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 and by customer age and 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.

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Average Electricity Bills in Australia

The following average electricity bills are taken from our customer satisfaction ratings research published in 2019. The costs reported include households of all sizes and should only be considered as a general guide.

State Average Annual Electricity Bill
Victoria $1,602.32
Queensland $1,608.76
New South Wales $1,898.40
South Australia $1,898.80

Source: Canstar Blue electricity customer satisfaction survey, January 2019.

As you can see, households in South Australia report the highest energy bills, with those in New South Wales not too far behind, while those in Victoria report the lowest annual average. Consider how your energy costs compare to the average in your state.

Read on for a more detailed look at average electricity costs across the states. We also show the cheapest deals on our database that include a direct link to the provider’s website, to give you an idea of how your bills compare to pricing currently available. Use our comparison tool above for a specific comparison in your area.

Average Electricity Bills in NSW

Across New South Wales, we found the average annual electricity bill to be just over $1,898. However, we found that bill-payers aged in their 50s reported the highest average bills in NSW at $2,067. Those aged in their 60s reported the lowest average bills at $1,434.

Cheap Electricity Deals NSW

Here are some of the cheapest published deals from the retailers on our database that include a link to the retailer’s website for further details. These are products from referral partners†. These costs are based on the Ausgrid network in Sydney but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 3900kWh/year. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

Average Electricity Bills in Victoria

In Victoria, the average annual electricity bill was found to be just over $1,602. However, bill-payers aged 18-29 reported the highest average bills in the Melbourne area at $2,093. Customers aged 70 or over reported the lowest average electricity bills at $1,250.

Cheap Electricity Deals VIC

Here are some of the cheapest published deals from the retailers on our database that include a link to the retailer’s website for further details. These are products from referral partners†. These costs are based on the Citipower network in Melbourne but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 4000kWh/year. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

Average Electricity Bills in QLD

While the average annual electricity bill in Queensland was found to be a little under $1,609, we found that bill-payers aged 18-29 reported the highest average bills by some distance at $2,621. The lowest average bills in QLD were reported by bill-payers aged in their 70s or older at $1,071.

Cheap Electricity Deals QLD

Here are some of the cheapest published deals from the retailers on our database that include a link to the retailer’s website for further details. These are products from referral partners†. These costs are based on the Energex network in Brisbane but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 4600kWh/year. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

Average Electricity Bills in SA

The average annual electricity bill in South Australia is about $1,898, our latest research shows. Bill-payers aged 70 or over have the lowest annual bills at $1,524, while those aged 30-40 report the highest annual bills at an eye-watering $2,236.

Cheap Electricity Deals SA

Here are some of the cheapest published deals from the retailers on our database that include a link to the retailer’s website for further details. These are products from referral partners†. These costs are based on the SA Power network in Adelaide but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 4000kWh/year. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

Average Electricity Bills by Household Size

As the above average costs from our research 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 will generally 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 $1,322.56
2 $1,695.28
3 $2,089.68
4 $2,088.00
5 $2,603.56
6 $2,515.80

Source: Canstar Blue electricity customer satisfaction survey, January 2019.

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.

Average Electricity Bills by Household Income

When it comes to household bills, the concern is always that those who can least afford to pay the most, often end up doing so. But what about when it comes to electricity? Our research also shows average power bills by households income.

Household Income Average Annual Electricity Bill
Less than $30,000 $1,391.24
$30,000 to $49,999 $1,597.60
$50,000 to $79,999 $1,708.72
$80,000 to $119,999 $1,883.56
$120,000 and over $2,059.04

Source: Canstar Blue electricity customer satisfaction survey, January 2019.

It would appear that low income households generally pay less for power than higher income households, though of course there may be multiple factors at play here. For example, higher income households are seemingly more likely to live in larger homes, with higher energy usage requirements. These findings don’t necessarily suggest lower income families get better power deals.

Average Electricity Bills by Age Group

In our high-level findings above, we’ve mentioned the lowest and highest average bills by state and age group, with younger Australians generally paying the most and older customers typically paying a lot less across the country. On a national level, here are average power bills by age group.

Age Group Average Annual Electricity Bill
18 to 29 years $2,367.76
30 to 39 years $1,921.12
40 to 49 years $1,828.36
50 to 59 years $1,736.12
60 to 69 years $1,395.16
70 years and over $1,349.68

Source: Canstar Blue electricity customer satisfaction survey, January 2019.

So, the older you get, the less you pay for power? Maybe. It’s certainly the case that some electricity retailers offer additional discounts for seniors card holders and pensioners may be eligible for government rebates on their power bills. But also consider the other factors potentially impacting these costs. For example, younger people may live in larger households with high electricity usage needs, while older energy customers are more likely to have solar systems installed. Younger Australians are also more likely to live in rental properties where they are perhaps less concerned about finding a good power deal.

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 used 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!

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 general usage at a selected postcode in each state.

State Cheapest Electricity Bill
Victoria $1,136
Queensland $1,308
New South Wales $1,188
South Australia $1,642

Source: Canstar Blue electricity comparison database, September 2019. Costs are yearly estimates only and based on single rate tariffs in each state. Postcodes used for example, 2040, 3122, 4064, 5033.

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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