Electricity and Gas in New South Wales
New South Wales, one of the states within the National Electricity Market, offers residents the ability to choose from a number of energy providers. Understanding the energy market in NSW, and knowing what you can do to make the smartest energy choices for your household, can help you save money and reduce your energy consumption.
History of the energy market in NSW
New South Wales is part of the National Electricity Market, which consists of various actors and players and infrastructure that go into the generation, retail, and distribution of energy within the state and most of the country. The NEM first began in 1998 and consists of not only New South Wales, but also Queensland, South Australia, Victoria, the ACT, and Tasmania.
Full retail contestability was introduced to New South Wales in 2002, allowing residents to take control of their energy and switch to a provider or plan that best suited them. Since then over 24 energy retailers have made their way into the NSW energy market, giving customers ample choice to switch to the cheapest and best provider.
Default market offer (DMO) in NSW
While shopping around and comparing energy plans, you’ve probably noticed the “reference price” mentioned. The reference price, or Default Market Offer (DMO) is a price set by the government to protect and inform consumers. The DMO has two main functions:
- To protect consumers from exponential energy prices if they choose not to engage with the energy market and instead remain on the Standing Offer. While the Standing Offer doesn’t necessarily offer the cheapest energy rates on the market it does prevent energy providers from charging you more if you don’t qualify for, or choose not to subscribe to, a discounted Market Offer.
- To inform consumers about energy plan prices and how much less (or in some instances more) expensive an energy retailers market offer is, compared to the standard offer. This is often shown as “X% off the Reference Price” in the details about an energy providers electricity plan.
Average energy usage in NSW
Residents of New South Wales pay among the highest energy prices within the NEM, only behind South Australia for most expensive electricity bills. The average NSW household pays around $1,600 annually on electricity alone, while those households with pools can end up paying even more.
Thankfully, with a few energy-saving measures, you can lower your energy bills and turn your home into an energy-efficient powerhouse. A few simple energy-saving measures can include:
- Unplugging appliances when they’re not in use, to prevent them from zapping extra energy from your house
- Switching to energy-efficient appliances with a high star-energy rating
- Installing insulated curtains over your windows
- Replace old single-pane windows with double or triple glazed windows
Energy rebates and concessions in NSW
To help with the increasing costs of energy, the NSW government also has a number of rebates and concessions for residents in the state. If you’re having trouble paying your energy bills, or facing financial difficulties, it’s best to first get in touch with your energy provider to find out what all your options are, which can also include payment plans or postponing a payment.
- Family Energy Rebate NSW: Up to $180 per year
- Gas Rebate NSW: Up to $110 per year
- Low Income Household Rebate NSW: Up to $285 per year
- Seniors Energy Rebate NSW: Up to $200/year
- Pension Supplement NSW
- Energy Accounts Payment Assistance Scheme (EAPA) NSW
- Life Support Rebate NSW
Energy providers in New South Wales
Residents of New South Wales can switch their energy provider whenever they want, and have some of the highest number of energy providers in the country. Below, we outline some of the energy providers available, as well as the fuel type they offer to NSW residents.
|Provider name||Fuel type available|
|DC Power Co||Electricity|
With full retail contestability within the state, customers can easily switch providers as they want. Switching is simple, all you need to do is get in contact with your new provider and sign up for the plan you want and they’ll let your old provider know about the switch. Once you have your final meter reading from your previous retailer, you’ll get your final bill and officially be switched to your new plan.
Energy distributors in NSW
Residents of NSW have three electricity and three gas distributors who supply energy to the state. Knowing which distributor services your area is important, as they are the ones you contact if your electricity goes out or you smell gas. In addition, they maintain the electricity grid and gas lines, and they will usually post on their website about any known outages or scheduled maintenance.
|Service District||Emergency Number||General Number|
|Endeavour Energy||Southern & western metropolitan Sydney||131 003||131 718|
|Essential Energy||Country & regional NSW & some ACT||132 080||132 391|
|Ausgrid||Inner, northern & eastern metropolitan Sydney and surrounds||131 388||131 535|
|Service District||Emergency Number||General Number|
|Central Ranges Pipeline||Tamworth||1800 676 300
|(02) 6761 5522|
|Jemena Gas Networks (NSW)||Sydney, Newcastle, Central Coast, Wollongong and parts of country NSW||131 909||1300 137 078|
|Wagga Wagga Gas Distribution Network (Australia Gas Networks)||Wagga Wagga||Gas leak:1800 GAS LEAK
Fault1800 898 220
|1300 001 001|