Victorian energy customers not on ‘best offers’ likely paying too much for power

Victorians are being encouraged to ask their energy provider if they’re on the ‘best offer’ after a report from the economic regulator showed about two million customers could be paying too much for power.

The latest report from the Essential Services Commission (ESC) into the state’s energy market uncovered 850,000 Victorian customers were not on the best electricity deal, as of March 2021 alone.

Across the state, retailers must now place ‘best offer’ information on energy bills to help less-engaged consumers shop around for a better deal.

This messaging generally refers to a provider’s cheapest market offer, a plan that normally includes lower rates and other customer incentives, like discounts and rewards programs.

ESC Executive director energy Sara Sheppard said customers who are not on these types of competitive offers could be missing out on hundreds of dollars of savings.

“The data shows 850,000 electricity and almost 400,000 gas accounts could be on cheaper deals if customers contact their retailer and ask to be changed to their ‘best offer’,” she said.

“Your retailer is required to put a ‘best offer’ message on your bills at least three times a year to tell you if you could save money by switching to a different contract.”

Ms Sheppard also explained that power prices have fallen over the past 12 months, reinforcing why Victorians should contact their energy retailer to ensure they’re paying competitive rates.

“Compared to 12 months ago residential electricity offers are down 11 per cent and small businesses’ electricity offers are 14 per cent lower,” she said.

Lower wholesale prices and an emergence of challenger brands has led to a recent energy price war in Victoria, which is great news for household budgets currently experiencing bill shock said Canstar Blue’s Energy Editor, Jared Mullane.

“It’s been an exciting period for consumers across Victoria lately with wholesale electricity costs falling as well as a swathe of new players taking on the bigger guys, offering some of the cheapest prices Victorians have seen since regulatory changes were introduced in 2019,” he said.

Mr Mullane refers to the Victorian Default Offer (VDO) that came into effect in July 2019 which acts as a price cap for retailers charging residential and small business customers on non-competitive standing offer contracts.

“The message is simple; if your bills are becoming unmanageable then it’s probably time to compare energy plans from a range of providers,” Mr Mullane added. “Why settle for higher electricity prices when all it takes is a few minutes of your time to switch, or if you’re not ready to say goodbye just yet, pick up the phone and call your existing provider to see what their best offer is.”

Compare Energy Providers in Victoria

Here are some of the ‘best offers’ in Melbourne from a range of retailers on our database.

Here are some of the cheapest published deals from the retailers on our database that include a link to the retailer’s website for further details. These are products from referral partners†. Costs are based on the Citipower network in Melbourne but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 4000kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area and to see other products in our database that may be available. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision. The next three tabs feature products exclusively from AGL, EnergyAustralia and Origin.

Here are the AGL Energy plans on our database for Victoria. These are products from a referral partner†. These costs are based on the Citipower network in Melbourne but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 4000kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area and to see other products in our database that may be available. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

Here are the EnergyAustralia plans on our database for Victoria. These are products from a referral partner†. These costs are based on the Citipower network in Melbourne but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 4000kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area and to see other products in our database that may be available. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

Here are the Origin Energy plans on our database for Victoria. These are products from a referral partner†. These costs are based on the Citipower energy network in Melbourne but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 4000kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area and to see other products in our database that may be available. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

Image credit: Andrey Bayda/Shutterstock.com

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