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Solar Saturdays: Sneaky Solar Switcheroo

By 05/08/2023October 10th, 2023No Comments

With the energy market getting more and more competitive, we’re seeing new entrants and existing big name players battle for customers in the ever important South East Queensland Market. Not only are providers offering sweeteners to new customers, they’re also upping the game for those willing to vote with their feet and break up with their existing energy provider. But all is not as it seems, those sweet offers that may seem “too good to be true” may often be. Let’s take a look at how not to get caught up in the tassel for customers in this week’s Solar Saturdays – the Sneaky Solar Switcheroo.

 

Walk in with a clear idea of your current usage.

For our existing customers this is made easy through the awesome solar analytics tool which shows exactly when and how much energy your household uses, along with how you could save through the advanced plan comparison tool – any existing customers who need help using the tool, simply give us a call on 1300 038 705

 

If you’re not an existing iDeal Solar customer on the other hand, unfortunately, there’s a bit of homework (but it’s worth doing, trust us!). Take a look at your usage from a previous bill, what’s your:

  • Average Daily Consumption;
  • Plan Type (Peak/Off Peak/Anytime Tariff);
  • Cents per kW rate (i.e 26c kW Off Peak, 32c kW Peak); and
  • Bonuses offered by your provider – on time payment discounts etc

 Once armed with these details, head over to a comparison site such as:

Energy Made Easy; or

Watt Ever

 

Enter in the details above to discover the range of plans available in your area. 

Consider your requirements

  • Is most of your energy use during peak or off peak hours?
    • If most of your usage is during peak hours. Consider swapping to a flat rate plan. Although the rates can seem higher, you may be better off in the long run, without that carrot of cheaper rates you’re not using anyway.
  • Are you making the most of controlled loads?
    • Many households will have a “controlled load” – usually identified by CL1 or CL2 on your power bill. Swimming Pools and Hot Water Heaters can consume considerable power, if this is the bulk of your household usage. Consider swapping for a plan with lower controlled load rates. These can vary widely between providers and even 7c per kW reduction can reduce bills remarkably over a quarter.
  • What can be avoided / is an essential for you?
    • This may sound odd, but if you don’t have solar (yet…) a plan with a solar feed in tariff isn’t doing much for you (but we can make sure it does…) conversely, if you’re on a plan that offers free EV charging but don’t drive an EV, it’s probably not best for you either. Consider your circumstances and make sure the plan works in your favour, not your power prover.

Beware the traps

  • Before making the switcheroo with your power provider, be careful to double check for traps – here’s three we know of:
    1. Providers offering higher feed in tariffs but capping how much.
      • Your provider may seem to offer a feed in tariff of 14c kW for example, but this is only for the first 10kW, after that the feed in may drop to lower. 5c Kw for example or worse yet – nothing at all!
    2. Using “peak surcharges” rather than spelling out peak and off peak rates. 
      • After reaching out recently, an iDeal Solar customer was shocked to learn her provider had added a “peak surcharge” of 20c per kW for usage between 6pm and 8pm. After being on the same flat rate plan for years, she suffered the double whammy of her flat rate jumping from 18c kW to 26c kW on July 1st plus the new surcharge. Resulting in forking out a massive 46c per kW when receiving her monthly bill (needless to say, a quick switcheroo happened this week!)
    3. Solar size limits.
      • With systems gaining in efficiency, some providers have introduced solar size limits. This means even if you’ve got a 15kW system, it will be treated as a 10kW if capped for example and you won’t be reaping the full benefits of your system.

 

If you’re as confused as everybody else when it comes to changes to your energy bills recently. Feel free to reach out to the iDeal Solar team who are more than happy to help out. Better yet, if you’re thinking about exciting not excruciating energy – sit down with your very own Solar Star today by dropping in a few details on the right.

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