What can you do to manage energy costs?

Manage energy costs

You might’ve heard about rising electricity prices – a whole range of factors has led to wholesale prices going up, which is set to affect most Australians. If you’re concerned about what this might mean for you at home, we wanted to shed a little light on how you’re protected from market volatility as well as the different ways you can manage costs.


Customers are protected by energy regulations

Despite market volatility, there are things in place to keep your prices fair – the Australian Energy Regulator (SA, NSW, ACT, south-east QLD) and Essential Services Commission (VIC) set the default (or maximum) rate you can be charged for electricity. Although the default offer will increase in most places from 1 July 2022, it’s still set with the customer in mind.


How the default offer protects you

Normally, power companies compete with one another by offering lower-cost, alternatives to their default offer (or ‘market offers’). Those alternative prices are based on wholesale and distribution costs, environmental charges and the retailer margin.

But when wholesale costs increase dramatically, it becomes much harder to offer those competitive prices, and retailers have to adjust accordingly. In that case, the default offer protects customers because it’s a fixed price that retailers must offer at all times, regardless of market conditions.


Comparing energy providers is easy

Shopping around for the best energy deal is one of the easiest ways to save on costs. If you need to change plans, look at what’s available across the board to make sure you’re on the best deal for you.


Victoria

Victorian Energy Compare – https://compare.energy.vic.gov.au/

Other states

Energy Made Easy – https://www.energymadeeasy.gov.au/


Find new ways to curb your energy use

If you’re already conscious of your energy costs, there’s no doubt you’re doing what you can to save energy at home. Bills tend to go up in winter because we start to use the heater more – here are some of the ways you can make sure you’re not making it work harder than it needs to.


Find and seal drafts

Less heat loss = spending less on heating. Look for where warm air is escaping (floors, windows, vents high on walls, skirting boards) and ask someone at a DIY shop if there’s a cost-effective way to seal them.


Look up insulation hacks

The internet has a lot of intel on low-cost ways to improve the insulation in your home – do a quick search for things that could work at your house.


Check the heater

Prioritise the split system over the gas heater if you can, as they’re about 4x more efficient. If you rent a place with a gas heater, ask your agent if it’s had a safety check recently. Sometimes old systems need to be retired for safety reasons and you’ll likely get a split system in its place.


Close the curtains

Thick curtains and blinds create a layer of insulation between you and the cold outside. If yours are a little flimsy, it could be worth investing in something more sturdy.


Heat packs

Get hours of warmth from 3 minutes in the microwave.


Set the temperature and stick to it

Think of a heater as taking the chill out of the air – not turning your place into a sauna. Somewhere between 18˚C and 20˚C should do it (and if anyone’s getting around in a t-shirt, you’ll know it’s too warm).

Head to the Sustainability Victoria website for more information about heating your home efficiently.


More energy-saving tips:


Change the size and frequency of your payments

Rather than paying your bills all at once, you might be able to pay for your energy in smaller amounts, or add credit to your account ahead of high-usage periods. Check if your power company has a payment smoothing option (like SmoothPay) that lets you pay for your energy in more consistent amounts, or if they can set you up with a payment plan.


Help is always available

If you’re having trouble paying for your energy, it’s always best to get in touch with your power company to see what their payment assistance options are. If you’re a Momentum customer, our number’s at the bottom of this page.

Payment options for Momentum customers are here. Some can even be set up immediately through MyAccount. You might also be eligible for a concession on your energy costs – check our concessions page to find out.

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