The Tasmania Energy Market: Tasmanian Electricity & Gas

Prior to early 2019, Tasmanians have only had the choice of one energy provider in the state; Aurora Energy. Despite full retail competition first being introduced in 2014, government price regulation has left retail competition in the Tasmanain energy market relatively scarce. Since then, only one additional energy retailer has entered the market, giving residents the chance to choose and switch providers if they wanted. But how, if at all, do these providers differ? And what other things should you know about the state of the energy market in Tasmania? Read more below, and find out everything you need to know about electricity and gas in Tasmania.

Electricity providers Tasmania: Aurora Energy and 1st Energy

Prior to 2019, only the government-owned Aurora Energy retailed electricity to the state, despite full retail contestability being introduced in 2014. 1st Energy is, so far, the only electricity company to compete with the historic provider. Below you can find out more about the energy providers and plans available in Tasmania, as well as electricity rates and plans.

Problem with your electricity provider or energy distributor?The energy ombudsman Tasmania can offer free and fair dispute resolution services for problems that might arise with your energy company.

Aurora Energy Tasmania

Aurora Energy is the historic, government-owned, energy provider in Tasmania, and was the sole electricity retailer up until early 2019. While Aurora Energy doesn’t offer plans, in the same way many energy providers do, you do have a choice in tariff to help you better manage your energy usage and costs. In addition, Aurora Energy offers all tariffs a direct debit discount. If you pay your electricity bill on time, with direct debit, you’ll get a daily discount of 5c/day. Here, you can find a breakdown of the tariffs Aurora Energy offers, to help you compare which tariff is best for you.

Aurora Energy tariff rates
  Daily supply Usage rates
Residential flat rate (Tariff 31) 95.193c / day 26.587c / kWh
Peak and Off-Peak (Tariff 93) 105.75c / day Peak: 32.137c / kWh
Off-Peak: 14.963c / kWh
Heating and hot water (Tariff 41) 17.750c / day 17.265c / kWh
Night-only controlled load (Tariff 62) 20.969c / day 13.092c / kWh
Afternoon boost controlled load (Tariff 61 - Obselete) 21.937c / day 13.9c / kWh

aurora+ energy managementaurora+ is available to customers with either a flat rate tariff or peak and off-peak tariff. For an additional 11c/day service fee, you’ll get access to the aurora+ app, which allows you to see and manage energy usage and make payments. In addition, aurora+ customers get smaller monthly bills, rather than quarterly bills.

1st Energy Tasmania

1st Energy has been retailing in Tasmania since early 2019 as the first energy provider to compete with government-owned Aurora Energy. Unlike Aurora, which offers different tariffs, but not energy plans, 1st Energy offers you the choice of plan, and of tariff.

  • 1st Saver: Get a 5% discount off your usage rates for every electricity bill paid on time
  • 1st Solar Bonus: Receive an additional 5c/kWh solar feed-in-tariff
  • 1st Plus: Receive a $50 credit after 6 months, and an additional $50 credit after 12 months
  • RACT Saver: For RACT Members only. Receive a 6% discount off your usage rates for every electricity bill paid on time
1st Energy Tasmania tariff rates
  Daily supply Usage rates
Residential flat rate (Tariff 31) 95.18c / day 26.59c / kWh
Peak and Off-Peak (Tariff 93) 105.74c / day Peak: 32.13c / kWh
Off-Peak: 14.96c / kWh
Heating and hot water (Tariff 41) 17.74c / day 17.26c / kWh
Night-only controlled load (Tariff 62) 20.97c / day 13.09c / kWh
Afternoon boost controlled load (Tariff 61) 21.93c / day 13.89c / kWh

Tasmania electricity tariffs explained

There are multiple tariffs available to residential Tasmanian properties, depending on your household and the type of meter you have. While prices are still regulated by the government, choosing the right tariff for your household can help you to save money on your electricity bills.

 Tariff 31 (Light and power): This is a single-rate tariff, meaning that you are charged the same rate for your electricity usage no matter when you use it. Tariff 31 is made up of two charges, a daily supply charge in c/day, and a usage rate charge in c/kWh.

 Tariff 41 (Heating and hot water): This is a controlled-load tariff which is attached to your heating and electric hot water boiler. This uses a different meter, so you are charged for the electricity usage of this appliance separately.

 Tariff 93 (Time-of-Use): This is a time-of-use (ToU) tariff, available to households with smart meters. With Tariff 93, you are charged different usage rates depending on when you use your electricity. During times of high demand, you will be charged more than a typical single-rate tariff, but during times of low demand to the electricity grid you will be charged less than a single-rate tariff.

Tariff 93 Peak and Off-Peak schedule
Australia Eastern Standard Time  
Peak Monday-Friday: 7am to 10am | 4pm to 9pm
Off-Peak Monday-Friday: 10am to 4pm | 9pm to 7am
All weekends
Australian Daylight Savings Time  
Peak Monday-Friday: 8am to 11am | 5pm to 10pm
Off-Peak Monday-Friday: 11am to 5pm | 10pm to 8am
All weekends

 Tariff 61 (Controlled load with afternoon boost): This is another controlled load tariff which can be applied to any appliance. It offers a controlled load rate for at least nine hours every night, plus an additional two hours during the afternoon. This tariff is no longer being supported by Aurora Energy

 Tariff 62 (Night period controlled load): This is a controlled load tariff similar to Tariff 61, but Tariff 62 is only available for nine hours every night, between 10pm and 7am.

Aurora Energy vs 1st Energy Tasmania

With how similar the tariffs and electricity rates are between Aurora Energy and 1st Energy, it can be hard to choose which energy provider to buy your electricity from. Here, you can find some additional advantages or disadvantages to each energy provider, to help you make a better and more informed decision.

Compare Aurora Energy and 1st Energy discounts

Both Aurora Energy and 1st Energy offer discounts available to their customers. How and when you receive these discounts, however, vary widely.

  • Aurora Energy: Receive a 5c / day discount when you pay on time by direct debit
  • 1st Energy: Receive a pay on time discount of 5% (6% for RACT members) or $100 bill credit over 12 months.

So which plan has a better discount? Well, it all depends on your annual usage. Below, you will find a table breaking down the discounts available through Aurora Energy and 1st Energy, to help you make a better decision based on the annual daily supply cost plus the annual usage cost based on 6,700kWh per year, with the discount subtracted to find the total annual cost.

Compare Aurora Energy and 1st Energy discounts
  Annual supply cost Annual usage costs Annual total discount applied Total annual cost
Aurora Energy $347.454 $1,781.31 $18.25 $2,116 / year
1st Energy Saver $347.407 $1,781.51 $89.07 $2,040 / year
1st Energy Plus $347.407 $1,781.51 $100 $2,029 / year

Based on a single-rate tariff (Tariff 31) with no controlled load. Estimated annual cost based on average usage of 6700kWh per year. Actual costs and rates may vary depending on your circumstances

As you can see, 1st Energy Plus offers the biggest discount. However, as the 1st Energy Saver discount depends on your usage if you use more electricity then you might be better off with the 1st Energy Saver Plan. However, if you are unsure if you can meet pay on time by direct debit discount, you might be better off choosing 1st Energy Plus.

Aurora Energy and 1st Energy fees and additional charges

There are additional fees that might be associated with your energy account. While some of these fees are charged by your distributor, meaning Aurora Energy and 1st Energy have no control over them, they might help you make the decision of which Tasmanian energy provider to choose.

Aurora Energy vs 1st Energy additional fees
  Aurora Energy 1st Energy
Move-in / New connection fee $88.53 $88.53
Disconnection fee $88.53 $88.53
Cheque dishonour fee   $15
Direct debit dishonour fee   $7.50
Late payment fee $5  

Solar feed-in-tariff Tasmania: Aurora Energy or 1st Energy?

Solar feed-in-tariffs are a rate in c/kWh, given to you for the electricity you generate through solar panels and send back to the grid. In Tasmania, the solar feed-in-tariff rate is set by the independent Tasmanian Economic Regulator each year. If you have solar, and tend to export a fair amount of electricity back into the grid, you might be better off choosing 1st Energy’s Solar Bonus plan, which offers an above-minimum solar FiT, which could save you more than opting for a discounted energy plan with the standard solar FiT.

Solar feed-in-tariff Tasmania
  Minimum solar FiT Maximum solar FiT
Aurora Energy 8.471c / kWh 8.471c / kWh
1st Energy 8.471c / kWh 13.471c / kWh

Natural gas providers Tasmania

There are two natural gas providers in Tasmania, Aurora Energy and Tas Gas. As shown below, Tas Gas offers much lower usage rates, while Aurora Energy offers a lower daily supply charge.

Natural gas rates Tasmania
  Daily supply Usage rates
Aurora Energy 55c / day 4.0203c / MJ
Tas Gas 70.4c / day 2.7c / MJ

Tasmanians have some of the highest daily natural gas consumption in the country, and depending on if you use a gas heater can more than double your average daily gas usage. Below you can find a breakdown of three daily usage points, and how much you can expect to pay annually with either Tas Gas or Aurora Energy.

Annual gas cost Tasmania
  Low average usage
(50MJ / day)
Med. average usage
(100MJ / day)
High average usage
(150MJ / day)
Aurora Energy $935 / year $1,668 / year $2,402 / year
Tas Gas $750 / year $1,243 / year $1,735 / year

Solar rebates and solar panels Tasmania

Tasmania is a renewable energy powerhouse, when compared to the rest of Australia, thanks to being home to one of the largest renewable hydro energy generators in the country, Hydro Tasmania. Over 95% of the energy generated in Tasmania comes from renewable resources. Despite this, residential solar in the state is quite low. Here, you can find more information about residential solar energy and solar panels in Tasmania.

Cost of solar panels Tasmania

According to Solar Quotes, only 15% of Tasmanian households have solar panels. However, with the cost of solar PV systems on the decline, despite the lack of solar rebates in the state, this percentage is only going to increase with time. The average price of solar panels in Tasmania is currently higher than the national average, according to Solar Choice, but this can be explained with the cost of shipping the materials to the island.

Cost of solar PV system in Tasmania
  3kW system 5kW system 7kW system
Hobart, Tasmania $4,250 $5,530 $7,150
National average $3,850 $4,940 $6,800

Solar rebate Tasmania

There are currently no solar rebates available to Tasmanian residents outside of the national Small-scale Renewable Technology Certificates (STCs). These certificates are calculated by estimating the total energy generation of your solar PV system during its lifetime, and are usually offered as a point-of-sale discount to residential solar PV customers. The bigger your system, meaning the more energy you generate, the more STCs you will receive and the bigger the total discount will be.

Tasmania solar feed-in-tariff

As stated, Tasmania’s solar feed-in-tariff is set every year by the Tasmania Economic Regulator. Currently, the minimum feed-in-tariff is set to 8.471c / kWh. However, 1st Energy has a solar energy plan, giving customers with solar PV systems an additional 5c / kWh on top of the minimum rate.

Solar feed-in-tariff Tasmania
  Minimum solar FiT Maximum solar FiT
Aurora Energy 8.471c / kWh 8.471c / kWh
1st Energy 8.471c / kWh 13.471c / kWh

Is solar power worth it in Tasmania?Deciding if solar power is worth it, is a personal choice based on your own lifestyle and energy habits. While it’s always worth it to reduce some of the pressure on the grid, and invest in renewable energy, it might not be feasible to everyone. Solar Choice breaks down the return rate on solar PV systems in Hobart, Tasmania and shows that a 5kW system, where you consume 30% of your generated energy, will pay itself back in approximately 8.7 years and give you annual savings of approximately $1,063.

Power outages and emergencies in Tasmania

If you’re experiencing a power outage, energy-related emergency, smell of gas, or fallen power lines, you’ll want to contact your energy distributor as soon as possible to come solve the issue. Your energy distributor is the one who maintains and repairs your electricity or gas supply, so knowing their phone number can be vital during an emergency. In Tasmania, there is one electricity distributor, TasNetworks, and one gas distributor, Tas Gas Networks.

TasNetworks: Electricity distributor for Tasmania

TasNetworks is the state-owned electricity distributor, and only electricity distributor, for Tasmania. If you’re experiencing any faults, emergencies, or power outages relating to your electricity, TasNetworks is the one to repair and maintain the supply. TasNetworks can be contacted for emergencies 24/7, while their general numbers are available Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.

Contact TasNetworks
  Emergencies General Customer Feedback
TasNetworks phone number 132 004 1300 137 008 1800 060 399

In addition, if you want to install solar panels to your residence, you will need approval from TasNetworks. The steps for installing solar panels are as follows:

  • Get a quote from an accredited solar installer
  • Your installer submits a connection application with TasNetworks
  • TasNetworks assesses your application and approves or denies it
  • If approved, your solar installer will begin the installation process
  • TasNetworks will install a digital import/export meter so you can receive your solar feed-in-tariff
  • Your solar PV system is switched on

Tas Gas Networks gas distributor

Gas incidents, such as a gas leak, the smell of gas, or other related emergencies are under the jurisdiction of Tas Gas Networks. If you’re experiencing a gas emergency, you can call their emergency number at any time, day or night.

Contact Tas Gas Networks
  Emergencies General
Tas Gas Networks phone number 1802 111 (24/7) or
1800 413 613
1800 750 750

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