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Compare Energy (Electricity & Gas) in Australia

Written by

Shaun McGowan

Compare energy retailers in Australia

Comparing energy retailers in Australia is the fastest and easiest way to find the best available electricity and gas plans in your area.

Comparing energy retailers involves researching:

When can you change energy retailers?

Switching energy retailers is often a simple process - you can compare plans and contact your new energy provider to request the change. However, you may not be able to change your provider if you are renting and utilities are included in your rental payments.

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Find out if you can switch energy retailers

Each state in Australia handles energy differently, with various distributors for both electricity and gas. However, in general, residents in the following Australian regions can choose both their electricity and gas suppliers:

You can select from the list of states above to learn more about the cheapest energy plans for each Australian state.

Australian states where you cannot change energy retailers

Residents in the below states and territories cannot change their electricity provider due to current regulations:

  • Residents outside of South-East Queensland
  • Western Australians who live outside the South West Interconnected System
  • Northern Territory residents
  • Tasmania - If you are living in Tasmania (TAS), you may be able to choose your gas supplier.

Top 6 reasons Australians switch energy retailers

Why change energy providers? There are many benefits for those who switch energy providers at the right time.

1.
Finding a better price

compare electricity retailers to find the best deals and make incredible savings.

2.
Moving property

if you are moving house, either purchasing a home or changing rental properties, you can use this opportunity to find a new retailer who best suits your needs.

3.
Consolidating bills and utility suppliers

It’s easier to track bills if there’s less of them floating around. Streamlining your supplier for power and gas is an excellent option for those who struggle to keep on top of invoices.

4.
Ethical reasons

many retailers will have their own ways of acquiring electricity and gas, and you may be able to align yourself with a retailer who provides green energy, allowing you to lower your carbon footprint.

5.
Solar electricity rebates

if you live in a state which allows you to make good use of solar panels, you may be eligible for solar energy rebates. Compare energy retailers to see which companies offer these deals.

6.
Finding a plan with a flexible contract

many Australians choose to switch providers due to the exit fees or penalties of their existing contract.

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You may be able to save even more money by combining your gas and electricity accounts with the same energy retailer.

Why every Australian should compare energy plan prices

Every Australian should compare energy plans to see if they are receiving the best prices and are using the most suitable plan available. Below, we’ll explain why changing energy plans can save you money and keep you safe from debt, as we examine the latest data for:

  • Energy consumption
  • Energy production by source
  • Consumer energy debt

According to the final data report released by the Australian Government’s Department of the Environment and Energy, electricity use and gas use have shown a steady increase both annually and in the past decade.

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Share of total energy useAnnual Growth10-year Increase

Electricity

19.2%

1.7%

0.9%

Gas

21.7%

4.0%

2.9%

However, the report also indicates that energy produced through Oil and NGL (Natural Gas Liquids) has steadily decreased, while production through Renewables has increased. Energy produced through Oil and NGL is now almost equal in its total share of the production market as through Renewable sources.

Share of total energy sourcesAnnual Growth10-year change

Oil and NGL

3.1%

-4.2%

-6.3%

Renewables

2.1%

0.9%

5.3%

By itself, this data may not indicate much excitement in the energy market for consumers, however the latest information released by the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources reveals two crucial points:

  • Australia has the highest uptake of solar globally - more than one in five homes (21%) now includes some form of rooftop solar PV (photovoltaic) panel system.
  • As of 31 January 2020, more than 2.31 million rooftop solar power systems have been installed across Australia.

What does this mean? For a start, it means Australian’s now have more options than ever before in choosing their electricity provider and selecting a plan unique to their needs. It also means that Australian’s are better positioned than any other country in the world to lower their energy bill by using solar.

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Solar PV systems convert sunlight into electricity. It is a form of clean, renewable energy, and consumers can ‘sell’ their generated electricity (feed-in payments) or store the electricity for personal use.

The final piece of data we’ll cover below is a concern for thousands of Australians all across the country: energy debt and forced disconnections. A forced disconnection occurs when a consumer cannot pay an energy retailer the amount they owe for their energy bill, and the retailer is forced to disconnect power to a residence.

  • In Q1 and Q2 of 2019, there were a total of 20,475 disconnections for an energy debt of less than $1,500. This is an easily avoidable situation by switching to a suitable energy retailer that can offer an energy plan to suit your budget.

If you would like additional assistance on budgeting for your energy bill, you can learn about how to create a simple and effective budget plan in less than a few hours. Simply visit our Budget Planner Guide and follow the steps to receive your 100% free and easy-to-use budget spreadsheet.

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The Australian Government Department of the Environment and Energy was merged with the Department of Agriculture as of 1 February 2020. The new department responsible for future energy statistical reports is now the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment.

How quickly can you switch energy retailers?

You can switch energy providers whenever you choose! If you decide to change energy retailers, you can generally have your electricity and gas switched overnight. However, it’s often best to consider a time of three months when comparing energy retailers.

Three months is often the period of time energy distributors will read your individual electricity meters, which gives you enough time to accurately determine your current usage costs and start comparing various deals and plans for energy retailers.

The majority of electricity retailers across Australia will allow you to both cancel and sign-up to a plan using their website and online customer portal.

The cost of switching energy retailers

It costs nothing to compare a range of energy providers. However, when changing energy providers, you will need to ensure that you account for any early exit fees or penalties for cancelling your current plan early.

You can contact your current electricity supplier for more information about any restrictions or penalties that may apply to cancel your existing plan early.

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Before deciding to switch energy suppliers, it’s worthwhile reviewing your existing agreement and its terms and conditions.

Changing or cancelling your new energy plan

After you’ve signed up for a new energy retailer, you will have what is called a ‘cooling-off period’. This is a period of time - usually around 10 business days - in which you are free to cancel the agreement should you change your mind.

To do so, simply contact your retailer within this period to cancel your plan.

Checklist for changing energy retailers

  • Check the exit fees on your current plan
  • Review your current rate and any discounts
  • Ensure you have repaid outstanding bills
  • Determine your energy requirements
  • Compare a range of energy plans
  • Compare the best energy plans with your current plan
  • Confirm the switchover once you’ve found the right plan
  • Cancel direct debit payments to your old provider
  • Keep note of your new billing cycle
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Summary

Comparing energy retailers in Australia is the easiest way to find an affordable plan for electricity and gas. Retailers are always offering new deals, discounts, and rates to their customers, and our impartial and independent reviews and comparison tool will show you the latest prices for energy in your area.

If you think that you’re overpaying for electricity or gas, you can use our free comparison tool to instantly compare offers for your state. Once you’ve chosen the best energy plan for your situation, we’ll be happy to guide you through the steps for making the switch as quickly and easily as possible.

Compare Energy Retailers in Australia FAQ

How can I compare electricity and gas prices in Australia?

To quickly and easily compare energy retailers in Australia, you can use an impartial energy retailer comparison tool. This will allow you to compare prices and plans for electricity, gas, or a combination of both. Using a tool which allows you to filter results by your location will allow you to compare energy plans available in your area.

Which is the cheapest energy retailer in Australia?

The cheapest energy retailer in Australia will vary depending on which Australian state you live in, and your energy usage requirements. Some energy retailers will provide cheaper options than others if you use solar panels at your residence, or if you choose to combine both your electricity and gas plans with a single retailer.

What is the difference between electricity supply charges and usage charges?

Supply charges (also called a fixed or service charge) are the cost to transport energy to your property and stay connected to the network. Usage charges are the price you’re charged for the amount of energy you use.

About Money.com.au

Money.com.au want to make managing money easy and fun! By giving Australians simple tools so they can make the best decisions they can about their money.

We understand that the world of finance is complex, and offer free, extensive guides on Personal Loans, Car Loans and Business Loans, along with tools like our Budget Planning Spreadsheet to help you better manage and understand personal finance.

About the Author

Shaun McGowan from money.com.au

Shaun

McGowan

Shaun McGowan

Shaun is the founder of Money.com.au and is determined to help people pay as little as possible for financial products. Through education and building world class technology. Previously Shaun co-founded CarLoans.com.au and Lend.

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.

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