CHOICE membership

An invitation from CHOICE to escape the great electricity ‘confusopoly’


#23

Same from me. I have a combined gas/ electricity plan and would like to see if this can be continued.


#24

If you’re in our @Energy-Campaigner group, you might be interested in signing up at www.powerup.community.


#25

Hi Robynne, we’d encourage you to sign up to Powerup and give it a go. On a recent trial we found 60% of people whose energy bills we analysed a saving of over 15%.


#26

Hi @Brutus75,
we are working on gas and electricity deals for the future but the current Powerup trial only includes electricity. Our research indicates that currently there are not significant cost advantages to combining gas and electricity though this can change as new deals and incentives are offered by retailers.


#27

However, there are significant cost and environmental savings in an all-electric home when solar powered - in particular water heating, either electric boosted evacuated tube or heat pump. Ditch the gas and eliminate the associated standing charges and fuel costs, for significant savings.


#28

Over a period of time you do notice that things even all out in the end anyway.So personally sticking who you are with now is my best bet.And if you have any concerns contact the Electricity company ring up and see if you can get on a better deal.They won’t want to lose you


#29

Thank you, I just signed up to Powerup.


#30

For everyone asking about gas and electricity plans - @csutak40 and @Brutus75 - we are building gas deals into our database but they will not be ready for the first Powerup trial. Our research indicates that there are not significant savings currently available by pairing gas and electricity services.

Regarding environmental responsibility, @terry1, we will be asking users if they would prefer a green energy plan. If they want to pursue this option it does limit choices of deals as only a limited number of retailers offer them. We are certainly concerned with ensuring we switch customers to retailers who offer good customer care and support principles of environmental responsibility. Customers will be able to instruct us of any energy retailers they do not want to sign up with.


#31

In my relatively limited experience it is not about getting “significant savings pairing electricity and gas”, it is that the suppliers will not offer good deals unless you do. The electricity side might not know about gas and give a great offer, but the gas side certainly knows you use electricity and if it is not with them, it has been a “hold on to your pocketbook” to get you to switch electricity to them.

Whether this is a “saving” by pairing them could be two sides of the same coin, but I think not. More a predatory practice to hold their bottom line by an Electricity+Gas=Charges where Charges is a near constant? Perhaps. And if Electricity and Gas are held separate, total Charges are often well above combining them.


#32

We live in Hervey Bay and believe that we have no other choice than Energex - am I correct? If there is an alternative, we would like to know. Regards gralorr


#33

As TheBBG says, the cost of Gas may change if I was to separate it from my elerictity account. At the moment, my Electricity and Gas are on the same account, so if you were to find me a better electricity supplier, I won’t really be able to tell if I will save in the long run, as I will then have to find a new Gas supplier


#34

Looks very interesting.

Good timing. I’m just about to come off contract with AGL and no doubt will be put onto their “hope-no-one-is-looking-so-we’ll-just-help-ourselves-to-your-money” plan


#35

@thebbg we are working with a very reputable energy analyst and have access to a database that is updated daily with every retail electricity deal offered throughout the country. We don’t depend on the retailers for this data. Our calculations show that customers can not get a meaningfully better deal by buying electricity and gas from the same retailer. Retail margins in deregulated electricity markets are very high and consumers can make significant savings by regularly switching to the cheapest electricity deal on offer. This is Powerup’s model - to continually search the best deals and automatically switch you to them when better deals become available.


#36

I sit next to @pgiles and we work together, but I’ll send this suggestion to the forums too:

Since there’s a lot of questions around the combined, and I believe the majority of consumers will have gas at least available, we should include some example pricings on the main page to show how selecting gas and electricity differently will result in larger savings rather than combining together. We could probably update this once every 3 or 6 months from real world data.


#37

There is a significant margin built into (legally) all mains electricity users’ bills, to allow for churn. It allows companies to offer good deals every now and then, to steal customers from other companies.


#38

I am not trying to be argumentative, I am trying to see if we are talking about the same thing.

I do not dispute your statements about electricity. My point was how companies can gouge for gas if you do not also have electricity with them.

Basically the model I have experienced is (example, using annualised arbitrary amounts for simplicity), no plan, maybe $2,800; with plan, maybe $2,000. And if you add gas to the plan, electricity is still about $2,000.

However, assume your gas costs $2,000 if included in that “energy plan”. If you go to another provider their rack rate can be $2,800 and without electricity bundled in, they will not offer much of a plan for gas alone.

Is that not what is happening in the energy supply market? Perhaps my experience was an anomaly, and it was a few years ago. Their practices may have changed, or not.


#39

@thebbg your experience isn’t born out by our research. There are standalone deals for electricity and gas that are very competitive, it’s just a matter of finding the right one.


#40

Thanks for that @pgiles. It seems industry practice has changed over the years. I look forward to seeing your rollout of electricity + gas. Cheers,


#41

At risk of upsetting all, for me price to me now is not quite the highest priority. My greatest concern is sustainability of the system. I’m talking in terms of generations of humankind here. As I’m not the first to mention them, I point out I changed to Powershop (for electricity only) over a year ago because they were the most environmentally friendly retailer in NSW. Having said that, it is pleasing for me that they have proved to be most economical. This because, I believe, the process of having me do my own meter (not a smart meter) reads each week not only keeps me in touch with our actual usage by saves the cost of someone wandering the streets reading meters. And yes, I pay for our electricity up front. But that usually provides further discounts for doing so. When I go away on trips of more than a week the system falls back to estimates after somethiing like three months. I haven’t used that feature yet despite trips away of 5 - 6 weeks.
Another factor high in priority for my household was that by having a pet dog in the yard, we were getting grief from the contractors who did the meter reading. Now that I do ours, the issue is eliminated.
So I have kept records of my pre-change and post-change electricity costs and beliee my savings are in the order of $300 - 400 per annum, off a low base. I believe we do well for a household of 4 adults to have the annual electicity cost in the $1,500 - 1,600 region. All this done from me modest superannuation pension.
With your reputation (a compliment) I’m willing to give Choice a try. But I expect you shall not be able to better my overall deal because I shall never go back to the ‘big dirty coal’ focussed retailers.


#42

@blowfly6953 thanks for your email. I can confirm that currently Powershop are quite competitive but not the cheapest deal on the market. I did want to point out to you that Powershop’s claims of being clean and green are somewhat exaggerated. Although the parent company owns wind farms, the power they provide is from the same source as every other retailer.