The NSW government launched their Energy Switch service late last year, promising to reduce energy bills for consumers. The tech platform for delivering that service, Accurassi, is planning to take their service national to help consumers save on both gas and also insurance bills.
Since the Energy Switch scheme launched last November, more than 4000 NSW residents have joined the platform, saving an average of $408 per customer. As well as being an online service, consumers who aren't comfortable doing everything over the internet can visit Service NSW locations. It is the first of its type to operate under a zero-commission model and enables users to change providers in seconds with just a few clicks. The Victorian Energy Compare service is similar to NSW's Energy Switch.
Every month or quarter a bill comes in from your electricity retailer. While some of that bill can be directly attributable to the volume of electrons that flow into your gadgets, household appliances, lights and other energy-eating devices, a good portion of it has nothing to do with your electricity consumption.
As well as electrons, that bill needs to pay for the infrastructure, meter readers, data management and other bits and pieces that make the power system work. Here's where the money goes.
Accurassi’s Managing Director, Ross Sharman says "Electricity expenses are a serious contributor to the cost of living for many Australian families and individuals – as are gas and insurance bills. However, searching for a better deal in any of these areas can be notoriously challenging. Costs depend on a seemingly endless range of factors, leaving comparison sites confusing, and switching providers complex".
Accurassi says their system uses AI that has been developed over many years working with some of Australia’s largest energy and other retailers, as well as state governments. Its proprietary algorithm sorts through all the data saving you a lot of time and effort.
Electricity prices in most states are set with a "standing offer". Think of that as being the recommended retail price. But most energy companies then offer discounts for early payment, allowing direct debits or just to undercut their competition. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) says the average NSW household could save between $550 and $700 per annum by switching from the incumbent retailer’s standing offer to the best market offer. Small and medium businesses could save between $1450 and $2250 per year by switching.
Energy prices have been increasing each year and the offers retailers make into the market do change quite often. Our advice:
- Check the market at least once a year
- Avoid long-term contracts
- Let your retailer known you're planning to switch - they might offer you a better deal to stay
- Look at your energy use for ways to curb your consumption