Research released today by energy experts reveals 1.1 million Queenslanders find it challenging to pay their energy bills, with the majority (75 per cent) worried about their upcoming summer bill.
Research released today by energy experts reveals 1.1 million Queenslanders find it challenging to pay their energy bills, with the majority (75 per cent) worried about their upcoming summer bill.

75% of Gympie region struggling to pay power bill

Seventy-five per cent of Gympie region residents, and people throughout Queensland are struggling to pay their power bills.

Research released today by energy experts iSelect reveals 1.1 million Queenslanders find it challenging to pay their energy bills, with the majority (75 per cent) worried about their upcoming summer bill.

The YouGov Galaxy Research study commissioned by iSelect suggests that almost two thirds (63 per cent) of Queenslanders will be making cut backs to afford their upcoming summer energy bill, with over a quarter (28 per cent) even planning to cut back on groceries.

Laura Crowden, spokesperson for iSelect, said Queensland households are definitely feeling the impact of rising energy prices on their hip pocket.

"71 per cent of Queenslanders told us their energy bills have increased over the past two years, including 40 per cent who feel their energy bills have gone up significantly and are much more expensive.”

Laura said it was concerning that so many Queensland households are struggling with the cost of energy to the point they need to cut back on essentials such as groceries to afford their upcoming summer bill.

"High energy prices take their toll on the household budget at the best of times but the heat is really on over summer, when usage is often highest due to air-cons running in overdrive,” said Laura.

"Although there is little to be done about the increased cost of energy, families can take back some control by simply reviewing their energy plan or making adjustments around the house.”

The research shows that 89 per cent of Queensland households will take some sort of action to help energy costs this summer with over half (51 per cent) planning to use the air-conditioner less frequently and 65 per cent opting to use fans instead of air-conditioning.

Laura says that with thousands feeling concerned about energy bill shock this summer, it's disappointing that only 20 per cent of Queensland residents plan to review their current energy plan in order to try keep costs down.

"While making cut backs and reducing usage is always worthwhile, an easy way to save money is to make sure on you're on the most cost-effective plan to begin with,” Laura explained.

"A lot of people don't realise that discounts generally expire after a year or two, so if you've been on the same plan for a while it's probably no longer the best value option.”

Given growing concern about rising energy bills, Laura encouraged consumers to investigate different payment options which can provide greater flexibility.

"Flexible payment options such as bill smoothing or more frequent payment cycles make managing energy costs a little easier and help avoid the dreaded bill shock that comes from an unexpected large quarterly bill,” said Laura.

At this time of year, Laura admits that we all have better things to do than spend our time, effort and money sorting through household bills.

"The last thing we want to do over the summer break is spend hours comparing energy. Services like iSelect can help you compare plans from our range of energy providers and select an option to best suit your needs in around 30 minutes[2] - giving you extra time and hopefully extra cash in your pocket for the summer holidays.”

iSelect's top 5 tips for finding the best value energy deal

1. Don't set and forget - Retailers are now required to notify you when your rate changes or your discount expires. This should prompt you to compare other plans in the market to ensure you're getting the best value deal.

2. Flexible payment options - Pay your bills weekly, fortnightly or monthly, or sign up for bill smoothing, which will divide your annual usage into even monthly instalments, to avoid bill shock.

3. Don't be distracted by discounts - Many retailers advertise heavily discounted rates (up to 30% off) but are often conditional. Opting for a retailer that offers a lower ongoing rate without discounts can be cheaper in the long-run, especially if you often pay your bills late.

4. Look out for special offers - Some retailers will offer you a better deal if you pay on time, manage your bills online or pay by direct debit. Keep an eye out for these special introductory offers but beware they generally expire after a year or two.

5. Shop around - Use increased energy competition to your advantage by comparing current offers. Call an energy comparison service like iSelect and make sure you have a copy of your latest bill handy.

ENDS

For further information, please contact:

Jessie Csaplar

Media & Communications Coordinator | iSelect

Ph: +61 3 9276 8103 | Mob: +61 430 112 546

Email: jessie.csaplar@iselect.com.au

Laura Crowden

Corporate Affairs Manager | iSelect

Ph: +61 3 9267 8178 | Mob: 0421 784 254

Email: laura.crowden@iselect.com.au

About iSelect

At iSelect, we're passionate about helping Australians reduce their household bills and save money, time and effort. We are Australia's go-to destination for comparison across insurance, utilities and personal finance products and our advice is provided at no cost to the customer.

We compare a wide range of Australia's leading brands but unlike other comparison sites, we are not owned by an insurance company. Our highly trained expert consultants help Australians select the right product, at the right price.

Compare. Select. Save www.iselect.com.au

________________________________________

[1] In November 2018 iSelect commissioned a nationally representative consumer research study with You Gov Galaxy Research to assess the attitudes of over 1,000 Australians towards summer energy bills.

[2] iSelect does not compare all plans in the market. Not all plans are available at all times. Energy plans are available only for properties which are located in eligible areas of Victoria, New South Wales, South East Queensland, South Australia and ACT. Visit iSelect.com.au for details on energy plans and to view iSelect's range of providers.

Gympie Times


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