How to Tell If Your Enormous Utility Bill Is a Mistake or You’re Actually Getting Ripped Off

How to Tell If Your Enormous Utility Bill Is a Mistake or You’re Actually Getting Ripped Off
Image: iStock

This article is sponsored by Kyco.

According to the ACCC, energy prices have dropped for Australians since 2018. However, that doesn’t mean your utility bills are automatically dropping too (upsetting, we know). Is there a legitimate reason for this, or are you just getting ripped off?

Let’s investigate.

You spent more time at home

If your state or city spent a few months in lockdown this year, then it wouldn’t be surprising if your bills increased. You were working from home and probably cranking the heater up during winter all day, every day. As a result, more time spent inside your home saw an increase in power bills, with Victorian households consuming between 10 and 30 per cent more electricity during April and May than last year, according to the ACCC

Heating or air conditioning use

During winter, heating can cause about a 40 per cent increase in your bill because you’re more likely to stay in. But then, in summer, using the air conditioner can also see a price increase, especially if you run yours at 20 degrees vs 22 degrees. Yep, even just two degrees really can make a huge difference.

You didn’t switch energy provider

Staying on the same energy plan can increase your bill if your plan’s discount has expired, if it’s just not as competitive as it once was, or the rates have simply increased.

While it might be tempting to hop onto a comparison site, it might not be the best decision for you. This is because those websites will often receive an exorbitant commission from the products they’re recommending and might not even share all the options available to you, meaning you could miss out on serious savings.

Some of these websites are even owned by the companies selling the plans the site is comparing. Plus, if you switch companies using these sites, when your bills bounce back up, they stand to make even more money.

A new company called Kyco is negotiating better deals for their members directly with suppliers to solve the problem of rising bill costs. 

Kyco uses its members to attract low-priced, long-term offers from a single provider for much less than comparison sites will charge you. And the more members there are, the better the group buying power and the greater the savings.

Members aren’t locked into contracts either and are free to choose which deals they want to take up.

You moved house

If you moved house recently and your new home is larger or less energy-efficient than your last home, you’ll likely see a price increase. You might also find there are different types of heating and cooling installed which may use more energy than you expected.

You bought a new appliance

Always check the energy rating on new appliances before you buy. You never know how much more a new dryer could be costing you. Although, on the flip side, if you replace an inefficient appliance with a new, efficient one, you could end up saving hundreds.

You’ve had visitors

If you’ve got an extra housemate or even a baby, you’ll see an increase in your bill. Likewise, if you have a friend or relative staying for even a few weeks, you’ll see a short-term change in your energy bills. 

There’s been a mistake

If you’re still sure it’s a mistake, call the provider and double-check they’ve got the correct details. Often they will use estimates, or they will misread meters, resulting in an incorrect bill.

To learn more about Kyco and what they do for their members, click here. There’s no comparison.