HANDS up who received a letter in the mail from their energy provider this month akin to a punch in the guts. I certainly did, notifying me of usage rate rises of up to four cents per kilowatt hour.
My initial thought was "right, I'm going to shop around, once I get time... right after I've done my tax... when baby's asleep... and the house is clean".
Okay, so I haven't done it yet. I'm not optimistic about my chances, either, with widespread increases in electricity prices of about 19% since July 1 (see page 4).
But I'm part of the problem. While there's plenty of us crying poor and rationing our use of once standard now luxurious commodities such as the humble heater, and plenty more crying "blue murder" at energy companies hiking up their prices at unprecedented and unsustainable rates, not enough of us have bothered to do anything about it.
The fact is, better deals are available to most of us if we shop around. But according to the Australian Energy Regulator's State of the Market report, about 70% of customers do not investigate their options and 50% have not changed their plan in the past five years.
There's simply not enough pressure being forced on the marketplace to stop prices spiralling skyward and no incentive for these retailers to reward loyalty. All it takes is a phone call, a Google search, or check out the Federal Government website to help find a better deal at www.energymadeeasy.gov.au.
Battling to pay the bills (home or business)? Have a practical or innovative solution? Send an email to newsroom@daily examiner.com.au and help us take the fight to energy retailers and combat the rising costs of living.
Do you think the government needs to cap electricity increases?
This poll ended on 02 August 2017.
Yes! There needs to be a limit, people and businesses are struggling.
No - you should use less power if you can't afford it.
I don't think it would matter - the government owns most of the electrical networks in Australia anyway.
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.