Negotiating a better deal from your electricity retailer

A lot of us don’t have the time to spend chasing up a better deal from our electricity retailer so, all too often, this ends up in the too hard basket which is unfortunate as it can end up costing you hundreds of dollars.

Before you negotiate with your current retailer take a look at some others in the market place to see what they are offering – for example Alinta currently offer a 25% discount of usage charges and an 11 cent feed in tariff however Origin offer a 14 cent feed in tariff but the discount is smaller. You should also consider the both the daily service charges and the pre-discount electricity price before you do anything.

When you are ready to negotiate with your current retailer my number one top tip is don’t pick up the phone and call them go to their website and use their online chat facility instead. The reasons for this are twofold, firstly you will get through to someone almost instantly without all the palaver of listening to the menu options, selecting the right option and then holding on and more importantly you have a permanent record of exactly what you said (or typed) and what there reply was. Once you get to the end of your online chat simply select the entire message trail, copy it and then paste it into Word or something similar.

You may think this is a waste of time however I have found it to be very useful. About 9 months ago I switched electricity retailer and signed up for a 10% pay-on-time discount, the first bill arrived and that was paid before the due date however when the second bill turned up it didn’t have any discount applied which was a bit strange. I went back to my record of the online chat to confirm I had signed up for the discount which I had. I jumped back online to query the bill and was told that in order to qualify for the discount I needed to set up a direct debit – a fact that was not told to me at the time of signing up so I said I was not informed about that and copied and pasted the relevant section of the original online chat into the new conversation. After a few moments I was told that I had been mis-informed and a new bill would be sent out with the discount applied. So it does pay to have a complete record at your fingertips.

I recently renegotiated my electricity deal with my current retailer and again this was all done online. My discount increased from 10% to 25% but this took a bit of negotiating and cajoling and the following is some extracts from my online chat.

Me: “Hi – I have an account with you for my electricity with a 10% discount but I have been offered 25% by Alinta before I move to them can you match or beat that?”

XYZ: “Hello there. We cannot match the offer of other retailer but let me check what we have for you to keep you stay with us. May I know who I’m chatting with?”

Me: “My name is Mike, account number 5xxxxxxxx”

XYZ: “Thank you. Let me bring up your account.”

XYZ: “Would you consider direct debit to easily manage your bills while getting the highest discount?”

Me: “Of course if it is going to be 25% or higher”

XYZ: “We cannot match the offer of other retailer but if you still set up direct debit, you can take our Set and Forget plan where you can get $25 once off credit and 12% off your electricity usage. How does that sound?”

Me: “hmm better but Alinta is 25%. I’ll move to them and await a call from you asking to keep me and offering at least 25%”

XYZ: “As we value you being an XYZ Customer and would like for you to remain with us, I will take a moment if that is ok to speak with my manager and see if we can provide you with an even better offer today.”

Me: “OK thanks”

XYZ: “Thanks for waiting. Great news, I have just got approval to offer you an exclusive Savers plan where you will get 25% off your electricity usage. All you have to do is to pay on time to get the discount. How does that sound?”

Me: “That sounds great”

So after twice being told that they couldn’t match other retailers I was very quickly offered a discount of 25% more than double the original offer of 12% which will save me hundreds of dollars a year. Well worth 10 minutes of my time!

Chasing a better discount is very important even if you have solar power as you will always be purchasing electricity either overnight or on rainy days – I have a solar power system and as previously mentioned this discount will save me hundreds of dollars a year.

If you are interested in solar power for your home or business then contact us today.