I have been meaning to do this for ages and was finally motivated to do so by a piece in one of our daily newspapers.
When I was but a lad, electricity was made, and reliably and efficiently distributed by our government owned electricity company, the SEC, State Electricity Commission (of Victoria). The Evil Kennett State Government sold off the electricity assets owned by the people of Victoria in the 1990s and then it all went so wrong. We are now at the mercy of privately owned overseas companies.
I am not going into the details of what the modern issues about privately owned electricity companies are. I will leave that to smarter people than myself. But we are urged to shop around for the best and cheapest electricity provider, which is of course nonsense. The power all comes from the same place and through the same wires. But many companies have taken over the, shall I call it 'billing'.
Changing electricity companies is fraught with danger, with my mother being exhibit A. She thought she was signing a two year contract with her usual provider, but no, it had the same name but was based in a different state. She found out and cancelled within the two week cooling off period, and then did not receive a bill for almost a year.
I did not want to change companies but I checked at a couple of online power bill comparison sites. I've done it before and I think back then we could have saved $150 per year. Given how it could easily go so wrong, I thought it was not worth the bother. This time when I checked, $450 a year could be saved. That is at least a good bargaining tool with our company. I did actually do some proper research, looking at service charges, prices per kilowatt hours and where there was a jump in tarrif once you reach a certain point in consumption.
What put me off the cheapest was that you sign a three year contract but the cheap price is only guaranteed for the first year.
I called our present company. She asked who the company was that offered such a good deal but I forgotten the name of it. She immediately offered an 11% discount on our usage if agreed to a one year contract. Better than nothing. She was having computer problems, don't we all, and put me on hold for a few minutes. I used the time to check who did offer that significant saving of $450. When she returned, I told her who the company was and how it was calculated. She then offered 21%, 22% if I allowed direct deduction of the electric bill from my account. For the 21%, it was just paying the bill by the due date. I don't like to allow other people to take my from my bank account with my say so. It probably comes from a time not that long ago when I may not have had enough money in my account to cover automatic payments.
I thought the woman I dealt with over the phone was lovely, until the next day when the documentation arrived as four pdf files. Not everyone would, but I diligently checked them and to my dismay they were for only an 11% deduction.
Back to the hated telephone options buttons and an equally lovely woman sorted it out and the following day the correct documentation arrived.
So, it is a one year contract with our existing electric supplier and a 21% deduction from power usage. I checked, and before the expiration of the contract we will be notified via mail that it is about to expire.
I suppose, including research, I spent about two hours on the matter, spread over a few days. I am not about to promote the company by naming them, but fill in the gap if it may be of use to you, Charles Darwin's ****** of Species. Piss on them though. We have been customers of theirs for a couple of decades and they have never called us to discuss our electricity usage.
Tip, if you are thinking of going down this road, do your research online and make notes that you can refer to when you call your supplier to tell them that they are ripping your off. Don't go with the phrase 'I heard somewhere...'.
If you are in Victoria, this is the comparison site I used.