2015 – Small Business Electricity Providers
Starting or running a small business? Make sure you’re getting your value for money in the electricity market with Canstar Blue.
Canstar Blue research finalised in July 2015, published in August 2015.
See our Ratings Methodology.
AGL powers through to win second award for small business electricity providers
To help small business owners find the right electricity provider for their business, Canstar Blue has produced customer satisfaction ratings based on the feedback from our survey respondents. And we are pleased announce that for the second year running, AGL was rated 5 stars in Overall Customer Satisfaction, receiving Canstar Blues award for Small Business Electricity Providers in 2015, beating four other major providers.
AGL is one of Australia’s oldest energy companies. It services over 3.7 million homes and businesses across Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. This year it achieved a near-perfect set of customer satisfaction results from small businesses, only falling short in regards to value for money.
Energy Australia provides electricity to 2.5 Million households and businesses across Queensland, Victoria, South Australia, Australian Capital Territory and New South Wales. Its four-star rating for overall satisfaction represents an improvement on our 2014 results.
Origin Energy is a large provider with 4.3 million accounts across New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory. Its four-star rating for overall satisfaction is also an improvement on last year’s outcome.
Synergy provides electricity to more than 1 million homes and businesses in Western Australia. Its three-star rating for overall satisfaction is the same as it achieved in 2014.
Ergon Energy provides electricity to 720,000 homes and businesses in Queensland. It did not feature in our findings last year.
What do Australian businesses want from an electricity provider?
Running a business is no easy task and keeping costs in check is one of the biggest challenges, especially when you don’t pay a set amount each time. One such expenditure is electricity and our most recent survey found 68% of business owners consider the cost of electricity to be a major concern to their operation.
As a result, 46% of business owners compare quotes from electricity providers on an annual basis to ensure they are getting the best deal they can. And 20% have gone one step further by switching providers.
It stands to reason that value for money is a significant driver of customer satisfaction for small business customers. After all, the bottom line is one of the most important aspects to a business – particularly when it comes to small business. But our findings show business owners expect much more than that, with billing clarity and good customer service also hugely important.
Drivers of satisfaction for small business owners
- Value for money: 27%
- Billing clarity & accuracy: 26%
- Customer service: 21%
- Availability of payment plan options: 12%
- Energy efficiency advice: 11%
How much are Australian businesses spending on electricity?
Our survey results show that the average quarterly business expenditure on electricity is $1,056. New South Wales businesses are paying the least, with an average quarterly bill of $927, while those in Western Australia report the highest average costs at $1,663.
How are Australian businesses trying to save on electricity?
Australian businesses are trying to keep their electricity usage to a minimum – 86% of survey respondents claim they have tried to use less electricity to save on their bills, while 57% have even considered solar power as an option to help reduce their costs over the long term. Given their average costs, it’s unsurprising that Western Australian business owners are most concerned about their electricity usage, with 94% trying to cut back to save. They are also the most intrigued by solar options.
Frequently asked questions
Canstar Blue commissioned Colmar Brunton to survey 801 small business owners and decision makers (i.e. the main decision maker for a small business) across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction with products and services related to their business. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who currently have an account with an electricity provider and have used it for work purposes – in this case, 515 small business owners/main decision makers.
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. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. 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.