Ergon Energy Review and Rates
Ergon Energy is a government-owned electricity distributor and retailer, servicing homes, businesses and farms across regional Queensland. Unlike the rest of eastern Australia, customers connected to the Ergon Energy network generally do not have the option to pick their electricity retailer. That being said, the region has started to open up to competition recently with some other retailers now selling power to homes, however this will depend on location.
In this review, Canstar Blue takes a close look at Ergon Energy. We see where Ergon Energy operates and what it provides regional Queenslanders.
Am I on the Ergon Energy network?
As the map of Queensland below shows, Ergon Energy essentially covers all areas in Queensland aside from the south-east, which is supplied by the Energex network. The distribution area also doesn’t cover large parts of the isolated far west and north.
The Ergon Energy Network runs from the Toowoomba and Gympie region, south to the border with NSW and out as far west as Mount Isa and Burketown. It covers Queensland as far north as Cooktown, with additional distribution zones across the Torres Strait. As the map shows, many of Queensland’s major towns and cities outside the south-east are covered by Ergon Energy, including:
- Hervey Bay
- Charters Towers
And many more…
Do I have any choice of retailer other than Ergon?
If you live in the blue part of the map above, then Ergon Energy may be your only choice of retailer for grid electricity. If you’re on the border of the blue-shaded area and aren’t sure who your distributor is, then try using Canstar Blue’s price comparison tool. If our database produces a result for your postcode or suburb, then that means you’re on the Energex network and can compare and choose your electricity retailer.
While it was previously the case that regional QLD customers could only choose Ergon Energy as their electricity provider, times have changed and some retailers have begun selling power to homes and businesses. This includes companies like Bright Spark Power which now operates in the East sub-region of the Ergon Energy network, while LPE also supplies power to homes in Gympie North and west QLD.
What does Ergon Energy offer?
Having little choice might make you concerned that you’re getting ripped off, but fortunately that doesn’t quite seem to be the case with Ergon Energy. Ergon Energy’s electricity prices are fairly comparable to those on the competitive Energex network, plus there are tighter regulations on Ergon Energy as to when and how it can adjust your electricity rates.
Ergon Energy does not offer ‘electricity products’ like traditional retailers, though residential customers can still choose between several types of tariff. These are:
- Tariff 11 (General Supply Tariff): Customers pay a flat rate for all electricity usage regardless of the time or quantity of electricity consumed. There is also an added daily ‘supply charge’.
- Tariff 12A (Time of Use Tariff): During the summer months (December to February), a different electricity usage rate is charged at peak periods (3pm to 9:30pm weekdays) and off peak (all other times). The peak period usage rate is about 3 times higher than off-peak, so customers on this rate should minimise their peak electricity usage. There is also a daily supply charge. Read more about time of use tariffs here.
- Tariff 14 (Demand Tariff): Customers pay for what they use at a flat rate throughout the year, plus receive demand charge that’s based on the average demand for electricity on your four highest demand days each month. The demand charge varies in summer and non-summer months. Read more about demand tariffs here.
- Tariffs 31 and 33 (Economy Tariff): These are secondary tariffs that are often referred to as ‘controlled load tariffs’. They are designed to apply to large individual appliances such as hot water systems and heat slabs, rather than the whole house. Economy tariffs charge very low rates for electricity, however supply is limited to only a few hours per day. Tariff 33 supplies electricity for 18 hours per day, while tariff 31 supplies electricity for only 8 hours per day, but has a much lower rate.
- Feed-in Tariff: You don’t pay Ergon on this tariff – Ergon pays you. Customers with solar panels receive 7.8 cents for each kilowatt of electricity that their solar panels export to the energy grid. Read more about feed-in tariffs here.
- Rural and Business Tariffs: Ergon Energy has three tariffs specialised for farmers – Tariff 62, 65 and 66. It also has a series of other tariffs for businesses that are similar to the ones we’ve already listed. For more information, visit the Ergon Energy website.
Ergon Energy Billing
Ergon has plenty of ways for customers to pay their bill, including:
- Direct debit – Ergon automatically deducts payment from a designated bank account
- Bpay – Pay either online or over the phone with BPay
- Centrepay – Have your bill deducted from Centrelink
- Over the phone – Call and pay using credit card
- Cheque/Money order – Mail a cheque to Ergon Energy
- Electronic funds transfer (ETF) – Directly transfer to Ergon Energy’s account
- Pay in person – Pay at the Australia post
How to save on energy
Canstar Blue always encourages consumers to shop around for a great electricity deal, however as we’ve discussed, that’s unfortunately not possible for Ergon Energy customers. But that’s not to say there aren’t other ways you can save! Canstar Blue has plenty of great guides on how to reduce electricity usage and lower your bills. Check it out using the link below.
About the author of this page
This page was written and is regularly updated by Canstar Blue’s Energy Specialist, Jared Mullane. He’s an expert in all things utilities, including electricity, gas and water, helping to make complicated subjects easier to understand for consumers. A trained journalist, Jared is usually one of the first to break energy-related news, whether it’s the latest changes in the industry, price movements, or the next best deal you need to know about.