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Electricity and Gas in South Australia

South Australia is one of the deregulated energy states within Australia, allowing residents to switch and compare energy plans and regain control over the ever-increasing cost of energy in the state. To help you find the best plan and provider, and understand the state of the market within SA, continue reading below and learn more about electricity and gas in South Australia.

History of the energy market in SA

South Australia is part of the National Electricity Market (NEM), which consists of all the various actors, infrastructure, and regulating bodies involved in energy generation, retail, and distribution. The NEM first began in 1998 and consists of not only South Australia, but also New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, the ACT, and Tasmania.

South Australia introduced full retail contestability in December 2012, allowing those who live there to choose and switch between energy providers.

Default Market Offer (DMO) in South Australia

In South Australia, the Default Market Offer for residents connected to the SA Power network on a single rate tariff is $1,832 as of July 2020

When comparing energy plans and providers, you’ve probably seen the “reference price” or “Default Market Offer” mentioned. The DMO is the electricity tariff set by the Australian government, used to cap energy prices and help consumers compare energy plans. While the DMO was first introduced to help those paying the historic Standing Offer (no longer valid as of July 2019), it is not always the cheapest offer available.

The Default Market Offer helps energy consumers in two ways:

 To protect consumers from exponential energy prices if they choose not to engage with the energy market and instead remain on the DMO. While the DMO 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 bills in SA

South Australians report the highest average annual electricity bills within the National Electricity Market, though New South Wales isn’t too far behind. The average electricity bill in South Australia can cost households over $1,700 annually, even more for households with pools.

Even per kWh, South Australian energy rates are about 10c more than those in New South Wales with the average electricity rates for South Australia at about 36c/kWh. These numbers can seem big, but implementing energy-saving measures can keep you below average and lower your energy bills.

  • Lower your energy consumption!
  • Unplug appliances and devices when they aren’t in use, to avoid energy vampires zapping energy from your home
  • Upgrade old appliances with star-rated energy efficient options that might cost more upfront but will save energy and money down the line
  • Replace your old single-pane windows with more energy efficient double or triple pane windows
  • Install insulated curtains and door stoppers to keep the heat and sun out during the summer, and inside during the winter

Energy rebates and concessions in SA

To help residents with the rising cost of electricity in the state, the South Australian government offers a few energy concessions and rebates to assist households. However, if you’re having difficulty paying your energy bills, it’s best that you first call your energy provider to discuss all your options.

  • Energy Bill Concessions SA: Up to $226.67 per year
  • Medical Heating and Cooling Concession SA: Up to $226.67 per year
  • Cost of Living Concession SA: Between $105.40 and $210.70
  • Energy Concession Discount Offer through Origin (South Australia): 20% off their electricity bill and 11% off their gas bill

Energy providers in SA

Thanks to South Australia’s deregulation of the energy market, and implementation of full retail contestability, residents of the state have many choices in energy providers and the ability to switch energy providers and find the best plan for their household. Here, we list some of the providers available in the state, as well as the fuel types they offer.

Energy Providers in South Australia
Provider name Fuel type available
AGL Electricity
Alinta Energy Electricity
Amaysim Energy Electricity
Amber Electric Electricity
Click Energy Electricity
Diamond Energy Electricity
Dodo Electricity
EnergyAustralia Electricity
Energy Locals Electricity
Lumo Energy Electricity
Momentum Energy Electricity
Origin Energy Electricity
OVO Energy Electricity
Powerclub Electricity
Powershop Electricity
ReAmped Energy Electricity
Red Energy Electricity
Simply Energy Electricity

If you’re paying too much for your energy bills and want to switch, you can do so easily and for free in South Australia. Simply sign up to the new plan or provider you want, and they’ll get in touch with your old provider and let them know you’ve switched. After your final meter read and final bill, you’ll start getting charged your new provider’s energy rates.

Energy distributors in SA

Despite its size, South Australian residents have their electricity and gas supplied to them by one electricity distributor and one gas distributor. While you pay your energy provider for the electricity or gas you use, it’s the energy distributor that actually supplies your house. In cases of outage, electric or gas emergency, or any other disruption to the supply, it’s your energy distributor who is responsible for maintaining and repairing the gas and power lines. For any emergency or disruption, you’ll need to contact your energy distributor to get it fixed.

  Service District Emergency Number General Number
SA Power Networks (electricity) All of South Australia 131 366 131 261
Australia Gas Networks (SA)(gas) All of South Australia Gas leak:1800 GAS LEAK
Fault1800 898 220
1300 001 001
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