A survey conducted for accounting firm Ernst & Young has found that while electricity is one of the most significant ongoing expenses after rent and mortgage repayments, only 20 per cent of customers are in the market for a new electricity provider.
An overwhelming 92 per cent of customers say electricity bills account for a moderate to high amount of their total household running costs.
"It's only a matter of time before we see a consumer awakening of sorts and a shift in the power balance in favour of the customer," Ernst & Young customer leader John Rolland said.
The customer experience survey found that more than a third of people had never switched providers, with many saying the experience was too hard.
Three-quarters of customers had heard of "smart meter" technology but only 14 per cent understood how it works.
The survey found that the main reasons for people changing electricity providers were being offered a better deal by a door-to-door salesperson, moving house or receiving a hefty bill.
Sydney customers were more likely to give up trying to switch providers due to the effort involved, while Melbourne customers were more likely to have switched providers in the past.