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Canstar Blue research finalised in November 2014, published in January 2015.
The state of the Queensland electricity market
While no one is thrilled at the prospect of paying their electricity bill, we can all agree that we – as Queenslanders – would be lost without power. How would we watch State of Origin (short of all of us squeezing into Lang Park), or stay cool during sweltering summer nights without air conditioning?
It’s even more important to get a good deal on your power bill now that the Queensland electricity industry is planned be deregulated as early as July, 2015 under the current government’s legislation. What that means for consumers is that the electricity companies will set their own prices, and will need to stay competitive as increased competition in the market (supposedly) drives prices down.
The state government will initiate ‘market monitoring’ to ensure electricity companies won’t initiate price hikes or hound consumers experiencing financial difficulty for overdue bills.
While increased competition could mean cheaper bills, but a lot of different factors can drastically affect the final amount you owe. We’ve listed them below.
- Wholesale Costs. How much it costs Queensland’s electricity distributors Energex and Ergon Energy to buy and produce electricity.
- Retail Costs. What it costs the utilities company to run their business, call centre, etc.
- Network Costs. How much it costs to build (and maintain) power lines and distribution networks. Essentially, the cost to move the electricity from the source to your TV at home.
- Green / Carbon Offset Costs. Utilities companies have green initiatives in place to offset their carbon emissions (in response to Government programs). The cost of these initiatives is (in part) passed on to consumers.
There are plenty of things you can’t control when it comes to your power bill. What you can control, is who you align yourself with.
Queensland electricity providers compared
So, is it time you compared providers? We annually check out how some of the big brands stack up in terms of customer satisfaction. We surveyed Queenslanders at the end of last year to see what they thought of their provider, and it turns out that Energy Australia was the top contender for 2014.
This utilities provider edged out Click Energy, Ergon Energy, AGL, and Origin for our Most Satisfied Customers Award –Electricity Providers, QLD. Let’s take a closer look at all the rated providers, and see how they measure up in key areas.
Our award winner achieved top ratings for its uninterrupted supply of power to homes, availability of payment plan options, customer service (be it on the telephone, over email, etc.), and overall customer satisfaction.
This brand was close behind our award winner with several top ratings in this category: five stars for customer service, five for billing, and five for information / advice about using electricity efficiently.
Click Energy finished with five stars for an uninterrupted power supply to Queensland homes, as well as for customer service.
The well-known utilities heavyweight finished with five stars for its availability of payment plans.
Origin Energy did quite well in this survey too, receiving four star ratings for its supply of power, customer service, billing, and energy efficiency advice.
How we rated electricity providers in Queensland
Canstar Blue commissions Colmar Brunton to regularly survey 3,000 Australian consumers across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have an electricity account and have paid the bills in the last two years – in this case, 963 Queenslanders.
Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then alphabetically. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.