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Three things to think about before switching energy providers

Are you looking for a new electricity supplier? When switching there is one frequently asked question. What should you look for in a new service provider?

We believe it is high time we had a more in-depth discussion about what people should look for in energy providers. Perhaps you are thinking about switching to a new electricity provider, or maybe you are just exploring your options.

It is important to consider various factors when choosing your energy provider. Even though the price is a critical factor, your retailer should also be able to provide outstanding customer support service. We have prepared a checklist of factors to consider, to assist you in making the best decision for your specific needs and preferences.

Cost

Given that electricity prices have occasionally skyrocketed over the past ten years, it is not surprising that most Australians list their electricity bills among their top financial worries. This renewed emphasis on bills coincides with the Energy Regulator’s announcement that it will soon require power companies to notify customers even if they would like to switch over to a different energy plan.

The cheapest deal is not always the best deal. The price difference between the least expensive and most expensive electricity plans can be a few hundred dollars annually based on where you live and how much energy you typically use.

If you have not reviewed your energy plan in a while, there’s a chance you are overpaying. Why would you pay more than necessary? Spending a little bit more is sometimes worthwhile if you know you will get excellent customer service in exchange.

Depending on how your metre is configured, you may have a single rate tariff or peak and off-peak rates in certain areas. Tariffs vary by state, provider, and region and are sometimes even referred to by different names. It is best you compare plans.  Have a look at AGL Energy Plans at the moment.

The significance of customer service

Good customer service is something you cannot buy. Many energy retailers position themselves to provide excellent customer service. While some legitimately pull this off, others fall short of the mark more than their competitors.

Even if you are going out to eat, excellent customer service can make or break your experience. That is why it is worthwhile to evaluate your prospective energy supplier on customer service as well.

Do you remember the last time you had to call your provider? How did that call go? It is understandable that you might believe that customer service is less important than price. If a company offers low prices, it may be saving money in other areas, including customer service.

Switching energy providers

If you find a better offer, get in touch with your current provider to see if they can match it or outperform it. If your current provider is unable to, now is a good time to confirm any exit fees you might have forgotten about.

Depending on the retailer, distributor, and stage of the billing cycle, the switching process can take sometimes take one to three months to complete; however, this has been shortened considerably for electricity and can be as quick as a couple of days.

Your energy supply will not be disrupted when you change contracts or switch to a different retailer.

Finally

If you are having difficulty covering costs as a result of an increase in your energy bill, contact your provider and explain your situation. Additionally, you may be qualified for one or more of the state, territory, or federal programmes that provide financial assistance to those with fixed or low incomes who have trouble paying their bills.

You should always look for a service provider who wants to simplify your life, because you already have enough on your plate!

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