Average Electricity Bill in Australia 2021: Cost of Electricity and Gas by State
Knowing how your energy usage and costs compares to other Australian households can help you manage your electricity and gas to lower your energy bills. Discover how your households average electricity and gas costs compare to the rest of the country, as well as ways to be below average, by reading more below.
How is my energy bill calculated? Supply charges and usage rates
Energy bills are divided into two costs: your daily supply charge, and your usage rates. If you live in a deregulated part of the country, your energy provider is the one to set these charges.
Daily supply charge: A daily amount, in c/day, that is the cost to supply energy to your home. This is a fixed amount that doesn’t change, regardless of how much energy you use. This cost may be called a fixed charge, daily supply charge, or service charge. Daily supply charges range from 80c/day to over 120c/day.
Usage rates: This is the amount you pay for the actual energy you use. For electricity this is shown as c/kWh, while for natural gas it is shown as either c/mJ or c/Unit (depending on where you live).
Usage rates and daily supply charges can be fixed or variable. If your energy plan is on a fixed rate, your usage rates and supply charges won’t change during the benefit period (usually 12 months). However, if your energy plan is variable rate, your energy provider is free to change your usage rates and supply charges when they want, with written notice to you.
Average energy consumption in Australia (2020/2021)
Each household consumes a different amount of energy per year, and how much energy you consume is based on so many different factors including location, household size, and lifestyle and energy habits. Below, you’ll find the average electricity consumption and average gas consumption in Australia by state to help you better understand if your household energy usage is average or not.
|State||Annual electricity consumption||Annual gas consumption|
Source: AER Residential Energy Consumption Benchmarks December 2020
Average electricity bill in Australia 2021
The average cost of electricity in Australia varies drastically from state to state. While residents of New South Wales enjoy some of the lowest electricity costs in the country, those living in the Australian Capital Territory, and South Australia have some of the highest electricity costs. Despite the recent trend of increasing electricity costs across the country, new reports from the AEMC show that in the next few years, electricity prices should be reducing within the National Electricity Market as the government attempts to tackle inflating energy costs.
Average electricity bill by state (2020/2021)
Below, you can find a breakdown of the average annual electricity bill for Australians state-by-state. These numbers are based on three-year trends reported by the AEMC in their Annual Electricity Price Trend Report for 2019.
|State||Average electricity bill|
|South-East Queensland||$1,334 / year|
|New South Wales||$1,292 / year|
|Australia Capital Territory||$1,967 / year|
|Tasmania||$1,673 / year|
|Victoria||$1,132 / year|
|South Australia||$1,884 / year|
|Western Australia||$1,831 / year|
Source: AEMC Annual Electricity Price Trend Report 2020. Tasmania report from the Tasmania Government Economic Regulator 2020 Report based on medium-usage customer with a total consumption of 5,781kWh per year on Tariff 31 & Tariff 41 with no concessions.
Average electricity cost per kWh
Knowing the average cost of electricity in Australia per kWh can be a help when comparing and switching electricity providers. Average electricity usage rates are highest in South Australia, while lowest in South-East Queensland and Victoria.
|State||Average electricity usage rates per kWh|
|South-East Queensland||22.3c / kWh|
|New South Wales||25.7c / kWh|
|Victoria||20.6c / kWh|
|South Australia||33.8c / kWh|
Source: Calculated average usage rates between leading electricity retailers within the NEM: AGL, Origin, EnergyAustralia, Red Energy, Alinta Energy, and Simply Energy. Updated April 2021
Average electricity daily supply charge
Your daily supply charge is how much your energy provider charges you to supply energy to your property. This is a fixed daily amount, in c/day, that is not affected by how much energy you use and applies to both electricity and gas supply. If you live in the National Electricity Market (Victoria, New South Wales, South East Queensland, and South Australia), your energy provider is free to set their own daily supply charge.
|State||Average daily supply rate|
|New South Wales||81.9c / day|
|South Australia||92.4c / day|
|Queensland||99.5c / day|
|Victoria||108.3c / day|
Supply charges based on average rates for the six biggest energy providers in Australia: Origin Energy, AGL, EnergyAustralia, Click Energy, Red Energy, and Alinta Energy. Rates vary depending on location.
Average gas prices in Australia 2021
Average gas bills in Australia vary widely, depending on a number of factors. What you use gas for (hot water, pool heating, total-home heating, and cooking for example), the size of your home, and how many people live there can all drive up your households average gas bills. As shown below, Western Australians enjoy some of the lowest gas costs per quarter, while those in South Australia and the ACT have some of the highest gas bills.
|State||Average quarterly gas costs|
|Western Australia||$108 / quarter|
|Queensland||$172 / quarter|
|New South Wales||$184 / quarter|
|South Australia||$223 / quarter|
|Victoria||$186 / quarter|
|ACT||$295 / quarter|
Source: Canstar Blue Average Gas Bill by State Feb 2021
Average gas cost per MJ in Australia
Below is the estimated average gas rates for each state within the National Electricity Market, based on the average natural gas rates (in cents per MJ) for the top six energy companies in the market. Your actual natural gas rates will vary depending on your location and provider.
|State||Average electricity usage rates per MJ|
|South-East Queensland||4.4c / MJ|
|New South Wales||2.4c / MJ|
|Victoria||2.4c / MJ|
|South Australia||3.5c / MJ|
Source: Calculated average usage rates between leading gas retailers within the NEM: AGL, Origin, EnergyAustralia, Red Energy, Alinta Energy, and Simply Energy. Updated April 2021
Average gas daily supply charge
Like electricity, your natural gas bill is divided into two charges, your daily supply charge and usage rates. Below is the average daily supply charge by state, in cents per day for a natural gas connection. Your actual daily supply charge will vary depending on location and provider.
|State||Average gas daily supply rate|
|New South Wales||59.8c / day|
|South Australia||75.9c / day|
|Queensland||75.7c / day|
|Victoria||72.8c / day|
Supply charges based on average gas rates for the six biggest energy providers in Australia: Origin Energy, AGL, EnergyAustralia, Click Energy, Red Energy, and Alinta Energy. Rates vary depending on location. Updated April 2021
Energy usage breakdown: Where is my energy going?
According to the SA Gov website, the average Australian home used almost 40% of their household’s energy consumption for heating and cooling. This includes both gas and electric heating, as well as air conditioning. In total, the average Australian household’s energy breakdown includes:
- Heating and cooling: 40%
- Water heating: 23%
- Other appliances (laundry, entertainment): 14%
- Fridges and freezers: 8%
- Lighting: 7%
- Cooking: 5%
- Standby power: 3%
Ways to reduce your energy bills
Now that you are able to compare your average electricity and gas bill compared to other residential households in Australia, you might be wondering how you can reduce your energy consumption and save money off your next energy bills. Thankfully there are a lot of ways to reduce your energy bills, from small changes you can make today, to bigger, total-home renovations that will save you more in the long run.
Unplug: Appliances such as hair dryers, fully-charged phones or computers, appliances with continuous displays, and home entertainment systems can still drain energy from your home even when you’re not using them. These “energy vampires” might only use a small amount of electricity at one time but multiple devices and appliances, over the course of a year, can cost you lots. Unplug devices and appliances you’re not using, and start saving more immediately
Adjust the temperature: Keep your thermostat at 25 or 26 degrees in the summer, and 18 to 20 in the winter, to keep your energy bills low. Every additional degree of heating or cooling can add an additional 10% of your running costs to your electricity or gas bill.
Use cold water: Changing your laundry habits to use more cold water, and less hot water, can reduce your average energy bill. Most day-to-day laundry doesn’t need hot water to get washed and clean, and if you hang-dry your clothes, rather than use an electric dryer, you’ll save even more.
Insulate: Making sure your home is properly insulated to keep the cool air inside during the summer, and outside during the winter, can reduce your energy usage. Add draft stoppers to any door and window edges, as well as insulated curtains, or even hire a technician to come and add insulation to your home.
Go energy efficient: Switching your appliances and light bulbs to energy efficient options can help reduce your average electricity bill drastically. Look for “eco” or “star-rated” appliances, and LED bulbs, to keep your home energy efficient.
Switch: Shopping around for a new energy provider is a great way to reduce your electricity and gas bills. Selectra can help you find the best energy provider, no matter what you’re looking for, so you can switch providers today and save money tomorrow.
There are tons of things you can do, from small, every-day changes to drastic total-home improvements, which can help you reduce your energy consumption, and bills, and become below average (at least where electricity and gas costs are concerned).