top of page

How to save $1,000 per year on my electricity bill

Updated: Dec 7, 2023

The cost of living crunch is upon us with groceries and electricity costs at the top of people's concerns.

When I recently compared 12 retail electricity plans, I found $1,100 difference per year between the worst and best deal for my situation. So it is worth doing your research!

For us in the Northwest we are in the Essential Energy network. Around 95% of the state is in this electricity network; all the non-metro areas. But this company provides the poles and wires, they do not sell you your electricity. The people who sell you electricity are called "electricity retailers" and not all of them operate in our network, which is the first thing to consider if you are randomly looking at retail deals on the internet.

We all know that if we google "cheap electricity" or "compare electricity deals" we will be hammered with advertising junk until the end of our days - don't do that.

The best way to compare the relevant options I reckon, is using the government's tool called Energy Made Easy ( Despite the name, it is still not that easy!

It's great tho because you can input your location (so you only get relevant retailers) and you can input your exact bills to get a really accurate comparison of your annual cost of electricity with different retailers.

But I don't like this approach either. When we talk about our "electricity cost" we are usually referring to the amount we are charged per kilowatt hour during peak times - usually 30 or 40 cents. Obviously this is more if you use more electricity during peak times.

However, often you can be on "Time of Use" tariffs that provide different costs for use of electricity at different times like this clock shows you.

Furthermore, you might have a "controlled load" circuit too. These circuits were designed when coal fired power stations were pumping out consistent electricity, but hardly anyone was using power during the night. In order to incentivise people to use electricity at this time, they made controlled load circuits that could be automatically turned on when they had too much electricity and heat your hot water system etc. And because your were helping keep the gri d stable, they charged you less for that electricity.

When we installed our solar system, we changed our hot water over to charge during solar hours (12pm-2pm each day). Even though the controlled load tariff is cheaper than peak charge, it is not cheaper that solar that is producing (effectively) for free or for the opportunity cost of not exporting to the grid. It is worth noting that once we stopped using our controlled load circuit, we no longer had to pay the daily fee for it too.

We already have 8kW of solar so obviously looking at the feed-in-tariff that we would receive from selling our excess electricity back to the grid, is also important when comparing deals.

So, my spreadsheet includes inputs for:

  • Daily fee

  • any membership fees that retailers might charge

  • peak rate

  • off-peak rate

  • solar feed in rate

When I searched on Energy Made Easy, I got about 20 retail deal options suitable to my situation. I ended up comparing about a dozen of these simply to minimise my time. I don't take much head to the detail included about the fees for disconnection and connection etc as these aren't relevant to my situation as I am not planning on moving.

I looked at my past bills to get an understanding of the average amount of kilowatt hours (kWh) that I usually import each day and the average amount of export (in kWh) each day to calculate my likely cost under each deal. I used assumptions of export of 12kWh per day, peak import of 15kWh per day and off-peak import of 10kWh per day. This will be different for you, so use your own bills to understand your own usage.

Also be mindful that some companies charge a membership fee, and some refund this after you stay with them for 6 months and others offer credits for sign up. So I had to work out the likely monthly fee from each company but also consider it over one year, given these rebates.

Below is what I found - a whopping $1,096 difference in the first year between different retailers. Here it is:

I found it interesting that if I just considered my feed-in-tariff the highest I would get is 11 cents down to 5 cents per kWh. But if I went with the highest paying FIT, this company ranked 9th overall.

Interestingly, if I just looked at the lowest peak tariff, of 31 cents, compared to the highest of 53 cents per kWh, that lowest peak tariff company did come in at number one!! The one charging the highest peak tariff came in at number 12!

However, I still think it is worth considering all the aspects of the bill when comparing deals.

Please let me know how you got on and if this helped you save some money!


bottom of page