DOOR-to-door sales people representing electricity companies had been giving bad advice to Border residents, a financial counsellor warned.
Yvonne Nichol, an adviser with St David’s Care Albury, said there had been cases where people had signed up on the spot with a new energy provider but it had ended up costing them more.
“It’s important that they just be careful because they think they’re changing to cheaper rates but that’s not always the case,” she said.
Ms Nichol said there were several things that could be done if you were struggling to pay a bill or, better still, to prevent getting a nasty surprise when the bill arrives.
She said she would advise clients to contact their energy suppliers to set up regular direct payments and also arrange an over-the-phone energy audit.
“It may be the fact that you have a faulty fridge that is running 24 hours a day,” she said.
“And then there are the energy saving techniques, like having the airconditioning on a certain setting.”
If an unexpected bill does come your way, Ms Nichol said cash rebates were available in both states depending on your circumstances while many electricity companies would offer incentive schemes to help you pay off your bill.
The financial counsellor said it was also a good idea to make sure you were getting the right deal for your energy usage.
Comparisons can be made for Victorian customers at yourchoice.vic.gov.au and for NSW customers at myenergyoffers.nsw.gov.au.