As the temperature is dropping and it’s getting dark earlier, electricity bills are soaring. So much so that there are now calls for an inquiry similar to the Royal Commission into Banking.

Today’s Daily Telegraph in Sydney calls the whole mess “The Great Power Ripoff”.

So now is a good time to be comparing energy providers to see if you’re getting the best price.

The Australian Government’s Australian Energy Regulator offers a handy comparison tool called Energy Made Easy that lets you plug in details about your living situation and estimates which plans are best for you. The difference in prices is astonishing.

The tool estimates that a four-person home in Sydney’s Inner West on a single rate tariff could be paying a whopping quarterly bill of $3,215 with Next Business Energy domestic supply.

If that household switched to QEnergy’s Flexi Home single rate, they could slash their bill to $1,849. (Energy Australia is close with their Anytime Saver Home Peak Only plan at $1,887.)

That fits with the Australian Energy Regulator’s statement in March that QEnergy is the cheapest provider for all three zones in NSW.

If you want to do the old money-saving switcheroo and shift to QEnergy, the Sunday Telegraph is offering another $75 off in staggered credit – $25 off the first bill, another $25 at 12 months and the final $25 at 23 months. It’s a two-year contract, but there is no exit fee. You don’t need to be a subscriber; the offer is open to everyone.

Just click through to QEnergy using this link, and use the code STELEQE02. Have your latest bill handy because you’ll need to upload a copy of it on the registration page.

For the same household, consuming approximately 8000 megajoules of gas per quarter, Energy Australia would probably be their best bet, as Energy Made Easy estimates their bill would be around $980 on the Anytime Saver Home Gas plan.

At the other end of the spectrum, Dodo Residential Gas Standing Offer would cost the household $1,427 per quarter.

Houses in the ACT can also use Energy Made Easy. Victorian consumers can see how their provider stacks up at Victorian Energy Compare, those in the Queensland should look at the State Government page, households in South Australia, Tasmania, Western Australia and the Northern Territory should visit Compare the Market or Canstar Blue.

Energy Made Easy can only estimate bills, and you will need to consider factors such as contract terms, exit fees, discounts and the type of tariff that’s right for you. But switching your electricity or gas provider could be one of the easiest ways to save this winter.