How to demand a better power bill, with a word-by-word script
THE best deals can be achieved by going to your current provider, armed with plenty of information and telling them they need to do better.
You will need to know how much energy you use (this can be found on your bills) and how much you can save by changing to another provider.
Customer service staff know they have to do whatever they reasonably can to keep you on the books and most will be armed by a final go-to deal … an offer of last resort, which is the biggest discount they can offer you and still make money.
This is your sweet spot and the below script will help you get it.
YOU: Hello, my name is XXX, I am a customer of XXX years and want to discuss my energy plan.
THEM: Hello, OK, how can I help you with that.
YOU: I'm conscious of electricity prices rising and I would like to do something about it. Can you please confirm whether I am on a standard or market contract?
THEM: OK, looking at your account I can confirm you are paying a standard rate.
YOU: OK, first I would like to be moved onto your cheapest market rate product
THEM: The best market rate product we have is X.
YOU: OK I will need to be moved onto that one and I would also like an additional discount.
THEM: This is the best rate we have and I can offer you an extra 5% discount if you agree today.
YOU: I think you can do better than that. I have been a loyal customer for X years and I would like you to reward me for my loyalty. I've been paying more than I need to and I am ready to switch. This is your chance to keep me as a customer. I know your new customers are being offered discounts of up to 15%.
THEM: OK, I can offer you a 15% discount.
YOU: I would like you to double that to 30%. I know that if I switch to (name other retailer), with my average usage (name usage), I will save X amount of money.
THEM: We can't offer you 30%. The absolute final discount I can offer you is 20%
YOU: OK, can you confirm that will be ongoing? My last discount expired quickly and I know market rates can be changed any time.
THEM: We can give you the discount for 12 months.
YOU: OK thank you, can you also backdate this discount to my most recent or upcoming bill?
THEM: We can start the offer from your upcoming bill.
YOU: Thank you very much.
TIPS TO HELP YOU SAVE MONEY
■ AN UNEXPECTED CALLER
Ring your provider for a discount. It's cheaper to keep customers than replace them.
■ READ THE FINE PRINT
Don't pay unnecessary fees. Some providers charge for credit card payments or apply late payment fees.
■ POOR STANDARDS
If you're on a standard energy contract you're paying much more than you need to. Save by being switched to a market contract.
■ RATE EXPECTATIONS
Getting 20 per cent off means nothing if rates are 40 per cent more expensive than the competition to begin with. Check your bill for kilowatt hours used and compare against the rates charged.
■ BE TRIGGER HAPPY
Most discounts expire after 12 months, so be ever ready to negotiate the next deal.
■ FROM LITTLE THINGS
Don't be loyal to the big companies, most of the cheapest prices come from smaller players, like Simply Energy and Dodo.
■ LOG ON AND SAVE
Some retailers offer their best deals online only, so log on to a comparison site.
■ APPLES FOR APPLES
Comparing energy offers is easier if you understand your needs. You wouldn't buy a phone plan without knowing how much data you use, so do the same for energy with kilowatt hours (kWh).
■ AT YOUR SERVICE
You pay a service charge on top of usage- for the actual cost of getting energy to your house. These do not change, unlike usage rates, and make up around 25 per cent of bills.
■ BUNDLE OF JOY
Many providers offer discounts and incentives on bundled packages. These can make repayments convenient too, but not always, so be vigilant.
■ UPGRADE TO A NEW MODEL
Older appliances, especially fridges and washing machines, are not as energy efficient as newer models. Check efficiency by comparing the energy star ratings on current appliances to newer equipment.
■ A NECESSARY POWER
Only heat and cool the rooms you're actually in. There's no point wasting electricity and money to change the temperature of a room you're not even using. The smaller the space, the less energy it requires to heat it.