The May Federal Budget is almost here and with broad speculation surrounding reduced spending across most government areas and the likelihood of tax increases, people are bracing for some tough news. Around this time of year many households also review their budget – looking to find ways to keep a limited income in balance with expenditure on essential and non-essential items.
The team at news.com.au has published some handy hints around making the most of your household budget, click here to read the article
One key area the team at news forgot to mention was household spend on electricity and gas. Switchwise has for 6 years been providing an independent, no cost assessment of electricity and gas offers for customers. Switching energy providers and/or plans is easy. Changing to a cheaper plan and saving on energy costs can make a difference to the household budget.
In the United Kingdom, an independent supplier, First Utility, has launched what it said was the country’s lowest one-year, fixed-price, gas and electricity tariff .
The combined total bill using the governments average medium consumption on the new tariff would be £994 (AU $1,800).
In the story it is claimed that households can typically save £200 (approximately A$360) a year by moving from an average tariff to the new First Utility offer.
A spokesperson for a prominent comparison website similar to Switchwise was quoted as saying: “We are anticipating a lot of activity in the energy market over the next month with a number of fixed rate tariffs ending in the coming weeks. Because of this, thousands of people will, or should be, shopping around for a new deal.”
For the full story check out: http://www.theguardian.com/money/2014/apr/15/smaller-gas-electricity-firms-price-war-cheaper-energy-bills
ABC radio’s consumer affairs reporter Amy Bainbridge recently interviewed AGL’s Chief Economist Paul Simshauser about his company’s request of the NSW regulator to increase gas prices.
In the interview AGL says its request to increase its retail price for gas reflects market dynamics, as Australia’s east coast is exposed to international prices.
Simshauser said “There’s two things that are driving price increases at the moment. The first one is that wholesale gas prices are actually on the move, and they’re moving up in line with the contraction in supply/demand balance on the east coast of Australia. So right now you’ve got three very large LNG (liquefied natural gas) terminals being constructed up in Gladstone in Queensland. They are going to have a profound impact on the demand side of the equation in the gas market.”
Simshauser acknowledged the irony of the situation as consumers faced increased gas prices despite additional supply being available.
“So two things are happening at once. First of all, demand is outstripping supply, so that’s going to actually place pressure on wholesale prices to begin with. Secondly, the incremental supplies that are coming onto the market are an inherently higher cost resource than has historically been the case,” he said.
For the full transcript go to: http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2014/s3990822.htm