Comparing Electricity and Gas in Australia: Which Energy Plans are Best for Me?
With over 30 electricity suppliers and 16 gas suppliers in the Australian energy market it can be hard to make a decision on choosing a supplier, and you might not always get the plan best suited to your lifestyle. Do you want the cheapest electricity plan or the most simple natural gas plan, where you set and forget? What about the greenest provider? This guide will give you the information you need to make an informed decision about the electricity or gas plan best for you.
Comparison of cheapest electricity and gas plans
When comparing gas and electricity plans for the cheapest option, it’s important to remember your individual postcode may affect discounts and savings available. All savings listed below are compared against the reference price in percent off. Some of these discounts and savings may come with conditions such as paying on time, or by direct debit, and what might be cheapest in one state may not be the cheapest in another.
Cheapest electricity plans and providers in Australia
All electricity providers in the deregulated electricity regions of Australia are required to state how much of a percentage off the Default Market Offer (within the National Electricity Market), or Victorian Default Offer, their plan is. The DMO and VDO are the reference price, and may differ both within and across states. This is why two customers in the same state, with different postal codes, may have drastically different reference prices. Selectra’s Cheapest Electricity guide compares electricity plans by state and territory for a more accurate comparison.
|Plan||Percent off the Reference price||Additional benefits||Notes|
|Origin Max Saver||6 - 16% off||Additional percentage off when signing up online||12 month benefit period
No lock-in contract or exit fees
|Powershop||Same as reference price||While Powershop’s plan is the same as the reference price, proactive customers who purchase Powerpacks can save between 6% - 15% or more|
|Powerclub||10 - 17%||Powerclub offers wholesale electricity pricing to its customers||$39 annual membership fee and $40 per 100kWh average annual use required as a deposit|
Comparison of cheapest gas plans in Australia
Not all states in Australia have the same natural gas providers, and often the cheapest gas provider in one might not be available in another. For a more detailed outline of natural gas providers per state, visit our Cheapest Energy Options guide. However, two providers stick out as having cheaper natural gas plans for multiple states: EnergyAustralia, and AGL.
EnergyAustralia offers two different discounted natural gas plans: No Frills which offers guaranteed low usage rates, and Total Plan which has a total discount percent on your entire gas bill. Which plan to choose depends on the amount of natural gas your household consumes, as No Frills is generally better for people who consume less gas, while Total Plan has steeper discounts for households who consume more natural gas. The exact discounts and usage rates depend on your postal code.
No Frills Average Price
Total Plan Average Price
(20 - 24 MJ / day)
(49 - 53 MJ / day)
(100 MJ / day)
AGL offers customers either AGL Gas Essentials or AGL Gas Essentials Plus (and for customers in Western Australia; AGL Savers). The exact terms of these plans depend on your location but could include additional benefits such as additional gas credit, pay on time discounts, or even a free month of gas.
|State||Plan Type||Benefits||Estimated Cost|
|South Australia||AGL Essentials Plus||
||$67 / month|
||$61 / month|
|NSW||AGL Essentials Plus||
||$62 / month|
|Queensland||AGL Essentials Plus||
||$53 / month|
|Western Australia||AGL Set & Forget
||$57 / quarter|
Environmentally friendly energy: greenest energy providers and highest solar feed-in-tariffs
For customers interested in green energy, there are many companies that offer green energy and environmentally conscious initiatives from 100% carbon offset energy, to high solar feed-in-tariffs (FiT), to opt-in programmes such as GreenPower. Two of the greenest providers in Australia, Diamond Energy and Powershop, offer all of the above while customers can enjoy the highest feed-in-tariffs with AGL> and Origin.
Australia's greenest energy providers
Australia’s greenest energy providers, Diamond Energy and Powershop not only give back in terms of carbon offset programmes through GreenPower and other renewable initiatives, but both have strong community programmes to further the green energy movement in Australia.
Powershop, Australia’s #1 greenest energy provider, offers 100% carbon neutral electricity at no extra cost, in addition to its GreenPower opt-in programme which allows customers to purchase GreenPower Powerpacks. Powershop also offers Your Community Energy Powerpack which, for an additional 6.6c/kWh, gives back to different renewable projects across Australia. Currently, Powershop is donating Your Community Energy Powerpack funding to support the Great Barrier Reef, an initiative that will continue until June 2020.
Diamond Energy supports renewable resources through their Solar to Communities programme. With this programme, Diamond Energy has brought solar power to communities across Australia, including no-cost solar power systems to elderly people’s homes, and are continuing to bring solar to those who might not be able to access it otherwise including tenants, low-income earners, and retirement communities. In addition, Diamond Energy offers tailored support to its solar customers, in order for customers to maximize their solar energy savings.
Best feed-in-tariffs in Australia
For customers with larger solar systems, or for customers who aren’t home frequently, higher feed-in-tariffs can be an attractive way to supplement energy bills. It’s always important to look at more than just feed-in-tariff as providers may have higher daily charges or supply rates when offering high feed-in-tariffs. For customers with larger solar systems, these higher charges might be worth it and off-set by the plan’s feed-in-tariff.
Both AGL and Origin Energy offer higher than average solar feed-in-tariffs to customers with large solar systems. While Origin feed-in-tariffs might be higher than AGL it is important to note that AGL’s plans usually have a discount off the reference price while Origin Energy, outside of South Australia and the ACT, have no discount off the reference price. Exact discounts and FiT depend on your exact location and postal code.
|AGL||14.2c / kWh||12c / kWh||10.2c / kWh||N / A||8.6c / kWh|
|Origin||18c / kWh||15c / kWh||21c / kWh||15c / kWh||15c / kWh|
In addition, Diamond Energy offers an above-average FiT to its customers at 12c/kWh, but offer the additional option of Diamond Energy Grid100. During certain times of the year, when demand on the electricity grid is high, Diamond Energy will purchase available solar power in customers batteries for 100c/kwh. The only downside is not knowing when Grid100 events will occur, but for solar customers who like Diamond Energy’s renewable mindset, this programme might be an additional draw.
Australian energy providers: which provider has the best customer service?
Good customer service can often feel impossible to find. If you value customer service above all else, a few energy providers stick out as always putting the customer first.
Diamond Energy consistently rates as one of the best rated energy providers, with a 70% five star rating on both Trustpilot and Product Review. Customers often cite transparency within the company, as well as customer service making each customer experience feel personal.
Energy Locals is a relatively new electricity provider in Australia, but have already garnered positive reviews from its customer-base. What sticks out, however, is that when a customer expresses dissatisfaction with Energy Locals it is their founder responding with his personal email to attempt to rectify the situation, rather than outsource the issue to different teams or departments where customers might receive conflicting information otherwise.
Sumo Energy is another provider that consistently stands out for excellent customer service. 70% of customers on Trustpilot give Sumo five stars for their customer service, with knowledgeable staff and fair pricing.
Simplest electricity and gas plans in Australia
If you’re someone who craves simplicity, choosing a plan out of the 300+ offers available in the Australian energy market can feel almost impossible. Luckily, a few providers realize not every customer wants to wade through discounts and offers and conditions to find an electricity or gas plan.
EnergyAustralia No Frills, available for gas and electricity, still comes with lower rates than the ongoing reference price but those rates don’t change for 12 months. The pricing is easy to understand too, usage rates don’t change with the amount of energy you use. It’s just one flat usage rate for 12 months.
Origin Basic plan, available for gas and electricity, has no benefit period so you can set it and forget it. The price is set at either the Origin ongoing base rate or the reference price, and with no benefit period you never need to worry about losing discounts.
While Powershop Energy’s Powerpacks might be complicated for some, PowershopLite is their simple plan that still gives customers 100% carbon neutral energy. Customers still have access to reference price rates, but don’t need to worry about buying Powerpacks, and with direct debit you don’t have to worry about paying your bills. You can just set and forget while still contributing to Australia’s renewable energy initiatives.
Who is the best electricity and gas provider in Australia?
There is no such thing as the best energy provider, because it depends on what you are looking for and what fits your needs and lifestyle. If you’re looking for the cheapest gas or electricity plan, you can get great savings by signing up with Origin or Simply Energy, if you want to do a bit of work Powershop offers great deals with their Powerpacks. While Diamond Energy and Powershop can both claim to be the greenest providers in Australia, AGL or Origin might be a better fit for solar power system users with their higher feed-in-tariffs. Newcomer to the electricity market, Energy Locals, has some of the most hands-on customer service while Diamond Energy is one of the most highly rated electricity providers in the market. And if you are looking for a simple plan, your best bet might be one of the many “set and forget” plans, where you don’t need to worry about benefit periods or conditional discounts. Depending on where you live, and your lifestyle, the best plan is the one that fits your needs and Selectra can help find the best deal for you.