Why you need to read your energy bill
CONFUSED energy customers could soon be stung with higher costs without even realising.
Electricity retailers in NSW, Queensland and SA are set to adjust their electricity rates from July 1 impacting millions of households, while in Victoria customers will wait until January for any price moves.
But customers nationally are being urged to review their supply and usage charges on their bills to ensure they are not paying too much.
Concerning new findings from comparison website Canstar Blue quizzed 3000 Australians and found two in three people thought they correctly knew when prices are to change in their area.
However the findings also showed only one in four people in NSW, Qld, and SA understood prices are set to change in July.
Canstar's database showed the large retailers are set to drop their energy charges from next month which could see households enjoy falls of up to $200 annually.
But many smaller retailers are yet to announce their prices changes and some could be increased.
In NSW, SA and Qld the big three retailers - AGL, Origin and Energy Australia - have about 75 per cent of market share.
In Victoria the big three retailers have about 60 per cent market share.
Canstar Blue's spokesman Simon Downes said it was vital wherever customers lived to know when their price rises kicked in and ensured they werenot paying too much.
"If you're not aware that prices are about to change you're probably not going to notice the notification from your provider and you're going to end up paying more than you need to,'' he said.
"Retailers must inform customers of changes to their plans but if you're not looking for it you may not see it."
Discounting by retailers is rampant with some retailers offering discounts on supply and usage charges of 47 per cent.
Origin Energy's head of retail Jon Briskin said they are not hiking prices and all customers would be notified of this.
"We are notifying all our customers in SA, QLD and NSW that we are we are lowering or freezing their base tariffs effective 1 July, meaning there will be no rise in base rates for these Origin customers,'' he said.
Customers should check with their retailer what their base rate is and what changes their retailer is making next month.
Alinta Energy Jim Galvin warned, "energy retailers can but don't always, change their prices once or twice a year."
He urges customers to examine their bills closely to work out what they are paying.
"Wait until your next bill comes in so you're comparing your new rates with updated rates for other retailers,'' he said.