Cash for comparing energy providers

As we discovered in the results of our most recent Friday Flash Poll: Solving Australia’s energy cost crisis, there is no definitive answer or even a remotely clear path towards a solution.

And when we say ‘cost’ we’re not just talking about your energy bill.

So, we turn to those who are paid to make these decisions for us – the same people in whom, according to our poll, we have little faith to make those decisions.

Over 80 per cent of respondents said politicians are out of touch with what the majority of energy consumers want or, more importantly, need.

“Neither Labor nor LNP are qualified or interested in renewable energy; they just use the environment to stop losing votes to the Greens,” wrote YourLifeChoices member danielboonjp.

Is the power to reduce our electricity bills in our hands? YourLifeChoices’ member Chat seems to think so: “I think people themselves have to take more responsibility for the way they use electricity. The ‘savings’ being suggested by the political parties, when offering rebates, etc, are always way in excess of what our entire electricity bill is so I have to wonder what some people do to incur such huge bills.”

If it were up to the two major parties, 53 per cent of respondents think Labor would do a better job addressing climate change, while 47 per cent favour the Liberal Party.

Who do you believe would meet their emissions target? Well, 50 per cent say Labor leader Bill Shorten will and 50 per cent say Prime Minister Scott Morrison will meet the Liberal target ‘at a canter’. However, 43 per cent said Mr Shorten’s plan to improve infrastructure and efficiency will work over Mr Morrison’s plan to ‘take a big stick’ to suppliers and retailers (34 per cent).

And when it comes to spending on saving the planet and reducing the bottom line on your electricity bill, 42 per cent think Mr Shorten’s $15 billion promise to fix the energy system will not provide value for money, while 36 per cent think it will.

“Labor’s new energy policy is ridiculous. It will cost us billions and will not provide reliable base load energy. If you look at your Certificate of Title, you will see that all minerals under your land belong to the Government. It does not belong to the indigenous. Coal miners pay their tax like everyone else – income tax, company tax, payroll tax, petrol taxes, GST, etc. Wipe them out and you wipe out a great deal of tax income to the government of the time,” wrote pjvixen.

However, keithb writes: “I think we need to move to renewables ASAP and change the system to accommodate this and provide fair return to all. For example, use domestic batteries for peak power needs on the grid. Phase out coal as renewables pick up. The Government must get behind this with coherent policy. Then we might get lower power prices which we can live with rather than fossil fuels which will destroy our future. Liberals are completely irresponsible in denying this.”

One result that was clear from the flash poll was from the 78 per cent of older Australians who think they pay too much for power. However, in what was a slightly confusing result, 41 per cent are happy with their current energy provider.

Thirty per cent have never switched power companies and 21 per cent haven’t done so for five years or more. Why? Aside from the 41 per cent happy with their provider, 22 per cent said comparison sites are difficult to understand, one per cent don’t know how to switch and four per cent claim inertia as an excuse.

It’s almost like you couldn’t pay people to look for a better deal.

So, the Victorian Government is trying just that – offering $50 to anyone who compares their energy provider on its Victorian Energy Compare website.

To claim the Victorian Government’s $50 Power Saving Bonus, simply visit the website and click or tap on the Compare Offers screen, then click or tap Power Saving Bonus.

You can do this for gas or electricity. You just have to have one of your energy bills or a smart meter reading handy and meet the following eligibility rules:

  • you must be the account holder for that bill
  • you must be able to receive your bonus payment via mail at the address of your energy service.


Once you’re logged into the tool, you’ll be asked about your energy profile and consumption, then you’ll be shown available offers that you can compare before contacting retailers, who’ll handle your switch to a cheaper plan.

Even if you don’t find a better deal, you’ll still be able to find ways to save on your existing energy bills, with the Manage My Energy tool.

Would $50 encourage you to compare your existing provider with potentially more competitive plans?

Related articles:
Why your power bill will stay high
Power bill shock rocks Australia
Spotlight on energy comparison sites

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Publisher of YourLifeChoices – Australia's most-trusted and longest-running retirement website. A trusted voice on Australia's retirement landscape, including retirement income and planning, government entitlements, lifestyle and news and information relevant to Australians over 50. Leon has worked in publishing for more than 25 years and is also a travel writer and editor, graphic designer and photographer.

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