What is the average electricity bill?

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When a big power bill comes through, it’s natural to question it. Did I really use that much electricity last month? Could there be a mistake with the meter reading? Realistically, the bill you have is accurate, but sometimes it’s good to compare your costs to other households – not only for peace of mind, but also to check how other plans compare. You could be missing out on a better deal!

To help you understand how your energy costs compare, we’ve pulled together this guide to average electricity bills in Australia. We show average energy bills across the states, by customer aged and by household size, before revealing the cheapest plans on our database so you can see whether or not you’re getting a good deal on price.

If you want to get ahead of the game and compare plans in your area, jump straight into our electricity comparison tool.

Average Electricity Bills in Australia

The following average electricity bills are taken from our customer satisfaction ratings research published in 2018. The costs reported include households of all sizes and should only be considered as a general guide.

State Average Annual Electricity Bill
New South Wales $1,667.20
Victoria $1,671.32
Queensland $1,686.88
South Australia $1,974.96

Source: Canstar Blue electricity customer satisfaction survey, January 2018.

As you can see, households in South Australia report the highest energy bills, with those in New South Wales reporting the lowest annual average. Consider how your energy costs compare to the average in your state.

Average Electricity Bills in NSW

Old Power Lines Crossing

Across New South Wales, we found the average annual electricity bill to be just over $1,667. However, we found that bill-payers aged in their 40s reported the highest average bills in NSW at $1,911.76. Those aged 70 or over reported the lowest average bills at $1,466.40.

Average Electricity Bills in Victoria

In Victoria, the average annual electricity bill was found to be just over $1,671. However, bill-payers aged in their 30s reported the highest average bills in the Melbourne area at $2,029.68. Bill-payers aged 70 or over reported the lowest average electricity bills at $1,315.00.

Average Electricity Bills in QLD

While the average annual electricity bill in Queensland was found to be a little under $1,687, we found that bill-payers aged in their 30s reported the highest average bills at $1,988.12. The lowest average bills in QLD were reported by bill-payers aged in their 60s at $1,335.28.

Average Electricity Bills in SA

We found the average annual electricity bill in the Adelaide area to be around $1,975. However, bill-payers aged 18-29 reported the highest average bills at a whopping $2,599. Bill-payers aged in their 60s reported the lowest average in South Australia at $1,732.36

Average Electricity Bills by Household Size

As the above costs are based on households of all shapes and sizes, let’s dive further into the data to see how average bills look based on household size. If you live alone or with just one other person, you’ll naturally use less electricity than a large family with three teenagers who all play computer games around the clock. The following table shows average electricity bills by household size across Australia.

Number of residents Average Annual Electricity Bill
1 $1,426.08
2 $1,722.96
3 $1,993.84
4 $2,028.72
5 $2,576.28
6+ $2,634.36

Source: Canstar Blue electricity customer satisfaction survey, January 2018.

This table follows an intuitive path, with average energy bills increasing with the number of residents. However, it’s important to remember that numerous other factors play a part in determining your energy costs. It’s not only about the number of people you live with.

What impacts average energy bills?

Average energy bills are just that – an average reflection of what households pay to keep the lights on. However, there are two main factors that determine the average costs mentioned above:

  • Electricity Usage: Small households of 2 or 3 people will typically use less energy than a larger household of 4 or 5 people. But the amount of energy consumed by a property is also dependent on other factors, such as the energy-efficiency of appliances, how often certain appliances are used (e.g. air conditioners and clothes dryers) and whether the property has a swimming pool.
  • Electricity Prices: The other major factor in determining energy costs is the price you pay for power. If you’re getting a good deal on electricity, you’ll naturally have lower bills than an equivalent household getting a bad energy deal.

If you’re keen to cut your electricity costs, the good news is that you have the power to act on the factors mentioned above – by either reducing your energy usage, or finding a better energy deal. Or both!

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How else can I tell if my energy bills are average?

If you’re looking for further evidence that your electricity bills are typical of other households like yours, your latest energy bill may be able to help. Most electricity providers publish helpful information in your bill statements, such as the actual amount of power used, what it costs, how your usage has changed over time, and how your usage compares to other customers in your area. The following image is taken from an Origin Energy bill, showing the customer’s electricity usage compared to that of other households.

origin energy example bill

Could I get a better-than-average energy deal?

Having an average energy bill may be reassuring if you thought your bills are not accurate, or that you’re generally paying way too much. But being average is certainly nothing to aspire to when it comes to electricity. In fact, having an average bill – by definition – means you’re paying more than you need to.

Therefore consider the table below which shows annual costs for the cheapest electricity plans on our database, based on a typical two-person household at a selected postcode in each state.

State Cheapest Electricity Bill
New South Wales $1,571.91
Victoria $1,317.38
Queensland $1,369.27
South Australia $2,203.09

Source: Canstar Blue electricity comparison database, January 2018. Costs based on single rate tariffs in each state.

How do your annual electricity costs compare? If you pay more than the costs above, you are paying too much. Keep in mind that costs can vary significantly between suburbs and household sizes, but this provides a helpful guide as to what you could be paying.

Still want to be average?

The fact that you’ve found this page on our website suggests you’re not happy with the price you’re paying for energy. But the good news is that – unless you are already on the best deal in your area – there are potentially big savings to be had by shopping around. To get a better-than-average power deal, you will need to be proactive. This means regularly comparing your options and being willing to switch to a better deal if it comes up. Don’t put up with an average electricity bill, search for a better one.

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