The best kept secret helping Queenslanders save on energy bills

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It’s the best kept secret in Queensland energy, saving households hundreds of dollars a year. But fewer than 10,000 Queenslanders are actually aware of it.

We’re talking about the small energy companies offering some of the cheapest electricity prices in the Sunshine State, all with just a few thousand customers between them.

While official figures show that the vast majority of households remain connected with the likes of AGL and Origin, a small but growing number of savvy bill-payers are starting to switch to the smaller brands that have recently entered the Queensland market.

“Mention these names to most people in Queensland and they will have no idea what you’re talking about, but these are the energy companies that generally have the cheapest prices. Those who have already switched are saving heaps,” said Canstar Blue Editor-in-Chief Simon Downes.

“When you’re moving house and just need to get the lights on, it’s easy to call the name you recognise and go with them. Most people sign up to the big brands because of name recognition and trust. But given that most energy plans now come with no exit fees there is minimal risk in signing up with a name you haven’t heard of and giving them a go, especially if they can save you money.”

Some of the cheapest electricity providers currently on Canstar Blue’s database for south east Queensland are currently ReAmped Energy, Mojo Power, Elysian Energy, Nectr and GloBird Energy. Between them they have fewer than 10,000 customers, compared to the state’s biggest provider – Origin Energy – with more than 584,000 connections.

John McCluskey is the Executive Manager of GloBird Energy, one of the newest providers to enter the Queensland market with cheap rates. He said: “Even though we have about 100,000 customers, only about two per cent of them are in Queensland, but thankfully word is getting around and the numbers are growing.”

It’s a similar story with ReAmped Energy whose CEO, Luke Blincoe, said consumers just want a fairer deal on electricity. He said: “Our aim has always been to offer the best rates – customers know that with us they can expect straightforward pricing and fast online service.

Mr Blincoe added: “We don’t use conditional or expiring discounts to create the illusion of good value, instead we offer simple prices up front with no unnecessary maths required. Australians are fed up with paying too much for crap service and are prepared to look for alternatives. They are realising how easy it is to find better prices and switch providers online in minutes.”

QLD Energy Prices Compared

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 for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area and to see other products in our database that may be available. 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. The next three tabs feature products exclusively from AGL, EnergyAustralia and Origin.

Here are the AGL Energy plans on our database for SE QLD. These are products from a referral partner†. These costs are based on the Energex energy network in Brisbane but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 4600kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area and to see other products in our database that may be available. 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.

Here are the EnergyAustralia plans on our database for SE QLD. These are products from a referral partner†. 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 for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area and to see other products in our database that may be available. 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.

Here are the Origin Energy plans on our database for SE QLD. These are products from a referral partner†. 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 for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area and to see other products in our database that may be available. 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.

QLD Electricity Market Share

The following table shows residential electricity customer numbers on the Energex network in south east Queensland, based on the latest available report from the Australian Energy Regulator (AER).

Retailer Customers in Q1 2019-20 Customers in Q1 2020-21
Origin 593,029 584,605
AGL 334,961 338,387
Alinta Energy 199,927 207,642
EnergyAustralia 105,715 106,620
Red Energy 46,442 47,860
Locality Planning Energy 20,683 23,260
Simply Energy 13,989 15,032
Powershop 8,937 12,657
Dodo 10,765 10,010
Powerdirect 9,281 9,847
ReAmped Energy 1,305 5,450
Diamond Energy 4,288 4,418
QEnergy 1,987 2,344
Energy Locals 1,689 2,126
Nectr 0 2,097
Mojo Power 977 1,212
OVO Energy 0 733
GloBird Energy 0 360
Sumo 0 355
Discover Energy 4 302
Powerclub 166 241
Future X Power 130 230
People Energy 97 84
Elysian Energy 0 10

Source: Australian Energy Regulator (AER), Retail Energy Market Performance Update for Quarter 1, 2020-21.

Increased competition in Queensland energy market

While energy retail competition has been allowed in SE Queensland since 2007, it was only in 2016 that the removal of old price regulations saw an influx of new providers to the state, including the likes of Red Energy, Simply Energy and Powershop who all now boast more than 10,000 customers each.

As Queenslanders began to shop around for their energy, the game was changed further in 2017 when Alinta Energy arrived in town in partnership with the state government-owned generation company CS Energy to help boost competition further. And this worked in a major way, with more than 200,000 Queenslanders switching to Alinta within a couple of years.

Now another batch of smaller providers – including those mentioned above – have also launched or moved north to Queensland, taking the total number of energy options in the Brisbane area to more than 30.

“Competition is now intense and these smaller providers need to offer cheaper rates to encourage customers away from the biggest providers – but at the moment only a few thousand people are taking full advantage,” said Mr Downes. “With wholesale energy costs going down in recent months, there are some amazing deals out there for those who engage in the market and make the switch.

“Our job is to help consumers understand their options and make them aware of the good deals that exist, but ultimately you need to be proactive and take a few minutes to save a stack of cash.”

Image credit: Asier Romero/Shutterstock.com

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