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Meet Our Energy Experts

We employ around 1500 staff and are present in 18 countries. We are already the leader in energy comparisons in France and Spain and are rapidly expanding abroad.

Check out our amazing team in Australia

Sarah Sheedy

Energy Specialist

Sarah Sheedy

Sarah Sheedy has recently joined the team for Selectra Australia as the new SEO Project Manager. She is from California, has studied and worked in the Netherlands for the past few years, and currently lives in France. With years of experience in content writing, online marketing, advertisement, and website design, Sarah works to improve our content to provide our customers with the most valuable and recent information.

Zachary Ryan

Energy Specialist

Zachary Ryan

Zachary Ryan from California is the business developer for Selectra Australia. Started working with Australians while studying and working in Japan, and hasn’t looked back since. With years of experience working with and helping Australian customers and businesses, Zach is always trying to make sure the quality of service provided by Selectra Australia is the best that it can be.

Angelica Ortiz

Energy Specialist

Angelica Ortiz

Angelica Ortiz joined the Selectra AU team in November 2022 as a Sales Agent. Born and raised in Honduras, she embarked on a global journey, living in Spain and the USA before settling in Japan. With a Bachelors degree in Communication Studies and Media Production from Temple University, and extensive work experience in social media, marketing, content creation, sales, and customer service, Angelica is here to assist you in making informed energy choices.

Most Australians can now choose their own energy provider!
However, the energy market in Australia is a complicated topic.
So, below we have compiled all the information you need to know about energy in Australia.

Select a Topic to Learn More!

How to Compare Energy Providers and Plans

When comparing energy plans, you need to consider the following:

 USAGE RATES & SUPPLY CHARGE: Providers offer different usage rates (what you’re charged for the energy you consume) and daily supply charges (the fixed amount you’re charged daily for supplying energy to your address) to calculate your bill. It's best not to focus on the total monthly/yearly price as it can be misleading. Instead, look for providers that offer the cheapest kWh rates, as this will ensure you get a cheaper plan.

 THE REFERENCE PRICE: The reference price (also known as the Default Market Offer or Victorian Default Offer) is a price that allows you to quickly benchmark how much you could save by switching to the advertised energy plan. All energy providers are required to show how their plan compares to the reference price. The reference price is a good way to quickly see if the plan is cheaper than others. However, it's important to make sure each advertised plan is calculated at the same amount of energy usage.

 ENERGY USAGE: The total cost of an energy plan depends on how much energy you use. Therefore, when you see a weekly, monthly or yearly price advertised, you need to ask yourself "how much energy usage did they use to calculate this?" Always compare energy plans for the same amount of usage. This will ensure you are comparing plans accurately.

 YOUR TARIFF TYPE: Depending on your energy usage habits and the qualities of your home, you might be better off with one tariff type or another. Understanding your consumption habits can help you choose a tariff that can help you save based on the way you consume energy. This could be a single-rate tariff, time-of-use tariff, solar feed-in tariff, or a controlled load. It should be noted that certain tariffs may require a smart meter.

 BENEFIT PERIOD: A benefit period is how long the plan is valid for. Some providers have plans with ongoing benefit periods that automatically renew, while others have benefit periods between 12-36 months. After your benefit period is over, most providers will roll you over to the more expensive Standing Offer plan. Therefore, if you haven't checked your plan in a while you may have been rolled onto the most expensive plan that your company offers It's best to keep your benefit period in mind when you switch and set a reminder to follow up at the end of your benefit period to get a better deal.

 SOLAR PANELS: If you have solar panels, it’s important to consider a provider’s solar feed-in tariff, which is what your energy provider pays you for the solar energy you send back to the grid.

These days there are comparison services, like Selectra, that help you compare energy plans either online or over the phone. Services such as Selectra come at no additional cost to you, and having your energy bill on hand will make it easier for us to find the best deal, reduce your energy bill, and save money.

The steps to compare energy plans are as follows:

  1. Find your most recent bills
  2. Call your current provider for an updated quote
  3. Compare the quote to the reference price & to quotes from other providers
  4. Look at the rates on each plan to choose the cheapest
  5. Use a comparison site like Selectra to have them compare plans for you.

Here are those steps again in greater detail.

Before you compare energy providers, it’s usually a good idea to track down your latest energy bill.

This will help you to make the best and most informed decision when comparing energy plans and rates. On your energy bill, you should find either an estimated annual energy consumption figure or average daily consumption, along with your current energy plan and rates, discounts, and solar credits.

A good place to start your energy provider comparison is by calling your current provider and seeing what cheaper deals they can offer you. Once you know what your provider can offer, then you should take a look around and see how it compares to other plans on the market.

You can use energy provider comparison services like Selectra, Energy Made Easy, Canstarblue, Compare the Market etc. For comparing online, simply make sure you know how much energy you used in the past year/month. You can find this on your energy bill.

If you don't want to compare online, you can speak to one of our energy experts on the phone for free by calling the number above!

Most energy provider comparison websites will ask you questions about the size of your home, where it's located, the number of occupants, and other specific questions. These questions help offer you a more accurate quote so that you aren't underquoted or overquoted.

Once you have entered your information, and have landed on the page showing you the offers, review the plans using the information you learned above!

Going Green? Choosing the right energy provider isn’t just about price. Take a look at our list of Greenest Energy Providers to find an energy company with a proven track record of clean, green, and renewable energy.

What are the Different Types of Energy Plans?

There are different energy plansavailable through each energy company, which are used to calculate how much your energy bill will be every billing cycle.

Energy plans are also known as energy tariffs. All tariffs are measured with a daily supply charge in cents/day, and usage rates in cents/kWh.

Therefore, the price you pay is a combined price of the daily charge for having energy supplied to your property (even if you arent using energy) and the price per unit or amount of energy used.

Variable Tariffs

Variable tariffs are tariffs in which the usage rate fluctuates.

As the price of wholesale energy goes up, the cost of each unit of energy you use also goes up. With a variable tariff, the rates can go up or down.

Flat-Rate Tariffs

The most common energy tariff is the flat-rate tariff. When comparing energy plans, the estimated cost and rates will be shown for a single-rate tariff.

With a flat-rate tariff (also known as single-rate tariff or a fixed rate tariff), energy customers are charged a daily supply charge, and one flat usage rate, no matter the time of day or appliance used.

This can often be mistaken for meaning that you pay the same amount each month. This is not the case. The flat-rate tariff means that instead of having a variable price for each unit of energy used that can change throughout the year, you will have the same fixed, or flat, rate for each unit.

The best example of a flat rate tariff is to use the analogy of going to the store to purchase apples where apples represent your energy.

You can eat as many as you like a $1 each, but depending on your consumption you will be charged accordingly (more if you eat more, less if you eat less). However, imagine going to the store and finding that yesterday the apples cost $1, and today they cost $2.

A flat rate agreement can be made so that whenever you visit the store, the apples will always cost you $1. This is the way a single rate energy tariif works. Despite the price of each apple staying fixed, you will still be charged more or less depending on the quantity you consume.

Time-Of-Use Tariffs

Time-of-use Tariffs have different usage rates throughout the day, depending on when demand on the energy grid is usually high (usually during the evening hours), and low (overnight and weekends).

Most time-of-use tariffs are divided into three usage rates:

  1. Peak hours
  2. Off-peak ours
  3. Shoulder hours

Peak ours are when demand on the grid is high and therefore means your energy rates will be higher. Peak hours are usually during the evenings from Monday to Friday when most people are home from work and cooking, doing laundry, using the television, and other energy-intensive home activities.

Off-peak oursare when demand on the energy grid is low, so rates will be lower. For energy in Australia, off-peak times are usually overnight, on the weekends, or times people are often out of the house, sleeping, and not using much energy.

Shoulder hours are in between peak and off-peak, such as mornings, afternoons before peak hours, and sometimes on the weekends. Power companies set rates during shoulder hours somewhere between peak hour rates and off-peak rates.

Time-of-use tariff can be a good choice for customers who are more likely to use electricity in their home during off-peak hours. If you work overnights, are more likely to do the laundry overnight or run a dishwasher, or are often out during the evenings, time-of-use might be a good tariff for you. Customers who opt for a time-of-use tariff will need a smart meter to track their energy usage.

Controlled Load Tariffs

A controlled load tariff is used for appliances that run on a separate circuit within your home.

Appliances such as water boilers, electric heaters and pool heaters are charged separately from the rest of your household’s energy usage. They often run overnight or during off-peak hours which allows the individual usage rate for these appliances to be lower.

What is the Default Market Offer?

When comparing energy plans and switching providers, you’ll often notice the “Default Market Offer”, “DMO”, or “Reference Price” mentioned.

Within the National Electricity Market, the government sets the reference price for each distribution network.

In Victoria, the DMO is called the Victorian Default Offer or VDO.

The Default Market Offer has two main functions within the National Electricity Network:

  1. To protect customers
  2. To inform customers

Those who don’t want to engage with the energy market are protected by a cap on how much energy providers can charge you. In other words, the DMO isn’t the cheapest option available on the market, but it acts as a price ceiling for consumers who don’t want to compare energy suppliers, switch, change plans. You can rest assured that you won't be taken advantage of by skyrocketing prices.

The Default market offer also helps inform those who want to compare and switch energy providers to find the cheapest deals.

In this case, the DMO is used as a reference (often shown as X% off the reference price), so customers can have a standardized benchmark to compare their potential savings when they switch to a new provider.

How Do I Find the Best Energy Deal?

The easiest way to find the best energy deal is to use an energy comparison service.

While you could go through and energy providers one by one on your own, services like Selectra make it easier than ever to find the best energy deal.

Selectra does the energy compare work for you by comparing dozens of providers and plans to show you the best deals. You'll find energy provider reviews and get help to reduce your energy bill at no additional cost to you.

Here are some of the reviews we have done recently: 

Energy

The Australian Government has also launched its own energy compare site called Energy Made Easy, which allows you to submit your own household’s energy habits and consumption to find a energy deal for you.

Energy Made Easy lets you do the following:

  • Select electricity, gas, or bundled energy deals to compare
  • Provide your postal code for the most accurate energy rates
  • Select your household size and energy consumption habits
  • Provide information about your meter data or the latest energy bill

When it comes to finding the best energy deal, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Your household’s energy habits and location will mean what works best for one household might not work best for yours.

Who Can Compare Energy in Australia?

Due to the state of the energy market in Australia, and the regulation involved, not everyone everywhere can compare and switch energy plans.

Here's a list of who can compare energy plans in each state & territory:

1 - New South Wales

The energy market in New South Wales is fully contestable, meaning you can compare and switch both electricity and gas in the state. Check out our New South Wales energy guide below to learn more.

2 - Australian Capital Territory

The ACT has fewer energy providers than other Australian states, though more and more enter the market every year. The ACT also recently instated the Reference Price, making it easier than ever to compare plans and prices to find a cheaper deal.

3 - Victoria

Residential Victorians enjoy a fully contestable energy market and are free to switch their electricity and gas plans at any time. With over 25 energy companies, there are plenty of choices to find the cheapest energy provider in Victoria.

4 - Queensland

While residents of South East Queensland can compare energy plans and switch providers, those who live in rural and regional Qld don’t have quite the same luxury. If you live outside of South East Queensland, your energy provider and distributor is government-regulated Ergon Energy.

5 - South Australia

South Australia is another fully contestable energy market, and if you live in South Australia you are free to switch electricity and gas providers at any time. South Australia also tends to have some of the most expensive electricity in the National Electricity Market, making it all the more important to compare plans and find cheaper rates.

6 - Tasmania

Like the ACT, Tasmania has fewer energy providers than other states, making it hard to compare and switch plans. Up until February 2019, Aurora Energy was the only energy provider available in Tasmania until 1st Energy joined the market. Currently, there are 7 energy providers in Tasmania to choose from.

7 - Western Australia

The electricity market in Western Australia is still highly regulated, and residential customers generally cannot switch electricity plans. However, if you live in Western Australia you are able to compare gas providers to switch to a cheaper natural gas plan.

8 - Northern Territory

While the Northern Territory is open to full retail competition and has been since 2010, energy prices are still highly regulated by the government meaning it isn’t profitable for most energy companies to expand up north.

What is the National Electricity Market?

Energy Market Regulation In Australia

The National Electricity Market, or NEM, is the interconnected network of governing and regulating bodies, infrastructure, generators, retailers, distributors, and consumers who make up the energy market in most of Australia.

First developed in 1998, the NEM was created to help facilitate the transmission of electricity between states and territories, while increasing competition among retailers, and protecting consumers from rising electricity prices and bad practices.

Today, the National Electricity Market regulates all aspects of the electricity and parts of the gas market in Queensland, New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, Victoria, Tasmania, and South Australia, with certain aspects having been adopted by the Northern Territory and Western Australia.

Navigating Energy Suppliers in Australia

According to the Australian Energy Market Commission, there are 39 active energy retailers within the NEM, and 19 gas retailers, though individual states or territories might have less depending on regulation.

Energy retailers are divided up into three categories; The Big Three, which are the three largest and historic energy providers in Australia; Tier 1, which are energy retailers with over 10% market share but don’t carry the same historic name-recognition as The Big Three; and Tier 2, who are smaller energy retailers making up the rest of the energy market in Australia.

Deciding whether you want one of The Big Three, Tier 1, or Tier 2 as your energy provider is simply a personal choice. While you might get the best discounts available with one of the largest retailers, you might not get the same personalized customer service experience as choosing a smaller, less well known retailer.

If you have solar PV installed on your roof, or want to ensure you’re doing your part for the environment, many of the Tier 2 retailers have a green and renewable energy approach, including high solar feed-in-tariffs or community-based initiatives.

What Are the 'Big Three' Energy Suppliers?

The Big Three energy retailers are AGL, Origin Energy, and EnergyAustralia. These are the largest and most historic energy providers in the NEM and make up the largest collective market share. Many customers opt to choose one of the Big Three when choosing an energy retailer, for many reasons such as:

  • Household name recognition: The Big Three have some of the biggest household name recognition in the country, making it easy to choose when deciding on an energy provider
  • Security: Customers know that due to their big market share, their energy provider probably won't go under when choosing one of the Big Three as their retailer
  • Competitive and flexible plans: With their large market share, customers have more flexibility when choosing a plan when it comes to The Big Three and will often get bigger discounts
AGL in Australia

AGL is one of the historic energy providers in Australia, offering electricity and gas plans to customers in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, and South Australia as well as gas-only plans in Western Australia. With AGL, customers can choose between two plans: AGL Essentials or AGL Essentials Savers, depending on if you want fixed or variable electricity rates.

Origin Energy in Australia

Origin Energy is another one of the Big Three, historic, energy providers in Australia. Origin Energy has three electricity and gas plans available to residents of New South Wales, ACT, Victoria, Queensland, and South Australia, and gas-only available to Western Australian residents.

Origin Energy has three available plans for electricity and gas: Origin Basic, Origin Flexi, and Origin Max Saver which gives the biggest discount off the reference price but is only available online. In addition to electricity and natural gas, Origin Energy also offers LPG bottled gas in sizes starting at 3.7kg up to 210kg.

EnergyAustralia

EnergyAustralia is one of the biggest energy providers in Australia, with millions of customers across the NEM. EnergyAustralia has three electricity and gas plans available to customers in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, and South Australia: Basic Home, which gives customers the same rates as the DMO; No Frills which offers simple, low rates; and Total Plan, which guarantees a total-bill discount.

What Are Tier 1 Energy Suppliers?

In addition to The Big Three, other large retailers holding more than 10% of the energy market share in Australia individually, make up Tier 1 energy providers. These include:

These providers don’t have quite the same name recognition as The Big Three but can still offer competitive energy rates and multiple plans with high discounts.

 

What Are Tier 2 Energy Suppliers?

The remainder of the energy providers in Australia make up the Tier 2 retailers list. These smaller, and generally less well known, often do away with confusing and conditional discounts in favour of low rates.

Some of the Tier 2 retailers, such as Energy Locals and Powerclub, offer wholesale pricing for a monthly or yearly membership fee, giving you the best rates possible for your energy. Others, such as Diamond Energy or Powershop offer the best options for green energy-minded people with high solar feed-in-tariffs or 100% green energy offset.

Meanwhile, those interested in giving back to the community through different renewable initiatives might find providers such as Enova Energy or DC Power Co as the best choice for them.

Energy Prices: The Reference Price 

When comparing energy providers, you’ll often see “X% off the reference price” in their plan details.

This is how much of a discount you’ll receive on this energy plan, when compared to the government-set Default Market Offer (DMO) or Victorian Default Offer (VDO), better known as the reference price. The reference price is often used as a cap to energy prices in Australia, and energy providers are legally obligated to tell you how much less (or more, in some cases) their plan is when compared to the reference price.

Default Market Offer*
Distribution NetworkAnnual estimated usageDMO on a Flat-Rate tariff
Ausgrid3,900kWh / year$1,462 / year
Endeavour4,900kWh / year$1,711 / year
Essential4,600kWh / year$1,960 / year
Energex4,6000kWh / year$1,508 / year
SA Power Networks4,000kWh / year$1,832 / year

*Source: AER - Default Market Offer - Price determination 2020-21 Final Determination

Victorian Default Offer*
Distribution NetworkVDO on a Flat-Rate tariff*
AusNet Services$1,646 / year
Citipower$1,420 / year
Jemena$1,496 / year
Powercor$1,517 / year
United Energy$1,508 / year

*Source: Victorian Essential Services Commission, January 2020. Prices based on average annual usage of 4,000kWh/year

Energy Discounts in Australia

Energy discounts fall into a few different categories:

 Low rates: This simply means that the base rate for your daily supply charge and price per kWh of usage are low. Many Tier 2 providers offer low rates, often at fixed prices for 12 months.

 Conditional discounts: These are discounts you receive that have a condition attached. More often than not, these conditions include pay on time discounts, or direct debit discounts. Tier 1 and The Big Three retailers often offer these discounts to customers and can be a good deal if you know you can meet them consistently.

 Unconditional discounts: Instead of low, fixed rates, you simply get a percentage discount off your total energy bill.

 Other offers: These can be in addition to, or instead of, the above discounts. Other offers that an energy retailer might include in your plan can be points for certain membership programmes, e-gift cards, or a credit off your energy bill every 6 or 12 months.

It can be a good idea to calculate how much energy your household consumes before deciding on a low rate or percentage discount plan. Customers with lower energy consumption might be best off choosing a plan with low, fixed rates, while households with higher energy consumption might get a better deal choosing a percentage discount.

How to Switch Energy Providers in Australia

Switching energy retailers is easy to do now, thanks to government regulation.

Most energy providers now offer plans with no exit fees so you don’t need to worry about terminating a plan early and getting slapped with a big fee on your final bill. The first step to switch your energy provider is to compare providers and plans. Once you find a plan or provider that you think suits your household and lifestyle you'll need to sign up, which can usually be done online.

In order to sign up for a new energy provider, you'll probably need a valid form of identification and consent to a credit check for eligibility. Most of the time, when you switch energy providers, your new provider will do all the difficult work for you.

Simply choose your new provider, and they’ll contact your previous provider and make the switch. In Australia, you have the right to a 10 business day “cooling off period”. After signing or receiving an agreement with your new provider, you have 10 business days where you can cancel at any time without penalty and continue to have your energy provided to you by your old retailer.

Once you’ve switched to a new energy provider, your old one will continue to supply you energy until your next meter reading (usually every 3 months unless you request a special meter reading or have a smart meter). Once you have your meter read, your old provider will send you a final bill and you’ll be transferred to your new provider for good.

Paying Your Energy Bill

Energy bills, while traditionally posted through the mail, are more and more commonly being sent by email (also known as e-billing).

While you can still opt for paper bills, these will often come with a fee of up to $3 or more per bill.

Energy bills, though different for each provider, usually have the same information on them including:

  • Personal details, National Meter Identification, and date of bill
  • Amount owed, any credits you might have, and bill due date
  • Billing period
  • The meter reading used for your bill, in kWh and MJ for electricity and gas respectively. If your bill was based on an estimate, it will be marked as such
  • The rates for your energy plan
  • Other charges such as GreenPower
  • Other rebates such as solar feed-in-tariffs or concessions

Most energy providers offer different ways to pay your energy bill, including direct debit, online, over the phone, by mail, or BPay. If you’re experiencing financial hardship and don’t believe you will be able to pay your bill, it is best to get in contact with your energy retailer as soon as possible to work out a payment plan or find out what concessions or rebates might be available to you.

Renewable Energy in Australia

Renewable energy is becoming increasingly popular at every level of the Australian energy market. More and more renewable energy generation methods are being built and developed, while more energy retailers are choosing to go 100% green or 100% carbon offset on their energy plans.

This doesn’t even include the fact that 21% of all households in Australia now have solar PV systems installed on their houses, according to the Australian Renewable Energy Association.

In 2019, Australia met its renewable energy target of 23.5% as reported by the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources. This number is expected to grow in the coming years.

As renewable energy technology becomes increasingly less expensive and more small households and businesses are able to install small-scale renewable generators (such as solar panel systems), the way energy is produced and consumed in Australia will definitely change in the near future.

 

 

 

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