Hello Electricity Company... It's Time We Broke Up!

Jayde Ferguson

Electricity is an expensive resource and is something on which you could be overpaying. In most of Australia, Full Retail Competition allows you to switch energy providers at any time, if you are not on a contract. In some cases, you can change energy providers even if you are on a contract. This depends on how much you are spending and how much energy you are using monthly. If you find yourself paying too much for electricity, now is the time to do something about it. Switch to a cheaper alternative because you could save yourself thousands of dollars each year.

Full Retail Competition

In New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Queensland, Full Retail Competition allows you to switch energy companies at any time. The law states that individuals and businesses alike have the right to seek better prices and service on their energy at any time. If you have signed a contract that keeps you locked at a particular rate long-term, things could be a little trickier. You can get out of these contracts by paying a fee, which might be worth it if you expect to save a great deal of money every month.

What about Western Australia?

The laws are different in Western Australia, as Full Retail Competition does not apply. One thing that you can take advantage of if you own a business is your contestability. If your business spends more than $1,200 per month, you may be a contestable customer and could be free to choose a different electricity provider. This also applies if you have a daily electricity usage of 127 or more per day or have a current electricity contract for your site. If it turns out that you are contestable, you are free to look for a new energy provider at any time. Keep in mind that you might have to pay for a metre upgrade, if applicable.

How to Switch Business Providers

If you decide that now is the time to switch electricity providers, start by checking when your contract ends. The majority of business energy contracts are for between one and three years. If it has been a while since you signed up, it is worth taking a look.

If you are looking to switch to a different business energy provider, you will have a limited window once your contract ends to do so. Make sure that you keep an eye on your renewal rate, as it could be much higher than your current rate. There are services that will assist you as you search for a cheaper alternative. They could be worth contacting if you are nearing your switching window.

Combine Electricity with Solar Power for the Ultimate Savings Advantage

Today, you can have solar panels installed on the rooftops of your home or business. They are able to handle most of your electrical needs. You could also be eligible for government issued solar rebates should you go this route. You will receive one Small Energy Certificate for every Megawatt that your system produces over the next 15 years. An eight panel 1.5kW solar PV system should produce about 31 Megawatts of power during that period. This means that you would receive 31 Small Energy Certificates for installing this system. Each certificate is worth $30 in government help so for a 1.5kW system, you would receive $900 in financial aid.

Saving Money

The amount of money that you save depends on how much energy your solar panels produce in comparison to your energy needs. It is possible that you could end up making money in the right situation. If you create more energy than you use, your energy provider will buy it back at the end of the month. The amount that you receive for this energy varies between 7 cents per kW and 18 cents per kW, depending on the retailer. Solar power is just another way that you can step away from your energy provider and find a deal that saves you money.

So Why Make the Switch?

For most, making the switch is too hard. It means doing a little research on the side and comparing quotes between the number of electricity providers around – and there’s a few. Making the switch though can provide your business with significant savings, if you do it right.

There are four key times to think about changing your plan and provider, and sticking to these will ensure you don’t lose out on valuable money.

  1. At the end of your benefit term – Access where your businesses’ energy usage is at and switch accordingly.
  2. Changing address – Moving business premises can be a big enough reason to make the switch, especially if you’re moving to a smaller office. You will need to find a new plan and provider that can meet your new business needs.
  3. State price changes – Price changes throughout the state can take place and this gives businesses the perfect opportunity to review their current plan. Does it still meet your business needs? If not, make the switch.
  4. Customer service – A big reason why businesses make the switch is they’re simply not happy with the service they’re getting. This can be in terms of price, overall customer service of the inability for the plans offered to meet the business’ needs.

If you stick to these primary key times to make the change and do adequate research, you could be saving your business a significant amount by making the switch.

Author Bio

This article is written by Jayde Ferguson with assistance from Aidan Jenkins, Managing Director of Infinite Energy, business electricity and solar power provider to Perth and South West WA. Connect with Aidan on Google+ or LinkedIn.