The National Electricity Market: What is the NEM?

Australian National Electricity Market

The National Electricity Market (NEM) is the Australian cross-state energy grid, which brings electricity to Queensland, New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, Victoria, Tasmania, and South Australia. Below we explain how the NEM works, who governs the NEM, and how prices are set and how energy reaches your home.

What is the NEM in Australia?

Part of Australia runs on a consolidated energy network called the National Electricity Market (NEM).

The NEM ensures energy is generated, traded and transported in a carefully balanced system that aims to supply and match real-time energy demand in the southern states and the east coast of Australia.

Australia has 2 parts to its energy market:

  1. A regulated energy market
  2. A deregulated energy market called the National Electricity Market (NEM)

Therefore, Depending on where you live, you may receive your energy from the NEM or from your state's energy market instead. In total, the NEM supplies around 80% of electricity in Australia, reaches roughly 9 million customers and manages over 40 thousand kilometres of energy lines.

Map of the NEM

Which States Are Part of the NEM?

The NEM manages energy supply in the following Australian states:

The other states, Western Australia and the Northern Territory, are areas where the energy market is still regulated by the government and you don’t have a choice (or less of one) in your energy provider.

Apart from being able to choose your own energy provider, the NEM also has a reference price known as the Default Market Offer (DMO) or the Victorian Default Offer (VDO) if you are in Victoria, which informs customers about the fair price for energy and acts as a price cap to protect customers from being charged anything higher.

While the Northern Territory and Western Australia are not connected to the NEM, however, they have adopted certain aspects of the National Electricity Market.

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How Does the National Electricity Market Work?

Electricity in the NEM is regulated by governing bodies that manage energy transactions between generators and retailers. The retailers, or energy companies, then resell the electricity to consumers like you.

The regulatory body, Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), chooses which generators will produce the electricity, and then the NEM uses an advanced system to send orders to Generators instantaneously every five minutes. This lets Generators know how much energy they need to produce and allows the NEM to respond to consumer demand in real-time.

Energy generators generate the energy which all goes into a pool to be sold at wholesale prices to energy retailers.

Once the generators have produced the energy via coal or renewable methods of generation such as solar, wind, and hydroelectricity, the energy is converted to high and low voltage for transport over power lines.

Before the energy can be transported, energy retailers bid on the energy which fluctuates in price as supply and demand change regularly. Retailers then sell the energy to consumers for a profit.

Transmission lines (the big power lines) are owned by transmission network service providers and carry the electricity across long distances and between states.

When the electricity reaches its destination, a regional distribution transformer converts the energy from high voltage to low voltage for distribution to homes and businesses for consumption. Electricity Distributor then send electricity into homes and businesses.

Actors of the National Electricity Market

The National Electricity Market has many different actors that aid in the creation, movement, and sale of electricity, both state-owned and private.

The NEM is made up of the following parties:

  1. Energy Generators
  2. Transmission Network Service Providers
  3. Electricity distributors
  4. Major energy retailers
  5. Energy Ombudsman

All of these players work together to ensure energy continually reaches your home or business without any issues.

1. Energy Generators

Australia has many energy generators within each state that contribute to electricity creation within the NEM.

The largest energy generator within the NEM is Eraring Power Station in New South Wales, which operates as a brown coal generator.

The largest renewable generator, Hydro Tasmania, operates thirty hydroelectric stations, one gas-powered station, and three wind farms.

Four companies in Australia are known as “gentailers”, which means they are a “generator” and a “retailer”. Gentailers have greater control over their prices as they produce the energy and sell it to consumers

Gentailers in Australia include:

People also generate energy themselves with solar panels.As of December 2018, over 2 million households have solar power energy to some degree. All the small scale residential energy generated and sent back to the grid its tracked and regulated in a register called the Distributed Energy Resources Register.

2. Transmission Network Service Providers

There are 2 parties that transport the energy across power lines and between states:

  • Transmission Network Service Providers (TNSP)
  • Interconnectors

TNSPs help transport the electricity at high speeds, while interconnectors link borders of different states.

Australia has five TNSPs, the longest of which is TransGrid in New South Wales and the ACT which covers 13,957 km, as well as six cross-border interconnectors.

3. Electricity Distributors

Regional Energy distributors or Distribution Network Service Providers (DNSP) physically send electricity into residential and business buildings, through lines and wires.

If you have a power outage, or for any other minor emergencies and faults in your energy you should call your DNSP

You may have thought your energy provider was the one sending energy into your home. However, Energy Distributors, or Distribution network service providers, are the ones who send energy into your home or business from the powerlines.

There are different energy distributor network zones depending on your location in Australia. These zones dictate who your energy distributor is, as well as the price of your energy, and the type of energy available to you.

Energy distributors and your energy provider work together to ensure your electricity and gas supply reaches your home. When you set up an energy service through a provider, they get in touch with the energy distributor to arrange for connections or disconnections.

It's just as important as to know who your energy distributor is as well as your energy provider. If you ever have a complaint against your energy distributor, you can contact the Energy Ombudsman in your state.

Who Is My Energy Distributor?

To find your energy distributor, you can check your last bill statement from your energy provider.

However, you can see the energy distributors by state by clicking on your state below:

Bear in mind that if you generate your own electricity or are part of the Distributed Energy Resources Register, you may still have an energy distributor, especially if you sell energy back to the grid.

LPG gas users may find that their LPG gas provider is also their distributor. For those living in rural areas or areas not covered by your energy provider they may partner with local LPG bottled gas suppliers to fulfill your new replacement orders.

Contact the OmbudsmanIf you have a conflict with your energy distributor and cannot come to a resolution, you can contact the Tasmanian Energy Ombudsman for assistance resolving your complaint.

 

4. Major Energy Retailers

Energy retailers are more commonly known as energy suppliers, energy providers, power companies, etc.

Energy retailers sell electricity and gas directly to energy consumers.

Retailers purchase energy from the NEM which is then resold to residential homes and businesses.

Australia has over 33 electricity retailers within the NEM, divided into three categories

5. Energy Ombudsman

The energy ombudsman is a free dispute resolution service that intervenes and mediates disputes between energy consumers and energy suppliers/distributors.

The energy ombudsman offers advice and mediation free of charge and is a source of impartial advice for consumers needing assistance with their energy related needs.

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Who Controls Prices in the NEM?

Pricing within the NEM has several components:

  • Generators supply and demand
  • Retailer contracts and pricing
  • The reference price

When consumer demand for electricity in the NEM increases, the NEM raises how much it will pay for generators to make more energy. This is known as the Spot price. The spot price is measured once every five minutes, and the average of that is taken every half hour. This is not, however, the price consumers pay for electricity.

Retailers are able to provide more stability in pricing than the Spot market allows because they are able to make contracts with generators that last a year or more, which control the prices retailers pay for the year. This then gets passed onto consumers, who enjoy stable energy prices.

The NEM also assists consumers by offering the the reference price which is a price that retailer must base their prices on, with the exception of LPG gas, where price is internationally benchmarked. The reference price is often called the Default Market Offer (DMO) or Victorian Default Offer (VDO) and is considered the cap price for electricity.

Electricity providers must disclose how much more or less their offer is when compared to the reference price. The DMO/VDO is also the default to which all customers on standing retailer offers were switched, in order to protect consumers from hiking electricity costs.

*Source: Victorian Essential Services Commission, January 2020. Prices based on average annual usage of 4,000kWh/year

Who Manages the NEM?

The NEM is managed by three regulatory bodies:

  • Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC)
  • Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO)
  • Australian Energy Regulator (AER)

These energy regulators assist in governing the entire electricity market in Australia and play a large role in the NEM ensuring it runs smoothly in all participating jurisdictions. In addition, in 2018, the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) amended the National Electricity Rules to allow the AEMO to establish the Distributed Energy Resources Register (DER Register). You can learn more about the DER below.

Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC)

The Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) is the body that makes the national electricity rules and rules regarding the NEM.

The AEMC consists of commissioners appointed by each state and territory as well as one national commissioner.

The Australian Energy Market Commission gets its powers from the National Electricity Law, the National Gas Law, and The National Energy Retail Law, under which it makes and amends the National Electricity Rules, National Gas Rules, and National Energy Retail Rules.

In addition to making rules, it also advises on energy policy with lawmakers in Australia.

Australian Energy Regulator (AER)

The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) enforces the rules set out by the Australian Energy Market Commission, as well as wholesale economic regulation, for both gas and electricity in Australia.

It regulates revenues received by transmission network service providers, as well as distribution network service providers, and ensures compliance is met.

When compliance with the electricity and gas laws are not met, the AER conducts investigations and enforcement proceedings.

Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO)

The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) oversees the retail market, as well as managing the NEM and Victorian Energy Network Corporation (VENCorp), and overseeing retail contestability.

The Australian Energy Market Operator is made up of six different entities:

  • National Electricity Market Management Company (NEMMCO)
  • Victorian Energy Networks Corporation (VENCorp)
  • Electricity Supply Industry Planning Council (ESIPC)
  • Retail Energy Market Company (REMCO)
  • Gas Market Company (GMC)
  • Gas Retail Market Operator

Distributed Energy Resources Register (DER)

Starting in February 2020, the AEMO began to collect data of new DER assets, within 20 days of a system’s commission or activation.

This became a combined effort between consumers, installers, network service providers (NSPs), and the AEMO.

Applications for the DER Register vary between energy distributors but, in general, this should not affect the energy consumer much more than answering a few more questions when requesting a DER system, and allowing their network service provider and the AEMO to have more information about the system.

By aggregating all the data now, future advancements in DER (such as micro-grids, community-based energy, and virtual power plants) will be easier to implement. By creating this register, DER visibility to the general public will also increase, hopefully leading to more small-scale energy in the future.

In a perfect future with the adoption of more distributed energy resource, the price of electricity could see a drop as it costs less to acquire.

The DER Register should have no impact on the consumer, aside from allowing the AEMO access to data about the consumer’s system.

Some information that might be asked of the consumer’s system includes the location of the system, the make and model, battery capacity, and device settings. All data under the DER Register is subject to privacy laws, and no identifying data will be visible.

If you have questions about the DER or find yourself in a conflict with your energy supplier, the Australian Ombudsman service can assist you free of charge. Check out our complete guide to the energy ombudsman for more information.

Energy Market by State

If you are interested in learning all about the energy market and how it works in your state, you have come to the right place. Below, you will find information such as the providers, distributors, electricity costs, rebates and more for each state.

Click on your state to find our more about energy where you live:

Energy in New South Wales

New South Wales has the greatest choice for energy providers, with over 30 retailers consumers can choose from.

This is great news for those living in the state, as people in NSW pay some of the highest energy bills within the NEM. With a little information, customers can better understand the energy market in New South Wales and thus make better and more informed decisions on their energy provider and usage to help them save money and reduce their energy consumption.

See all Energy Providers in New South Wales

Below we outline some of the energy providers in the state below, along with their best plan and the percentage discount offered.

Energy Providers in New South Wales
Type of PlanProvider + Plan NameLowest Average Annual Cost*Percentage Off the Reference Price
Green Energy ProviderPowershop
100% Carbon Neutral
$1,760 / year**3% discount off the reference price
Community-Driven InitiativesEnergy Locals
Online Member
$1,610 / yearConditional Discount:
4% pay on time discount
Biggest DiscountGloBird Energy
BOOST Residential
$1,250 / year31% discount off the reference price
Wholesale EnergyAmber Electric
Wholesale plan
$1,670 / year8% average discount off the reference price
Big ThreeOrigin
Go Variable
$1,640 / year10% discount off the reference price

*Rates based on postcode 2000 within Ausgrid distribution zone for a single-rate tariff. Rates subject to change and may vary based on distributor.
**Powershop savings depend on Powerpacks purchased and used

Bear in mind that if you are part of the Distributed Energy Resources Register, meaning you have solar panels in your home, there are many green suppliers that work with a feed-in tariff to help you sell energy back to the grid. However, you may need a smart meter to manage your energy consumption and exporting.

Energy Distributors in NSW

NSW is covered by three gas and three electricity distributors, who not only supply energy to your home but also maintain and repair the electrical grid and gas pipelines.

Call your energy distributor’s emergency number if you have a power outage, gas leek or electrical emergency.

Electricity Distributors in NSW & ACT
DistributorService DistrictEmergency NumberGeneral Number
Endeavour EnergySouthern & western metropolitan Sydney131 003131 718
Essential EnergyCountry & regional NSW & some ACT132 080132 391
AusgridInner, northern & eastern metropolitan Sydney and surrounds131 388131 535
EvoenergyACT131 093132 386
Gas Distributors in NSW & ACT
DistributorService DistrictEmergency NumberGeneral Number
Central Ranges PipelineTamworth1800 676 300
132 771
131 909
(02) 6761 5522
Jemena Gas Networks (NSW)Sydney, Newcastle, Central Coast, Wollongong and parts of country NSW131 9091300 137 078
Wagga Wagga Gas Distribution Network (Australia Gas Networks)Wagga WaggaGas leak:1800 GAS LEAK
Fault1800 898 220
1300 001 001
EvoenergyACT131 909132 386

Average Electricity Costs NSW

After South Australia, NSW has the second highest energy costs in Australia. Households spend an average of $1,627 per year for on energy for homes without a pool.

These numbers might look scary but the best way to combat these rising costs is to utilize energy-saving measures, from small tips and tricks such as unplugging appliances you aren’t using, to larger total-home renovations to increase your total energy efficiency.

Energy Rebates & Concessions in NSW

The government of New South Wales offers multiple energy rebates and concessions to eligible residents in the state. If you’re struggling with your energy bills, or have been hit with sudden economic hardship, these rebates and concessions in NSW can help make sure you stay on top of your bills and keep the lights on.

  • Family Energy Rebate: Up to $180 per year
  • Gas Rebate NSW: Up to $110 per year
  • Low Income Household Rebate: Up to $285/year
  • Senior Energy Rebate: Up to $200/year
  • Pension Supplement NSW: Combines multiple concessions including the utilities concession
  • Life Support Rebate NSW

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Energy in the Australian Capital Territory

The ACT, while part of the National Electricity Market, still regulates prices more strictly than other states. This means that not as many providers want to retail within the ACT. However, providers in the ACT still offer discounts and deals so you can take control of your energy bills and save money.

Energy Providers in ACT

As stated, there are few residential energy providers retailing within the ACT.

While ActewAGL is the historic provider and still services the majority of the state, there are six other providers to choose from.

While technically Simply Energy is one of those providers available to residents, it’s only available to those who sign up for the NextGen ACT Next Generation Energy Storage Program trial for battery energy storage and demand management.

See all Energy Providers in the ACT

Energy Providers in Australian Capital Territory
Type of PlanProvider + Plan NameLowest Average Annual Cost*Percentage Off the Reference Price
Green Energy ProviderNectr
100% Clean Energy
$2,150 / year15% discount off the reference price
Biggest DiscountOrigin
Go Variable
$1,550 / year39% discount off the reference price
Wholesale EnergyAmber Electric
Wholesale Plan
$1,970 / year22% discount off the reference price
Big ThreeEnergyAustralia
Flexi Plan
$2,050 / year19% discount off the reference price

*Rates based on postcode 2600 within Evoenergy distribution zone for a single-rate tariff. Rates subject to change and may vary based on distributor.

Energy Distributors in ACT

The ACT has two distributors; Evoenergy which supplies most of the gas and electricity to the territory, and Essential Energy which supplies some electricity to a small part of the population. As a result, if you’re ever experiencing a gas or electrical emergency such as a power outage or supply cut, you should know who your distributor is as they are the ones to maintain and repair the supply.

Electricity & Gas Distributors in ACT
DistributorService DistrictEmergency NumberGeneral Number
Evoenergy ElectricityACT131 093132 386
Evoenergy GasACT131 909132 386
Essential EnergyCountry & regional NSW & some ACT132 080132 391

Energy Rebates & Concessions in ACT

The ACT offers two energy rebates to residents who might need a little extra help with their energy bills:

  1. The Utilities Concession
  2. The Life Support Rebate

The Utilities Concession covers up to $700 annually for electricity, gas, and sewage.

The Life Support Rebate covers up to $128 annually for those who have medically necessary electronic life support equipment and have their energy sold to them through ActewAGL, Origin Energy, or EnergyAustralia.

If you’re experiencing financial hardship and having trouble with your energy bills, it’s best to first contact your energy provider and talk about all your options.

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Energy in Victoria

Victoria is within the NEM meaning you are allowed you switch energy provider.

Residents of Victoria have a number of energy providers to choose from, depending on what you’re looking for: the cheapest electricity, greenest retailer, or a simple plan you don’t need to think about.

See all Energy Providers in Victoria

Below we outline a selection of providers and plans available to residents of Victoria, as well as the lowest average annual cost and percentage discount off the Victorian Default Offer.

Energy Providers in Victoria
Type of PlanProvider + Plan NameLowest Average Annual Cost*Percentage Off the Reference Price
Green Energy ProviderPowershop
100% Carbon Neutral Energy
$1,410 / year5% discount off the reference price
Biggest DiscountTango Energy
Saver
$950 / year36% discount off the reference price
Community InitiativesEnergy Locals
Online Member
$1,210 / year24% discount off the reference price
Big ThreeOrigin
Go Variable
$1,170 / year21% discount off the reference price

*Rates based on postcode 3000 within Citipower distribution zone for a single-rate tariff. Rates subject to change and may vary based on distributor.

Energy Distributors in VIC

There are several energy distributors in Victoria, which is why it’s all the more reason to know who supplies electricity and gas to your house. In cases of emergency, such as the smell of gas or an electrical outage, it’s important to know your distributor so they can come out and fix the issue as soon as possible.

Electricity Distributors in Victoria
DistributorService DistrictEmergency NumberGeneral Number
Powercor AustraliaWestern suburbs and western Victoria132 412132 206
AusNet ServicesOuter northern and eastern suburbs and eastern Victoria131 7991300 360 795
United Energy DistributionSouthern suburbs and Mornington peninsula132 0991300 131 689
CitipowerCity and inner suburbs131 2801300 301 101
JemenaNorthern and north-western suburbs131 626
SMS service: 0427 840 744
1300 131 871
Gas Distributors in Victoria
DistributorService DistrictEmergency NumberGeneral Number
Multinet GasMelbourne’s inner and outer east, the Yarra Ranges and South Gippsland132 6911300 887 501
Ausnet ServicesAberfeldie136 7071300 360 795
Australia Gas NetworksMerrifield, Heathcote/Wandong Junction, Koo Wee Rup, MilduraGas leak:1800 GAS LEAK
Fault1800 898 220
1300 001 001

Average Electricity & Gas Costs VIC

Energy prices are on the rise across the country, and bills in Victoria reflect that.

The average household within the state spends between $1,700 and $2,100 per year on electricity, with households with pools spending more than $2,200 per year.

However, by implementing energy saving measures, such as unplugging appliances when not in use or buying insulated curtains, you can make sure to reduce your energy usage and lower your energy bill.

Energy Rebates & Concessions in VIC

With energy rates as expensive as they are, it can be difficult to keep up with you electricity and gas bills.

However, the Victorian government has a handful of concessions and rebates for residents who might be experiencing financial hardship. If you’re having trouble paying your energy bills, it’s best to first contact your energy provider and speak with them about what all your options are.

  • Annual Electricity Concession Victoria: 17.5% off of your energy providers annual electricity bill after the first $171.60
  • Life Support Rebate Victoria
  • Medical Cooling Concession: 17.5% of their electricity usage between the months of 1 November and 30 April
  • Winter Gas Concession Victoria: 17.5% off of your gas usage and service bill after the first $62.50 of the six-month winter period

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Energy in Queensland

Queensland residents are divided into two parts of the state; those in South-East Queensland where the energy market is deregulated and customers can switch energy providers, and those in rural and regional Queensland where their energy is provided to them by government-owned and regulated Ergon Energy.

Energy Providers in QLD

As stated, Queensland is divided into two distinct regions when it comes to the energy market. For those living in Brisbane and the surrounding area, full retail contestability has been implemented, allowing residents to choose their energy provider.

However, for those in regional and rural Queensland, electricity is provided and supplied through Ergon Energy.

See all Energy Providers in Queensland

Here, we outline a selection of the over 20+ energy providers retailing in South-East Queensland, along with their best plan and discount off the reference price.

Energy Providers in Queensland
Type of PlanProvider + Plan NameLowest Average Annual Cost*Percentage Off the Reference Price
Green Energy ProviderOVO Energy
The One Plan
$1,540 / year22% discount off the reference price
Biggest DiscountSumo
Assure Advantage
$1,390 / year29% discount off the reference price
Wholesale EnergyAmber Electric
Wholesale Plan
$1,890 / year4% discount off the reference price
Big ThreeEnergyAustralia
Basic Home
$1,620 / year18% discount off the reference price

*Rates based on postcode 4000 within Energex distribution zone for a single-rate tariff. Rates subject to change and may vary based on distributor.

Ergon Energy in Rural & Regional QLD

Ergon Energy is the historic energy provider in Queensland, and still the only provider and distributor available to residents living outside of South-East Queensland. Ergon Energy’s rates are set by the Queensland government, to keep rising electricity prices manageable for the residents of the area.

Since Ergon Energy isn’t only the historic energy provider, but also the supplier, meaning they are who you call for any power outage, electricity emergency, or other problems with the supply of energy to your home.

  • Ergon Energy power outage numbers
  • 13 22 96 general emergencies or outages
  • 13 60 70 if you’re experiencing any shocks or tingles from an appliance or water tap

Energy Distributors in QLD

Queensland energy customers have their energy supplied to them by two electricity distributors and two gas distributors.

As stated, those in the regional and rural areas of the state live within the Ergon Energy distribution network for electricity while those in South-East Queensland have their electricity distributed to them through Energex. For natural gas customers, Allgas Energy and Australian Gas Network QLD supply the state.

If you’re experiencing an electric or gas emergency such as the smell of gas, outage, or fallen lines, you’re going to need to call your energy supplier as they are the ones who maintain and repair the electricity grid and gas supply.

Queensland Electricity Distributors
DistributorService DistrictEmergency NumberGeneral Number
Ergon Energy (owned by Energy Queensland Limited)Country & regional QLD132 296131 046
EnergexBrisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast & surroundsFaults: 136 262
Emergencies: 131 962
131 253
Queensland Gas Distributors
DistributorService DistrictEmergency NumberGeneral Number
Allgas EnergySouth of the Brisbane River, South Coast, Toowoomba & Oakey1300 763 10607 3215 6600
Australian Gas Networks (QLD)QueenslandGas leak:1800 GAS LEAK
Fault1800 898 220
1300 001 001

Average Energy Costs QLD

Queensland residents, on average, spend less on electricity costs than other states. While the average annual electricity bill is around $1,370 for those living in the state, younger households can spend over $1,600 a year on their electricity. To combat these rising energy costs, there are many energy-saving tips and tricks you can implement to keep your bills low.

  • Small energy saving tips: Unplug appliances when not in use
  • Bigger energy saving tips: Replace old and worn out appliances with more energy efficient models
  • Biggest energy saving tips: Replace old single-pane windows with double-or-triple-glazed windows (and don’t forget your insulating curtains!)

Energy Rebates & Concessions in QLD

If you’re experiencing financial hardship, or having trouble keeping up with your energy bills, the Queensland government offers rebates and concessions for electricity and gas. While eligibility might differ between rebates and concessions, if you’re experiencing financial difficulties, it’s best to first contact your energy provider to discuss your options.

  • Life Support Rebate QLD
  • Up to $694.18 per year for each oxygen concentrator or $464.88 per year for each kidney dialysis machine
  • Electricity and Gas Rebate QLD
  • Up to $340.85 per year for electricity and $73.60 per year for gas
  • Medical Heating and Cooling QLD
  • Up to $340.85 per year
  • Home Energy Emergency Assistance Scheme QLD
  • Up to $720 once every 2 years

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Energy in South Australia

South Australia has some of the highest energy prices across the country. However, South Australia is also part of the deregulated National Electricity Market which means you are free to switch energy provider whenever you like.

Energy Providers in South Australia

There are more than 24 energy providers that sell energy in South Australia. South Australia has some of the cheapest and greenest small energy retailers, as well several well-known larger energy providers.

See all Energy Providers in South Australia

Below you we have shown a small selection of different energy providers available in the state, their annual average cost, as well as how much their plan is compared to the reference price.

Energy Providers in South Australia
Type of PlanProvider + Plan NameLowest Average Annual Cost*Percentage Off the Reference Price
Green Energy ProviderDiamond Energy$2,280 / yearConditional Discounts:
7% pay on time discount
3% direct debit discount
Community-Driven InitiativesEnergy Locals$2,080 / yearConditional Discount:
4% pay on time discount
Wholesale EnergyAmber Electric$1,900 / year17% discount off the reference price
Big ThreeOrigin Energy$1,890 / year17% discount off the reference price

*Rates based on postcode 5000 within SA Power Networks distribution zone for a single-rate tariff. Rates are subject to change and may vary based on the distributor.

Energy Distributors in South Australia

SA Power Networks distributes energy to all of South Australia as well as maintains and repairs the power lines.

Your energy retailer (provider) is who you pay for your energy contract, however, it’s the distributor who supplies energy to your home. During a power outage or a gas/electricity emergency you should always call your energy distributor.

Energy Distributors in South Australia
DistributorService DistrictEmergency NumberGeneral Number
SA Power Networks (electricity)All of South Australia131 366131 261
Australia Gas Networks (SA)(gas)All of South AustraliaGas leak:1800 GAS LEAK
Fault1800 898 220
1300 001 001

Average Electricity Costs in South Australia

South Australian’s pay some of the highest energy rates in the country, with the average annual electricity cost reaching over $1,750 per year, while households with pools shouldn’t be surprised if they pay over $2,000 per year on electricity alone.

However, by utilizing energy-saving techniques, you can reduce your electricity and gas usage to lower your energy bills.

Energy Rebates & Concessions in South Australia

The price of electricity and natural gas has been increasing exponentially in recent years and it can be hard to keep up with your energy bills as a result. Thankfully, the government of South Australia offers multiple energy rebates and concessions to help struggling households.

Rebates and concessions in South Australia include:

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

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Energy in Tasmania

Tasmania is one of the newest states to join the National Electricity Market and while technically deregulated with full contestability, there are only two electricity providers in the state who offer nearly identical rates, and one natural gas provider.

Energy Providers in TAS

Despite full contestability within the state, Tasmania only has three providers for electricity and gas who all offer similar rates and services.

Energy Distributors in TAS

Tasmania only has one electricity and one gas distributor for the island. TasNetworks distributes electricity through the region, while Tas Gas Networks distributes the gas. You can find the phone numbers for both here, in case of a power outage or emergency.

Tasmania's Energy Distributors
DistributorService DistrictEmergency NumberGeneral Number
TasNetworksTasmania132 0041300 137 008
Tas Gas NetworksTasmania1802 1111800 770 018

Energy Rebates & Concessions in TAS

Those living in Tasmania who need a little extra help with their energy bills, have four that they might be eligible for. However, if you’re having trouble paying your energy bills, it’s best to first contact your energy provider to discuss all your options.

  • Annual Electricity Concession Tasmania: Daily discount of 140.740c/day off their electricity bill
  • Heating Allowance Tasmania: Two payments of $28 in May in September
  • Life Support Concession Tasmania: Between 37.015c/day up to 196.577c/day
  • Medical Heating or Cooling Concession Tasmania: 42.155c/day

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Energy in Western Australia

Western Australia isn’t technically within the NEM, and therefore doesn’t allow most residents to choose their energy retailer. However, residents can choose their natural gas provider in more areas of the state.

Energy Providers in WA

As stated, most residents in Western Australia can’t choose their electricity provider the same way those who live inside the National Electricity Market can. Those that live in the most populated area of WA will have their energy sold to them through Synergy, while those living outside of the southwest coast to as far north as Kalbarri will have their energy provided to them by Horizon Energy.

However, while electricity is non-contestable, residents of Western Australia can choose their gas provider.

There are currently five residential gas providers for the state:

Energy Rebates & Concessions in WA

While residents in Western Australia might not be able to choose their electricity provider the same way others can within the NEM, the WA government does offer a number of concessions for those struggling with financial difficulties. If you’re experiencing financial hardship and having trouble paying your electricity and gas bills, it’s best to get in contact with your energy provider to discuss all your options.

  • Energy Assistance Payment (EAP) Western Australia
  • Energy Concession Extension Scheme Western Australia
  • Hardship Utility Grant Scheme (HUGS) Western Australia
  • Dependent Child Rebate (Electricity) Western Australia
  • Cost of Living Rebate Western Australia
  • Thermoregulatory Dysfunction Energy Subsidy Scheme Western Australia
  • Life Support Equipment Electricity Subsidy Scheme Western Australia
  • Air Conditioning Rebate (Electricity) Western Australia

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Energy in the Northern Territory

Despite full retail competition being introduced into the Northern Territory in 2010, there are very few providers in the region for a number of reasons.

Unlike the NEM, the wholesale energy market within NT is ambiguous in terms of pricing, meaning providers are less willing to enter the territory.

However, it’s still important to know about the state of the energy market in the Northern Territory, as the government is trying to further increase competition within the market and allow more providers to begin retailing in the region.

Energy Providers in NT

There are three energy providers in the region, retailing electricity to residents there. Those living in the remote regions cannot switch energy providers, while those living in urban areas only have the choice between two.

  • Jacana Energy: Government-owned and the largest provider in the territory
  • Power and Water: Electricity distributor for all of the Northern Territory and electricity retailer for remote and rural communities
  • Rimfire Energy: The newest provider and the only non-government provider

Energy Distributors in NT

There is one electricity distributor and one gas distributor for the Northern Territory. Power and Water distributes electricity to the entire region while retailing to remote communities, while natural gas is distributed by Australian Gas Networks.

Energy Rebates and Concessions in NT

The Northern Territory only offers two schemes to assist with energy bills. The NT Concession Scheme which is a means-tested scheme, and the NT Seniors Recognition Scheme which offers help to energy customers over the age of 65.

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