Whether you’re moving into a new home or just looking for the best deal on the market, sooner or later we’re all faced with the daunting task of picking an energy provider. But it doesn’t have to be as difficult as you think.
New South Wales has a deregulated electricity market, meaning retailers are free to compete with one another by offering different products and rates. As such, NSW residents should regularly review their energy plan to insure they’re receiving the best deal. To help you find a quality energy product, here are some important things to know.
Residential energy providers in NSW
New South Wales residents are spoiled for choice when it comes to picking an electricity retailer, with 20 different providers to choose from:
- 1st Energy
- Alinta Energy
- Click Energy
- Diamond Energy
- Dodo Power and Gas
- Enova Energy
- Mojo Power
- Momentum Energy
- Origin Energy
- Pooled Energy
- Red Energy
- Sanctuary Energy
- Simply Energy
- Urth Energy
Energy offers in NSW
As you can see, NSW is a very competitive energy market, which means the providers are fighting it out to offer you the best deals. Canstar Blue’s comparison of electricity costs in NSW found that discounts of 18% or more are common, usually off a household’s usage charges – the most significant contributor to your bill.
Energy discounts are a great way of driving down your overall costs, and are typically available for simply paying your bills on time or by direct debit. Some providers also offer a discount if you receive your bills and other communications via email. However, keep in mind that failing to meet the terms of your discount can result in significantly greater costs, so only choose one of these plans if you’re confident you’ll be able to stick to the conditions.
Your bill explained
Understanding your energy bill isn’t always easy, but as a guide, here is what you need to know. The total price of your power bill is the result of two main charges – supply and usage.
Supply charges: A supply charge is what your household needs to pay simply for the pleasure of being connected to the energy grid. Supply charges reflect the cost of network upgrades and maintenance, and as such can vary considerably from state to state, usually ranging from 50c to $2 per day. Costs will also depend on your electricity provider and plan.
Usage charges: Your usage charges reflect the cost of the energy you have actually used in your home. Electricity usage charges are measured in cents per Kilowatt hour (c/kWh). Usage charges will depend on your energy tariff structure, which will vary between providers. There are a number of different tariff structures, and depending on the structure you choose, your bill may display separate usage charges.
- Single rate: The same usage rate is charged regardless of time.
- Time of use tariff: A structure which charges a different rate across three separate time blocks – peak, shoulder and off-peak. Peak period has the highest rate and is usually between 5pm and 9pm. The shoulder period is cheaper than peak period but more expensive than off-peak, and usually applies around mid-day. Off-peak rates are by far the lowest and will usually apply from 11pm to 7am.
- Block rate: A usage rate is set for the first ‘block’ of energy used (usually around 2,500kWh per quarter). Once electricity usage exceeds this amount, a higher usage rate is charged for any extra energy use.
- Controlled load: A rate charged on a separate feed of electricity, generally used for slab heating and electric hot water systems.
Which energy provider is right for you?
As nice as it would be to give you a straight answer to this straight question, it’s just not that easy. The best value electricity provider for you will depend on your location, plan and, of course, energy usage.
When comparing NSW electricity providers, a great place to start is Canstar Blue’s customer satisfaction ratings, to see how electricity customers in the state have rated their providers. Good luck!