The Australian Government Energy Made Easy website is a one stop shop for households and small businesses to compare costs under energy plans from different retailers.
It sounds great in theory, and works pretty well for households. But in practise it does not always identify the most cost-effective options for businesses.
One big issue is that the site uses energy plans published on retailer websites. So what’s wrong with that?
Energy retailers are reluctant to tell their customers that they can often get a better price by calling them directly. As an example while the Energy Australia website offers NSW small businesses a 13% discount, that same customer can get a 18% discount over the phone, with a $150 credit. The AGL website offers NSW small businesses a 13% discount, but over the phone customers are offered up to a 19% discount.
What else is wrong with the Energy Made Easy website?
The energy market in NSW is complex, and electricity prices in NSW are going to get a lot more complex with deregulation of the energy market on the 1st of July 2014. A far more sophisticated comparison tool is required to really help businesses reduce energy costs. If you are serious about reducing energy costs than consider an energy audit. There are many questions to ask such as:
- Am I on the right tariff.
- Should I be on a all-time or time of use tariff?
- Can some equipment be placed on a off-peak tariff?
- Am I a large or a small business customer?
- How to manage demand charges?
What about gas?
Gas prices are set to increase by 17% in NSW on the 1st of July (some of our clients are seeing a price increase of 20%). While there are several attractive energy plans out there to reduce costs the currently offered Rate Freeze plan from Origin is one of the best. Locking in rates now before the end of June means that come the 1st of July your site can effectively get a discount >17%.
So in summary, the Energy Made Easy website has some benefits, it brings price plans from different retailers into a single comparison tool. Unfortunately this is not always effective for businesses. If you have a business with energy costs talk to an independent energy consultant and get the right advice.