Electricity is a necessity of modern life, no doubt. (For example, you wouldn’t be reading this without electricity powering your computer.)
The thing is, electricity isn’t cheap. But if you live in South East Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia or the ACT, you have a selection of different electricity providers that you can choose from. That means there’s more competition and, therefore, providers have to offer competitive rates, discounts, and incentives to entice customers.
Electricity prices vary across every state in Australia because energy prices are determined by a mix of factors.
NSW has been deregulated since July 2014 and there are many suppliers competing for your business. It can be easy to find excellent discounts in NSW, which could save you money on your electricity, especially when you’re cranking up your aircon to survive those hot summers.
In Victoria, deregulation occurred in 2009. There, a range of electricity providers vie with each other and a competitive price is a major advantage. High demand in Victoria (yep, largely due to the variable weather) has caused prices to rise, but consumers can still often compare and find cheaper deals.
In the ACT, the government regulates electricity prices and sets the rates you pay. This means rates should be similar, but there are still several companies operating in the ACT residential market, so it’s worth comparing offers, to find the one with the most competitive features for you.
There is competition among suppliers in SA, however, and many offer discounted rates or special offers. This means it’s worth checking your plan against others on a regular basis to make the most of any available discounts.
In South-East Queensland, including Brisbane and the Gold Coast, electricity prices were deregulated on 1 July 2016. So you too can compare your prices against different providers to find the cheapest electricity on offer from our range of products and providers*.
Several variables, not just the rate, can contribute to the cost of your electricity.
When you start looking around for an electricity plan, start by checking whether there’s an exit fee with your current provider. You may find the information on your bill, otherwise, ask your provider. Then work your way through the other variables that affect the overall cost of your electricity.
Tariffs can apply to both parts of your electricity bill, the ‘supply’ charge and the ‘usage’ charge. A supply charge is the fixed, daily charge for supplying electricity to your home. The usage charge is variable depending on how much electricity you use. So when checking out the costs from a provider see how both charges compare to the competition. If you use a lot of electricity, a low usage charge will probably suit you best. If you don’t use so much, then a low supply charge might work best in finding the cheapest electricity for you.
Rates are the usage charges in your bill. They’re measured in cents per kilowatt hour (C/kWH), and can be charged in several different ways.
While most plans are offered in variable rates, some providers will fix the rate for a set period. While it’s impossible to know how variable rates will rise and fall over time, a fixed rate will at least give you the assurance that your electricity charges will not rise suddenly during the set period.
Some plans charge you the same amount for electricity, whatever time of day you use it. Other plans, however, charge different rates according to whether the electricity is used during the day, the night and on weekends. These are also called ‘peak’, ‘shoulder’ and ‘off-peak’ periods.
Special Introductory offers, which last maybe 12 or 24 months, are often used to attract new customers. The more competition in your state, the more discounts will likely be available. Of course, after the introductory offer runs out, you should compare again to find a more suitable plan*.
Other discounts include pay-on-time discounts, receiving emailed bills or paying via direct debit. But check these carefully, they generally come with conditions and if you’re not careful you could end up paying more.
Some providers may also offer incentives such as gift cards, rebates on your first bill or air miles. Weigh up whether these incentives are enough to choose a provider rather than the cheapest rate.
Be aware that you may have to pay extra to get a paper bill, so this will affect your overall price. And consider billing options such as paying monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly to see which would fit in better with your budgeting.
There are often some fees and charges which will affect your bill over time. These include connection fees, late fees, moving fees or termination fees if you leave the contract early. Know what these are and factor the charges into your assessment of providers.
Finding a cheaper plan will depend on personal circumstances. This includes where you live, how you want to pay, and your energy usage patterns. There’s only one way to find out exactly how much you could save, and that’s to compare.
We’re here to do the hard work for you*. Search plans we offer from our range of electricity providers in your area, and make sure you’re on an electricity plan that suits you. We can even arrange to switch providers on your behalf.
Last Updated 08/02/2022