This post was a paid partnership with Origin Energy. Thank you for supporting my blog’s sponsors.
Woah, 2018. It’s been a very busy – and expensive – year for us. This year we made massive changes to our house’s façade with our Scyon Walls cladding makeover; a project that grew into the goal of improving the functionality of our home’s outdoor spaces by adding a new double carport, an additional parking bay for guests and a big new patio with a deck. Those improvements – and others, including new gutters, fascias and downpipes, paint and concrete have certainly added up! We also went over east for my sister’s wedding, welcomed Miss Nerd to the family in June, and I took time off from work to go on maternity leave, turning us into a single income family for a while.
Sometimes we look at how much we have spent on our home renovations and we think, “Oh my goodness, that’s a trip to Italy,” or “We could have whacked that on the mortgage” or whatever, but then I think about how much we both do love living in a nice home, and how a house that at times I used to hate has turned into a place that brings us joy every single day. Awww! Yes, I know that sounds sooky – but now it’s a house that feels good – a real home – and even though it’s far from perfect, we love it here. This old girl has come a long way… look at what she used to look like before! She’s like a different house these days.
With all these renovation costs, a mortgage and a diminished income, we had been looking at ways we could save in other ways. Mr Nerd had started going through all of our plans and utilities and chopping and changing to save us money. We’d changed phone providers, internet providers and our private health care. When Origin Energy reached out to me to ask if I would be interesting in collaborating with them on a post and reviewing their plans for the WA market, I actually laughed – as literally two days prior Mr Nerd said to me, “I think we should swap our gas over to Origin.” Perfect timing.
It wasn’t all that long ago that swapping gas providers wasn’t even an option for Australians WA residents – Alinta Energy was the only small business and residential gas provider for many years. Now the gas market is wildly different. Since the regulations lifted there are now numerous gas retailers, and the best thing about this is it forces the providers to do their best to offer competitive rates.
Origin Energy spokesperson Stuart Osborne says they are keen to show people that switching providers isn’t the frustrating, time-consuming process many think it will be, and they are keen to dispel the notion many people have: that the process of switching suppliers may not be worth the potential savings.
“Perth residents have only had a choice of natural gas retailers since 2015, so some people are cynical about what’s involved in switching retailers and the benefits of shopping around,” he says. “The reality is that Perth residents who haven’t reviewed their natural gas bill for a couple of years are likely paying more than they need.
“With one quick phone call to Origin or a few minutes online, an average household could save around $210 a year on their natural gas bill with 35 per cent off natural gas usage charges.”
Origin offer a 35 percent discount if you pay by direct debit, and they say with the bulk of the WA market still on old rates with Alinta, there can be savings to be had by switching. So we were keen to try. It took me just minutes on the phone with an Origin rep to set up (you can also do it online) and that was it. The lovely girl on the phone took care of everything, including cancelling our old account with our former provider, and I didn’t have to lift a finger.
We use a lot of gas here – we have a gas hot water system, a gas cooktop, use a stovetop kettle, and use gas for our home heating. We don’t have central heating in this house – we have an old wood burning Jotul fireplace.
There is nothing like having a wood burning fire. It’s so romantic and cosy and atmospheric. The only thing I don’t like about it is that obviously you have to remember to keep putting wood on it! And you guys all know what I’m like. Flaky as anything. I get caught up in something and then two hours later realise my knuckles are numb and the house is freezing because I’ve forgotten to put wood on.
Mr Nerd calls me the fire killer, so now we have a deal that I just use the gas heaters. I don’t need to stoke them or chop wood in the backyard like the woodchopper I am most definitely not, and Mr Nerd’s face when he would come home after building a great fire to find out I’d just casually extinguished it was just getting too tragic. But look, we all have our strengths and weaknesses… he knows that one of my strengths is that I make him a very good cup of tea – which I do with our stovetop kettle on our kitchen’s pride and joy, our 900mm freestanding Smeg range. As I said before, we also cook with gas. I know a lot of people love their electric and induction cooktops, but I have always preferred gas. Friends of mine just bought a house and the first thing they did was spend almost three grand converting their cooktop from electric to gas. That’s no small amount of money, but worth every cent in my opinion. Last year Mr Nerd and I bought ourselves a Christmas gift of a pressure cooker, and this is what we’ve been experimenting with lately… I have a Mexican pulled chicken bubbling away on the stove right now.
So after a few months with Origin, we received our first bill. We worked out that we were paying 11.4 cents per unit with Alinta and 10 cents per unit with Origin. So well worth shopping around to get the best bang for your buck.
Anyway, off to check on the chicken on the stovetop – thanks to Origin Energy for partnering with me on this sponsored post. You can check out their website here on follow them on Facebook or Instagram. Maya x