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The Energy Innovation Co-operative is encouraging every householder to check and compare their energy costs before Christmas and be paid $50 by the Victorian government for their efforts.

“The current electricity market punishes loyal electricity customers who just stick with their same retail company year after year”, said Susan Davies, from the Energy Innovation Co-op. “Those loyal customers will be paying the highest electricity rates”.

“Our advice is, to go and check and compare. The Victorian government is trying to get people in the habit of checking with this one-off payment of $50, so you can’t lose. But you still have to make the effort.”

“Don’t listen to those annoying phone calls from unknown overseas companies. You need to see offers in writing. Make sure it’s the government website (https://compare.energy.vic.gov.au) you look at, otherwise you are just being steered to yet another private company.”

Her advice is to go to the website https://compare.energy.vic.gov.au with your latest electricity bill in your hand. Fill in the short questions about your energy usage and you will be shown other electricity retail offerings which might just be cheaper than your current one. Then the Vic government will post you a $50 cheque for having a go.

“If you don’t use the internet, the Co-op will send someone to talk to your community group, and help you access the website to do the comparison” said Susan, who with George Fairlie from GF Solar and the Co-op, has been running help sessions in Bass Coast.”

“Most neighbourhood houses will be willing to help you as well” she said.

“Or give me a call on 5657 3108, and I will send you a short how-to guide if you are having trouble.”

The Energy Innovation Co-operative is also an organisational member of another Co-operative, “Co-operative Power” which is in the early stages of establishing a community owned electricity retailer. They will have an offering to the public shortly. The hope is that an ethically focussed, straight talking community retailer which does not have to send profits overseas, will be able to provide a less confusing offer, and better value electricity prices to householders and businesses.

The Co-op is now taking “expressions of interest” in this Victoria-wide community project. Other energy efficiency ideas are on the Co-op’s website at https://eico-op.org.au under the “living greener” tab.

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