Canberrans are losing as much as $500 a year by failing to actively seek out a better deal on electricity and gas prices, a recent energy report shows.
The St Vincent de Paul Society's annual report on energy prices shows rises in energy costs for the territory have slowed down dramatically.
After consecutive years of significant price hikes, as much as $378 in some instances, gas and electricity prices rose minimally in the past year.
Using average consumption levels of 8000 kilowatt hours, the report found electricity prices typically increased by $20, or roughly one per cent.
The average yearly ACT electricity bill, using a market offer with included discounts, was $2070, an increase of $25.
Gas costs were found to have increased by an average of $35, or two per cent since July last year.
And households that used a mixture of gas and electricity experienced an average increase of $50, or one per cent.
The gas figures were based on an average usage of 48,000 megajoules per year.
The gas connection fee increased by 1.5 percent in the last year to $315 per year.
The most significant bill increase was for solar powered households, which increased by $210 on average for three kilowatt systems. The average yearly cost for solar households was $1320, so still $750 less than non-solar homes.
St Vincent's Social Policy Unit manager Gavin Dufty said the smaller increases were a welcome relief for Canberrans after previous years.
He said increases in generation costs, green schemes such as renewable targets and changes to the pricing of poles and wires, plus the retail component had all combined to deliver those massive increases.
Greater diversity of suppliers in the ACT market had helped to keep the increases smaller in the past year, he said.
Mr Dufty said the key message was that inactivity when it came to seeking a better deal from energy companies would result in a real hit to the hip pocket.
In the ACT, the difference between ActewAGL's standing offer, the regulated price, and its market offer for electricity is $505.
"If you snooze, you lose," he said.
"There's a lot of people [in Canberra] that might not be as engaged as they should be.
"You are getting dudded if you aren't active."
Mr Dufty said a phone call or a visit to the energy regulator's Energy Made Easy website could make all the difference.
Energy companies use a range of discounts and offers to sweeten market deals, a pay on time discount is common in the ACT.
While Mr Dufty said this was helpful to many households, he warned people that might forget to pay on time in one instance could lose hundreds of dollars in both the discount and then an additional fee.
For instance, the report stated a household with ActewAGL that missed a pay on time deadline could be $565 worse off.
So he said to only sign up to a deal that suits a particular household, and to remember to continually shop around after the contract period.