With so many different energy providers available, there is no reason to not shop around for one that suits the best. With market deregulation in place, customers have the freedom to either stay or leave with their current plan. There are also cases where customers debate on whether or not to switch electricity retailers but are held back due to the confusion they have on the process of changing as well as the chances of having an additional fee incurred.
Things to Do Before Changing Providers
Below are some things to take note of when planning to change providers.
Reviewing Current Plan
It is crucial to review the plan that is currently in place, there are some plans with hidden fees attached, requiring customers to pay a breakaway fee when they request to drop the plan.
Figure Out Energy Needs
There are many different uses for energy, some use more due to turning on the air conditioning the entire day while others have a pool running in their backyard. Understanding the amount of energy that is being used day to day will allow customers to better identify the plan that will better suit their lifestyle. With that knowledge in mind, they will be able to strike a better deal when deciding to switch providers.
Compare Deals Available
Look out for deals that are available within your postcode, and filter out the ones that are more competitive to compare between. To come to a decision on which to use, consider the value of the plan. Some things to take note of are the energy rates, discounts that are offered, value-adds that each provider has, and other incentives such as a customer reward system.
Choose New Energy Provider
After sourcing out a few providers based on preference and personal circumstances, there are free comparison tools available online to compare between providers.
With a competitive market, the previous energy provider may offer a better deal to attract you to stay. Take that into consideration if
There should be a welcome pack delivered in the mail or sent through online means. Most providers will provide a welcome pack to leave a good impression on the new customer.
Final Meter Reading
Before leaving you for good, the previous energy provider will visit to carry out a reading on the meter to properly arrange the final bill. Usually, this process takes up to two business days to complete.
Contact From New Energy Provider
After having the account taken over by the new provider, they will reach out to you to notify you that the next and subsequent bill will be issued by them.
Special Features of New Plan
After switching to your new provider, you will be able to access features that are exclusive to customers of the provider. Some brands offer frequent flyer points and others have a customer rewards program.
Check Out New Deals
Even after settling on the new provider, do continue to keep a lookout for more deals that are being released as there might be one that is better than your current plan.
Difficulty in Changing Provider
When you have decided to change and part ways from the existing provider, switching will be the easiest part. The steps needed to change provider is as simple as contacting the new provider to get them to organise the switch. They will then assist in transitioning from the old retailer to the new one. However, do take note that some companies will require a credit check before signing you into the new plan by the provider.
With such a competitive market, customers may even be able to strike a better deal when calling the provider to ask about better options. This will be a good alternative for those who are not looking into switching providers.
Considerations Before Changing
Some questions to ask before signing the contract at the new provider are stated below.
The consumption of electricity and gases within the home is charged based on the usage rates. Most retailers charge electricity in cents per kilowatt hour and cents per megajoule for gases. With different retailers having different rates for usage, it is important to find out the usage rates before switching retailers.
The delivery of electricity and gases to the home is charged based on the supply charge. Most supply charge ranges between 80 cents to $1.20 per day. Similarly, it varies depending on the retailer.
Fees for Connection
There may be some hidden fees for the connection, disconnection and the exit of a contract by the provider. Such fees are usually found between the fine prints and can quickly add up to a large amount if one is not prudent.
Customer Service and Incentives
To entice the customers to stay in their service, there are conditional discounts, bill credits, sign-up offers and reward programs that are in place. However, do not get blinded by the facade of having free gifts or discounts as some providers conceal higher usage and supply rates under the gifts and rewards. Another thing to take note of is the accessibility of the account and the opening hours of the call centre as it will affect the ability to troubleshoot issues during certain hours.
How Long Does It Take to Change?
Most providers take up to two business days to complete the handover between the old and new providers.
Upon successful changing of provider, there is usually not much paperwork to do as the providers will take care of it on the back end. However, if you have any questions or queries, do approach the new provider and they will contact you to provide an update.
Change My Mind
In the event that the customer changes their mind within 10 days of signing the contract, there is the possibility of cancelling the agreement. However, if the 10 days were to pass, then there may be an exit fee incurred on the customer.
The changing provider may seem like a lot of work and some may be put off by it. In that case, there is always the option of picking up the phone and contacting your current provider. Sometimes, they are more than willing to offer a better deal to retain you within their portfolio.