How to compare VIC energy plans
The state of Victoria in Australia is unique from other Australian states - the energy market was regulated by the Victorian State Government in 2019, which set strict guidelines for energy retailers to ensure VIC consumers received the best electricity and gas options available.
While the Victorian Default Offer now provides a strong baseline to compare energy retailers in Victoria, consumers are still able to find better deals and lower electricity prices than those included in their existing energy contracts.
Can you switch energy retailers in VIC?
If you live in VIC, you have a lot of freedom in choosing your energy retailer for electricity and gas. In general, residents in VIC and its major areas can choose their electricity and gas suppliers:
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You can also choose to switch your energy providers if you live in these states:
- Australian Capital Territory (ACT)
- New South Wales (NSW)
- South-East Queensland (QLD)
- South Australia (SA)
If you are not currently living in VIC, you can select your state from the list above to compare energy retailers in your region.
What is the average electricity bill in VIC?
The average electricity bill in Victoria is $1,490 per year, however this will vary depending on the energy requirements of each household, and the number of occupants. The easiest way to find the average price of electricity from suppliers is to refer to the Victorian Default Offer prices in the table below, and compare these with your current usage amount using your most recent energy bill.
NOTE: The prices listed below apply for the Victorian Default Offer for the period of 1 January to 31 December 2020, with prices listed in the amount per kilowatt-hour (kWh).
Victorian Default Offer Prices 1 Jan - 31 Dec 2020
|Supplier||Supply Charge||Usage Charge Structure||Usage Charge||Usage Charge Controlled Load|
|AusNet Services||$1.1408||Block 1 (up to 1020 kWh per quarter)
Block 2 (>1020 kWh per quarter)
|$0.3072 (Block 1)
$0.3272 (Block 2)
Disclaimer: All information and details for listed plans, discounts, incentives, usage charges, and fees are only accurate at the time of writing, and may not accurately reflect the rates offered when applying. Actual rates may differ based on your location, electricity and gas use, or eligibility for plans.
Is the cheapest energy plan in VIC the best?
With energy prices in VIC now set to a uniform state standard, comparing energy plans to find the cheapest offer is easier than in most other states. However, low usage charges aren’t the only indicator, and to find the cheapest energy plans in VIC and choose the best plan for your needs, you can consider the following factors:
- The lowest usage rates
- Supply charges
- Length of contract and exit fees
- Discounts and how to qualify
- Length of discounts - i.e. benefit terms
- Incentives for switching from another retailer
- Solar Feed-in Tariffs (if any)
It’s important to remember that everyone living in VIC will use energy differently, and have different living situations - such as single or couple occupancies - and appliances which use varying amounts of electricity.
You can read individual reviews for VIC energy providers below. Use these reviews to compare various charges, plan details, and service offerings from leading energy providers.
VIC Energy Provider Reviews
How to compare VIC energy retailers
New VIC energy rules require energy retailers to provide detailed information to their customers when offering plans. As of 1 July, 2019, energy retailers must include the following information on your energy bill:
- A minimum of 5 days’ warning on any energy price or benefit changes to your current plan
- Indication of the best available offer they can provide
- GST-inclusive prices on all their energy plans
- Information about offers and energy plans
- How much you could save by switching to the best energy plan they offer
You’ll receive this information if you live in Victoria, and will be detailed:
- At least once every three months for electricity
- At least once every four months for gas
When you get an estimated gas bill, energy providers now allow you to take a picture of your gas meter and send it back to your energy provider, so you can get a more accurate bill.
VIC energy retailer fact sheet guide
|Fact Sheet Section||What details are included in the section|
|Estimated costs||The average yearly cost of gas or electricity for the plan, including household sizes from one person to four or more.|
How any applicable discount conditions affect the cost of the plan.
|Offer details||The name of the distributor associated with the plan, if it is a market offer or standing offer, and the date the offer was made available.|
|Discounts and incentives||Direct debit discounts, pay-on-time discounts, fixed-price discounts, digital-bill discounts and any sign-up incentives.|
|Contract details||The term of the contract, length of the “cooling-off” period, eligibility criteria, fixed or variable pricing, expiry details, along with terms and conditions for the plan.|
|Fees||Move-in fees, call-out fees, disconnection fees, early-break fees, and any other fees or charges the retailer may include in the plan.|
|Billing details||How often you will be billed for the plan and the available payment options.|
|Offer rate and details||The supply rate and usage rate for the plan, along with any solar feed-in tariffs which may be available.|
You can learn more about new energy regulations in Victoria and your rights as a consumer by visiting the Victorian Government's Essential Services Commission website.
How long does it take to switch energy providers in VIC?
If you are switching providers but not moving premises the amount of time it will take for you to switch providers will depend on your last meter read. You can find the date of your next meter reading on your most recent electricity or gas bill, generally included on the page which provides a detailed breakdown of the charges for your existing plan.
What is the cost of changing energy retailers in VIC?
If your existing VIC energy contract includes a break fee, you will be able to see how much this is by referring to your most recent energy bill. You can also compare the applicable fees and charges on all plans offered by energy providers in Victoria by viewing their energy offer fact sheets.
If you are moving to a new house or apartment, you may wish to first check whether your new retailer requires a fee for connecting your electricity and gas. The details of these charges will be included on the energy fact sheet for each retailer’s offers.
How to change energy retailers in VIC
Once you’ve compared your current VIC electricity and gas plan with the offers available from various energy retailers, making the switch should be relatively simple:
- Contact your new electricity provider
- Mention the offer name and rate you wish to apply for
- Cancel your existing plan and pay any applicable exit fees
- Receive confirmation of the change
In some situations, your new energy retailer will inform your existing retailer about your decision to change, so you won’t need to do more than simply apply for a new plan.
VIC energy retailers should generally be able to connect and supply your energy by the next day. However, even if you change retailers, you will still be connected to the same electricity and gas supplier based on your location.
VIC energy retailer discounts
As the energy market in Victoria is regulated, you may find that energy retailers provide a range of discounts to encourage consumers to make the switch to their plans. Below are some of the most common discounts you may encounter when comparing VIC electricity and gas plans:
- Pay on time discount - can be applied to usage charges or your entire bill. The most common type of discount, and simply requires customers to pay their bill by a specified date.
- Direct Debit discount - can be applied to usage charges or your entire bill. An easy way to save money by linking your debit account to make automatic payments to your energy retailer.
- Bundled energy discount - varies between 2% and 15% of your bill or usage charges. Only available for customers who can receive both electricity and gas from the same energy retailer.
- Email billing discount - often only applied to your bill, as it reduces the cost of providing physical, paper bills to customers by the retailer. You will also receive all communication from your energy retailer through the same email.
- Plan-specific discounts (Unconditional energy discounts) - application will vary between plans, however they often do not need any conditions met, such as a sign-up incentive discount for switching retailers.
VIC energy rebates
In Victoria, you may be able to apply for certain energy rebates if you meet specific conditions. To apply for an energy rebate, you will need to hold one of the following cards:
- Centrelink Health Care Card
- Centrelink Pensioner Concession Card
- Veterans’ Affairs Pensioner Concession Card
- Veterans’ Affairs Gold Card
To apply for the energy rebates in VIC, contact your retailer and ask them to send you an application form. If you are successful, any rebate amount will be automatically discounted from your future energy bills.
If you live in VIC, you’ll be fortunate in that you have a lot of freedom when choosing your electricity and gas retailer, and the transparency offered by the Victorian Default Offer to easily compare your current plan with the available offers.
With so many options to choose from, the quickest way to compare your current plan with other VIC energy plans is to use our energy retailer comparison tool. Simply enter your postcode to see the available offers in your area, or refine your results by entering basic details about your energy usage to find the cheapest deals and offers for your household.
Compare energy retailers VIC FAQ
How do I compare VIC electricity rates?
To compare VIC electricity rates, you will first want to look at usage charges and supply charges. Supply charges are the cost of connecting your house to electricity - also known as a service charge - while usage charges are based on your actual household energy use. You can find detailed listings of these on your recent bill from your existing VIC energy retailer.
How can I quickly compare VIC energy retailers?
You can quickly compare VIC energy retailers using an online energy comparison tool. This will allow you to enter your postcode and various energy-usage details to see tailored plans available from various retailers in your area.
How do I find the cheapest electricity provider in VIC?
You can find the cheapest VIC electricity provider by comparing energy retailers and their currently available offers. You may find some VIC electricity providers offer discounts, usage fees, and sign-up incentives which are more suitable to your individual situation than others. You will also see energy plans in Victoria advertised using a “% below VOD” figure, which indicates the amount you can save in relation to the Victorian Default Offer.
Can I get electricity and gas from the same energy retailer in VIC?
Yes, you can receive electricity and gas from the same energy retailer in VIC. When comparing VIC energy retailers, check to see whether they first offer both electricity and gas - you can quickly do this by using an online energy retailer comparison tool.