Unlikely hero takes on energy companies and saves big
Allan Formica says he’s found the secret to getting the best possible deal – and now he’s helping others.
Allan Formica is the unlikely hero wrestling back power from the big energy companies.
When the lawn bowls champion learned he could play one energy company off against the other in order to get a bigger discount, he couldn’t wait to help out his friends.
It all started around the time Allan’s bowling pal George, whose speech has been affected by a stroke, asked him to check his quarterly statement.
3 ways to save on power bills:
“I was shocked that he was asked to pay that much after looking at what he had been paying – something had to be done, had to be done,” Allan told A Current Affair.
Allan called George’s long time energy provider Origin on his behalf and threatened to take George’s account elsewhere. Origin responded by offering George a 30% discount on future bills as well as crediting his account by more than $500.
That’s when the penny dropped for Allan.
“When you are ringing up your supplier to find out their best deal, quote someone else’s best deal. I’m sure every other company will offer you the same or better – if they don’t offer you better or the same, you switch,” he said.
It might seem simple to some but it appears many of us just assume we are currently getting the best deal.
“The problem was until the last price increase people accepted what they were paying but because the last price increase in July was so large everybody started to get high bills and that’s when all the talk started,” Mr Formica added.
So Allan spread the word at his local bowling club and throughout other clubs in the area, handing out instructions on how to get a bigger discount on power and gas bills by getting companies to compete against each other for your account.
“I was getting a discount at the time too, but it was nowhere near the discounts that Allan was talking about. So now I’m on 26% and that’s a massive reduction,” said friend Shane.
That’s because Allan’s passion for more palatable power prices has led to Origin Energy offering a special deal for bowling club members.
“After speaking to Allan and when I got the 30% and the 25% I thought, wow, why isn’t everybody getting this, why do we have to ring and ask for a discount? That’s my question,” said fellow bowling club member Robyn.
“I would’ve thought I’d been with them for over 30 years – I would’ve thought they would have contacted me to say they were giving discounts – but they never did,” added Mick.
After giving power companies a backhand draw off the green, Allan’s now setting his sights on getting a better bang for his fellow bowler’s buck on insurance premiums.
“I just won’t stop until everybody in Australia knows, knows exactly what can be done if you put your mind to it,” he said.