing. If you’re scratching your head wondering what a double up discount is, but have heard the phrase ‘dual fuel’ tossed around, you’ll be happy to know they essentially mean the same thing.
‘Dual fuel’ is used more often to label providers who offer both electricity and gas, as it’s not always the case for a company to offer both. The big three, Origin, AGL and EnergyAustralia, are prime examples of dual fuel providers, but not all of them offer discounts for doubling up.
A ‘double up’ discount is used specifically in the context of discounts, meaning it wouldn’t be used to label providers based on their energy offerings. In layman’s terms, you can have a dual fuel discount, but not a double up provider.
Is it cheaper to double up energy?
While you may find doubling up your electricity and gas to be a load off your shoulders, it’s not always the best way to save. If you’re on a great electricity plan with one provider, you might assume that their gas plans are great value, too. While this can be the case, it isn’t always, and it’s up to you to weigh up the benefits of being with the same provider for both electricity and gas against having the best value energy deal.
If you’re on a standing contract offer for both electricity and gas, switching to a market plan that offers a dual fuel discount alongside pay on time and direct debit discounts could certainly bring down your power bill.
However, don’t assume that that’s the best offer you’ll get. Dual fuel discounts are often modest in comparison to other types, and if you’re not careful, can be applied to a plan with a high base rate. Whilst it may take more work, comparing electricity and gas plans from a range of providers gives you the highest chance of finding the best value deal around.
What providers offer double up discounts?
There are plenty of providers across NSW, VIC, QLD, SA and the ACT that offer gas alongside electricity. What’s surprising is that of the 15 dual fuel providers in the National Energy Market, only a handful are offering any incentive to double up. Here are the providers currently dishing out double up discounts:
- Alinta Energy
It’s worth mentioning that while this list is short, it’s subject to change with time. A dual fuel provider at any point can offer a double up discount without notice.
What other kind of energy discounts are there?
When it comes to energy discounts, it really pays to know what to look for. While double up discounts can be a great way to save if you’re choosing the same provider for reasons related to ease, they’re rarely the best discount available. Here are some other discounts and incentives offered by energy providers:
- Pay on time discount: A pay on time discount rewards you for your punctuality by giving you a sometimes generous amount off your energy bill for, as the name suggests, paying on time. This discount is conditional and is normally only available for a short benefit period.
- Direct debit discount: Getting a direct debit discount is conditional on you setting up direct bank account payments to your energy provider at the end of your billing period. Like most discounts, your discount is likely to expire after the first 12-24 months.
- Email billing discount: Becoming more popular as energy companies make the transition away from paper billing, email billing discounts are usually a small percentage off your power bill to say thanks for helping take the electricity billing process digital.
- Guaranteed discount: Unlike the others, a guaranteed discount isn’t conditional on your behaviour – you’ll get it regardless of your situation. This doesn’t mean your discount is exempt from a benefit period, and again, it’ll likely only be applied for a certain time.
Is a double up discount right for me?
Whether or not a double up discount is right for you will ultimately come down to what your personal needs are. If you enjoy the convenience of dual fuel billing, and know you’ll stick with your energy provider for your electricity and natural gas needs, choosing a plan for its double up discount could be the right choice for you.
However, it’s important to point out that staying with a provider out of convenience isn’t always the best way for you to save money. Even with the same provider, you’ll still receive separate bills for electricity and gas, so if one of those bills were to come from a provider offering a better value plan, you could end up saving big bucks on your overall power.
You won’t know if you’re getting a good deal on your energy until you compare what other providers are offering against your own plan. Get started by clicking the button below.