Switching results in reduced electricity bills for South Aussies

Electricity providers rated on customer satisfaction

South Australians are less likely to switch electricity providers than consumers in Victoria or New South Wales, but the vast majority of those who have done so are benefiting from lower bills.

A nationwide survey of 6,000 electricity customers by consumer research and ratings company Canstar Blue found that just 31% of South Australians have moved to another provider in the last five years. That compares to 50% of households in Victoria and 42% in NSW where electricity prices have also been deregulated.

However, of those South Australians who have switched, more than three-quarters report cheaper bills as a result.

“Switching electricity providers is right up there with visiting the dentist when it comes to things you put off time and time again, even if deep down you know that something needs to be done. These findings should give consumers confidence that their efforts can be rewarded if they pluck up the courage to switch,” said Head of Canstar Blue, Megan Doyle.

“Switching can be confusing and even quite daunting, with the fear hanging over you that you’ll end up worse off. That’s why, for some people, it’s a case of better the devil you know. But if you suspect you’re paying more than you need to, or not getting the customer service you should expect, it’s madness to carry on.

“If you’ve been stuck on the same tariff for several years, there’s a good chance you’re paying more than you need to. So unless your electricity provider is your favourite charity, it’s time to do something about it. That could mean switching, but it might just mean contacting your retailer and asking about your options. The point is, don’t just sit on your hands and complain about energy costs.”

A significant 80% of South Australians who have switched electricity providers say they are pleased they did, with 77% benefiting from reduced bills. The same number of customers in Victoria and New South Wales also reported lower bills.

But after benefiting from one switch, South Australians are the most likely to set and forget, with only 35% of switchers saying they would like to move again. That compares to 45% in Victoria and New South Wales.

“It’s a good idea to regularly review your options. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone to your retailer and request the best deal possible in your area,” said Mrs Doyle. “You’re paying for service, as well as electricity. In addition, get quotes from other providers and if you find a better deal, let your existing one know – they may be able to match it, or you can choose to leave.”

Respondents to the Canstar Blue survey rated their current electricity provider on customer satisfaction, with Lumo Energy topping the table in South Australia, ahead of Origin, Simply Energy, AGL and EnergyAustralia.

 canstar results

“This research should not only give consumers greater confidence that switching could be worth their while, but also that some of the smaller providers are worth looking at,” said Mrs Doyle.

“There is a perception among some people that the big energy providers are more reliable than the smaller ones. But electricity in your area comes from the same distributors regardless of which retailer you’re with, so don’t be afraid to take your business elsewhere.”

About this research

Canstar Blue surveyed 6,000 Australian adults in December 2015 and January 2016. The customer satisfaction ratings are based on the responses of 5,228 consumers who have an active electricity account and pay the bill. Electricity providers must have received a minimum of 30 responses to be included in the ratings.

For further information or to speak with a Canstar Blue spokesperson, please contact:

Simon Downes

Media Specialist

P: 07 3837 4171 I E: simon.downes@canstar.com.au

About Canstar Blue

Canstar Blue was launched in July of 2010 by CANSTAR - Australia and New Zealand’s premier researcher of retail finance information for more than 350 institutions across the finance sector. Canstar Blue measures and tracks Australian and New Zealand consumer satisfaction across over 100 different categories to help consumers make the best purchasing decisions for their needs.

What are the Canstar Blue ratings?

Canstar Blue researches, compares and rates products and services according to customer satisfaction across categories including banking, telecommunications, appliances, electronics, utilities and FMCG. Results are freely available to consumers who are encouraged to use the ratings as a guide to product excellence. The full range of results can be seen on the Canstar Blue website at www.canstarblue.com.au.