We talk about fixing our home loans but what about your power bill? Is this something you would consider?
LOCK-in energy contracts similar to fixed-rate home loans deals are being offered in a first to customers to remove any chance of bill shock.
The new deals take away any fluctuations in usage and price rises by allowing customers to pay the same fixed amount on their utility bills each fortnight or month regardless of their consumption.
The offer which begins on Monday is being rolled out by energy giant Origin and if customers’ do go over their agreed usage for a 12 month period they will not pay extra.
If they frequently fall under, the retailer — who has 4.3 million customers nationally — said they will reduce the costs for customers.
The retailer’s head of retail marketing, sales and services, Rebekah O’Flaherty, said the new “predictable plan” would be a game changer for the energy industry.
“This is the first energy plan of its kind in Australia to address the concerns of customers who find it difficult to budget without knowing what their energy bill is going to be,’’ she said.
“The number one driver of calls into our call centre is about bills.”
Energy comparison website iSelect spokeswoman Laura Crowden said too often consumers have a “set and forget” mindset with energy costs and it could hit them hard.
“Increased energy competition in most states means more providers than ever are competing for your business and you should use this to your advantage,’’ she said.
“Many are offering introductory rebates, discounts and special offers to attract new customers and prices can vary quite a bit between retailers.”
Research commissioned by Origin found only 13 per cent of Australians find their energy bills predictable.
She said while price is important it is also worth considering plans that offer greater flexibility.
Origin said the agreed plan costs are based on algorithms using an Origin customer’s previous three month utility usage.
One Big Switch spokesman Joel Gibson said it was good to see retailers introducing innovative ways to help customers take control of their power bills.
“Anything to make your power bill more predictable and manageable is a good idea,’’ he said.
“Of course you need to read the fine print with any of these offers because there’s often a catch in their somewhere.”
Article originally posted on news.com.au