With utilities making up between 10% – 30% of the running costs of an average apartment building, it is a great place to start to look for potential savings in costs. One method is to shop around for a better deal on electricity prices. The electrical network, such as the power lines in the street, the lines running to the building and the electricity meters, are owned by a network owner such as Ausgrid. The actual electricity that you purchase for your energy consumption can be purchased from many retail energy providers in the market. These providers purchase energy wholesale and then resell it to consumers. The quality and service reliability are the same no matter who you purchase the electricity from, as it is all managed by the network owner. This provides you freedom of choice without compromising on the quality or reliability of your electricity supply.
Larger properties who consume around $20,000+ of electricity p.a. are large enough to be able to approach retail suppliers individually and have the retailers bid to supply the electricity. This will save the building significant electricity costs rather than purchasing energy on a month to month basis. The contract terms are usually about two to three years in duration.
With properties that fall under the $20,000 p.a. spend, which is usually apartment buildings with less than 50 apartments, have a lower negotiating power with retailers as their consumption is far less than the larger properties. We recently bundled these smaller electricity consuming buildings together to form a buying group for electricity. The result was that their collective buying power achieved a discounted rate overall.
We bundled 553 buildings together with an annual electricity consumption spend of $1,800,000.00 and approached six different energy retailers. The most cost-effective retailer, Energy Australia, provided an excellent offer saving participants in the buying group 14% on average compared to remaining on their current electricity rate. This is an excellent result with a combined saving of $252,000.00.
What you can do
For eligible residents of NSW (the holders of either a Pensioner Concession Card, Centrelink Health Care Card, Centrelink Low-Income Health Care Card, or a Gold Card from Veterans’ Affairs) the NSW Government are offering discounts on new energy efficient fridges and televisions. The appliance replacement offer makes it easier for you to upgrade your old fridge or television to a new, more efficient model.
Reducing your energy bills can be as simple as using appliances with high energy ratings. To find out what is on offer and how this will help your household click here.