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Electricity prices are expected to rise by as much as 27 percent from July 1 for households and small businesses in NSW, SA and south-east Queensland, according to the Australian Energy Regulator (AER). Households on standing retail plans will see price increases of between 19.6% to 24.9%. and, according to the Essential Services Commission (ESC), VIC residential customers and small businesses will see up to a 27% increase in electricity prices. Comparison site Finder's Utilities Expert, Mariam Gabaji, said people should compare energy plans every 12 months and try to switch to a better deal.

“Around 10% of Australians are on a standing offer contract and are missing out on hundreds of dollars in savings," she said.

“A bonus for switching providers is that nearly all energy providers will give you something for joining – from up to $150 in cash, a year of Kayo or even 10,000 Qantas points."

Here are five ways to keep your electricity bill down:

1. Shop around for the best deal. New customers typically get better energy deals than loyal customers. Depending on where you live, the difference between the cheapest and most expensive providers can easily come to $200–$300 per year.

2. Insulate your room as best you can. When your heater is on keep all doors and windows closed to trap in the warm air or you might as well be throwing money out the window.

3 Check your air conditioner/heating unit. Older models are less efficient and more costly to run than newer ones. Also make sure it’s cleaned to keep it clear of dirt and bacteria that clog the system.

4. Switch devices off at the wall. Standby power use can cost the average household around $100 a year. By switching devices like air conditioners, game consoles and printers off at the wall instead of leaving them on in the background, you could cut down your annual energy bill.

5. Opt for energy efficiency where possible. Using energy-efficient appliances in the kitchen and laundry room can also help to keep your overall energy costs down – leaving more room for you to use the heater when you need it.

Finder is Australia's most visited comparison site, comparing everything from energy plans to credit cards, health insurance, and more. Find out more:



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