Energy bills enter volatile period – but relief is coming

It’s heater weather across much of Australia as we enter the second month of winter. And the mere mention of heaters is enough to turn most minds to energy bills. Just what can we expect energy prices to do over the next few months and beyond?

Judging by mainstream media, the answer to that generally depends on which politician you ask, be that state or federal. An opposition spokesperson will almost certainly tell you that the prices will rise under the incumbent government. And those in government will undoubtedly tell you that their policies are helping to keep energy prices down. 

They can’t both be right, can they? While politicians can be almost guaranteed to toe the party line, predicting energy prices is definitely no easy task. The number of interacting factors make it difficult to forecast whether they will rise or fall – or neither. 

One factor is the energy retailers themselves, and even they at times seem to struggle to know which way prices are heading.

Paul Coughran, GM of utilities at Compare Club, highlighted this uncertainty. “It’s worth keeping a very close eye on electricity prices this month,” he said. “The information we’re receiving suggests that retailers are still figuring out how they want to price plans.” 

If they’re still figuring that out, what hope does the average Aussie punter have?

The impact of rising energy prices laid bare

Despite the ongoing cogitation of energy retailers, Mr Coughran says we should expect to see some movement in the market. “Wholesale energy prices are slightly up, while the Default Market Offer and Victorian Default Offer are both down in many states,” he said.

This creates a bit of a challenge for retailers, said Mr Coughran. So what should we average Aussie punters do? “My advice to households remains the same,” said Mr Coughran. “If you’ve not reviewed your energy plan in the past 18 months, then there’s a very good chance you could be paying too much.”

Shopping around, then, sounds like a very good idea, particular after a significant spike in energy prices last year. A report released by the ACCC shows that prices for residential customers across all regions grew by 14 per cent in the year to September 2023.

For many, the impact of that increase was crippling, according to the ACCC. Across that period, there was an 18 per cent increase in the number of consumers applying for financial hardship support.

What can we do?

To see if, as Mr Coughran suggests, you are paying too much for energy, then comparing prices is a start. It could indeed be a vital first step to reducing what you pay for energy. Energy retailers generally don’t make this easy, though, having such varied plans between them. 

However, the federal government’s website at least provides you with a sporting chance. According to Joel Gibson, from consumer advice centre One Big Switch, there are big savings to be made

“The cheapest offers on the market are around $200 cheaper than they were six months ago,” he said. 

With retailers updating their prices this month, the next few weeks might be the perfect time to compare and switch. That might just get you through winter – and until the next energy prices update, when we’ll do it all again!

Do you keep a close eye on energy prices? Have you noticed big increases on your bill? Let us know via the comments section below.

Also read: Lifetime costs on the rise, says Zurich

Disclaimer: All content on YourLifeChoices website is of a general nature and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It has been prepared with due care but no guarantees are provided for the ongoing accuracy or relevance. Before making a decision based on this information, you should consider its appropriateness in regard to your own circumstances. You should seek professional advice from a financial planner, lawyer or tax agent in relation to any aspects that affect your financial and legal circumstances.

Andrew Gigacz
Andrew Gigacz
Andrew has developed knowledge of the retirement landscape, including retirement income and government entitlements, as well as issues affecting older Australians moving into or living in retirement. He's an accomplished writer with a passion for health and human stories.


  1. I recall the PM saying we are all goingnto get $75 after July 1st for help wioth power bills. I assume we are still gertting this, since we’ve had some very cold nights and mornings here in Tasmania ( -2 to 10 C )inn the north and northwest of the state form more than about 9 days with heavy frost every morning

  2. I’ve just changed my electricity from my ‘old’ plan with 15% discount to a new one with a 18% discount, and the per kwh rate has also gone down (NSW, with concession rebate from the NSW Govt, same supplier).

    Even with the new $300 pa from the Fed Govt (down from $500 pa in the 2023/24 fy), I’m still saving nearly $35 pq, which is a big savings for a poor, cash-strapped single renter.

    Have just renewed my lease at the same rent I’m already paying, so a massive bonus. 2 of the units in my block (same owner) have just been advertised at $50 pw more than what I’m paying (one already let, and the other one just advertised).

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