Sticking up for consumers: new Power Campaign is here to save you money

More than 4,000 Aussie households have already signed up to use their combined buying power to get hold of exclusive energy discounts.

The cost of living is soaring and energy bills are the number one cause of stress in most households.

A fact that energy switcher Darren Thomas knows firsthand.

“I looked and I said ‘if this continues on this way, we’re going to have to give up something else” Thomas said.

But rather than giving up little pleasures to be able to pay energy bills, consumer advocate Christopher Zinn has encouraged Australian households to band together and do something about it.

And tonight we’re putting the power back in your hands by letting you know about joining the 9Saver Power Campaign, which is aiming to harness the combined buying power of 10,000 Aussie households to source exclusive energy discounts.

Thomas told A Current Affair that switching energy providers thanks to a consumer powered campaign has helped him save big on his energy bills.

“It was crazy because I kind of got used to thinking it’s going to go up, and now it’s going down,” Thomas — a working father of two who made the switch from AGL to Alinta, by simply shopping around — told A Current Affair.

Since shopping around between energy providers thanks to a consumer powered campaign, Thomas has saved more than 60% on his energy bill.

“I know my last bill was $400 and this is now $141.90, so that’s $250. That’s incredible,” he said.

“I’ve got a family of four here and lights on, air con running, no. The people that aren’t paying the bills don’t really care. So unfortunately it took me a little bit of investigation to work out it was cheaper, and now, the proof is in the bill,” he said.

“Those people who do nothing end up paying through the nose for electricity when they don’t have to,” Zinn said. So how can you switch and save too?

Christopher Zinn told A Current Affair that it’s time for Aussie households to act.

Figures show a record 42,000 families are living in energy poverty, and Zinn is encouraging households to join the 9saver power campaign and make a difference to their energy bills.

“The mark to me of this campaign is someone who has never done anything – been a bit too scared or hasn’t trusted or whatever, just done that and said ‘you know what, I should have done this years ago,” Zinn said.

The program uses the combined buying power of 10,000 Australian homes to get the best discounts on energy bills from various providers.

“If you go to the electricity companies and say ‘I want a better deal’ as one person, they might not give you that much. But if you go as a group of 10,000 households or more, than they sit up and pay attention.”

More than 2 million Aussie homes switched energy providers for the first time last year — and 9Saver will spend the next four weeks building the size of the group and encouraging energy providers to offer exclusive discounts to all members.

“Most people are with the big three energy companies,” Zinn said. “But some of the smaller companies are growing a lot faster because it’s competitive. There’s a lot of competition in this area and that’s where – as a consumer – you need to take advantage of it.”

So far, more than 4,000 households have joined since the campaign launched TODAY.

Christopher Zinn has a message for A Current Affair viewers, and Aussie households;

“For god’s sake do something! And this is pretty easy,” he said of the 9Saver Power Campaign — which is free to join.

Darren Thomas had a final word about how consumer powered campaigns can work for people who just want to save some money on their bills.

“I’m living proof,” he said.

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