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Felt the winter sting of energy bills? Here's how to avoid that this summer

The start of Spring is a breath of fresh air for all of us, especially after a bumpy few months for many businesses across Australia and New Zealand. But that fresh optimism can quickly turn sour when we see that winter energy bill pop up in our inbox or letterbox.

Three months of avoiding freezing cold and keeping the lights on through shorter days makes grid energy a costly part of running your business and keeping your team comfortable. With a hot summer just around the corner, can we expect the same again soon as the temperature climbs?

The reality? Absolutely. And with the wholesale energy market slowly recovering from its unprecedented downturn, you might see the price of energy rise as we all crank up the air con and work longer to meet the seasonal demands of our customers.

Let’s take the sting out of summer energy bills to come with a few expert tips and tricks from the Choice Energy management and efficiency teams.

The calendar really does matter when it comes to securing your best business energy rates in Australia.

Did you know that waiting for your current energy agreement to end could actually cost you more? With summer comes a higher demand for energy, pushing the grid energy supply and causing wholesale energy prices to increase. So if your agreement is coming to an end during the sunny time of the year, you might be signing on to an agreement where the current average price is against you, especially if you don’t feel empowered to negotiate or compare.

Many Choice Energy customers were able to take advantage of unprecedented lows caused by the covid-19 thanks to their dedicated account specialists negotiating their next agreements in advance, utilising a technique called forward contracting. This means even for those not at the end of their current contract, their new one is locked in at a beneficial rate, keeping them safe from the summer price hikes.

So should I avoid securing a new contract when my agreement ends in December? It’s not quite that simple. By allowing your agreement to roll over, you’re then at risk of falling prey to default rates, the standard rate your provider offers. While this rate is set by governing bodies to ensure it means people unable or unwilling to engage with a provider aren’t taken advantage of, it is still usually far more costly than a provider’s offer, since providers remain competitive to win your account.

Commercial solar is a major summer bill slasher, but only when its done right

If you’re a high energy user, you’ll have no doubt been approached at some point by a solar company offering you “the best” deal on a certain kW system. Here’s an industry tip: While home solar requirements can be fairly straightforward to assess, solar for a business needs to be properly assessed in alignment with your energy usage, current rates and spend, tariff charges and of course your forecasted needs into the future.

So when we combine all of these factors, plus the feasibility of the system itself on your site, you might find your needs completely outstrip that “ripper deal” - or worse, not require as much at all, leaving you with a system wasting money and costing you more in repayments.

Certified commercial solar feasibility is essential, which is why we offer it complimentary and obligation-free. While doing so, we assess your energy bills to make the cost of the system cash flow neutral or positive, meaning that you are empowered to make an investment in your business that lowers your costs and improves your sustainability profile without requiring any or very little upfront costs. It’s not a flash sale or a seasonal deal: It’s business acumen that lets us help you see a return on investment, sooner.

On top of that, new solar systems for businesses in Australia this summer is more affordable than ever

We’ve watched the price of solar drop dramatically over the past 5 years alone, creating more opportunities for Australian businesses to dramatically lower their energy bills and improve their environmental impact. But thanks to the Instant Asset Tax Write Off amendments, many businesses can now see a further saving on a commercial solar system, thanks to an unlimited cap on purchases made after October 2020. This means a business can now write-off the full cost of a commercial solar system when it is installed and operating by a certain time. Learn more details about the IATWO opportunity here.

A high quality business solar system can be a brilliant use of this write-off opportunity as a long term investment against the rise of grid energy costs, and we call this out as a summertime tip as the journey from securing your system to installing it has a few steps in between. As solar is connected to the grid, certain certificates and checks made by governing bodies can take time depending on your system size, making it essential you enquire and secure your system as soon as possible.

For some, the threat of summer extremes isn’t a worry at all, because they know their energy optimisation needs have been taken care of. Of course, we’re talking about our own clients: businesses across Australia who have a dedicated Choice Energy specialist on their side working hard to identify opportunities for them to save on energy without lifting a finger (and for many, without spending a single dollar).

Enjoy a complimentary energy health check or solar feasibility assessment when you contact us today, and discover how we can make your summer a little more relaxing and a little less costly too. Click here to learn more.

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