LAZINESS is costing Australian energy customers; and this is not a matter of opinion.

It is actually an unofficial part of the business model of the power retailers.

All the discounts, deals and market rates they offer are for the purpose of getting customers on the books; customers who will feel appeased knowing they got a good deal and then forget that after six or 12 months that deal will expire and they will be rolled onto a far more expensive plan.

Energy providers expect that if they recruit or retain 100 customers, there will be a certain percentage that will not bother to check their rates going forward, probably believing they are on the best deal they can be.

The more customers on their books, the more money they will make from laziness.

You can end up paying more than $1000 extra a year than someone in the exact same situation as you, if you don't stay on top of your plan.

Think about that when you are looking for ways to cut costs here and there.

Energy plans can be a standard product, or a market product.

The standard product is more stable, in that providers can only raise the rates at certain intervals, once or twice a year.

The market product involves those discounts or special offers they use to obtain and retain customers.

Just about all the best deals are available online, so logging on is essential.

Rates on the market products are much cheaper, but can be changed whenever they feel like it, so it is important that you negotiate an ongoing deal at the time you are signing on for a market product.

Get a clear understanding of the time frame that your agreement will be in place and be ready and waiting to get back on the phone to your provider when the deal is set to expire.

If you haven't changed or reviewed your energy plan for more than 12 months, you are paying more than you need to.

As tedious or unappealing as it may be, it's time to take action.

This investigation is part of #Lifehacks, a project by the News Corp Australia mastheads giving readers everything they need to know about the financial matters that impact us all - right down to scripts for securing better deals, dream jobs and more. Rolling out day by day across this week, the topics are mortgages, energy, insurance, cars, credit cards, super and salary - and you can find it all here.

News Corp Australia

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