$65+ million in energy bill savings for Aussies on standing offers

Thousands of Aussies on pricy standing offer contracts will see their electricity bills drop after the energy regulator just released its Default Market Offer prices for 2021-22.

Bill savings of more than $65 million across New South Wales, south east Queensland and South Australia are heading to 727,000 residential and small business customers from 1 July 2021.

AER Chair Clare Savage said DMO pricing was introduced two years ago to protect customers left on expensive standing offer plans, otherwise known as default offers.

“The DMO is not designed to be the most competitive deal but rather it is a safety net for customers who don’t or can’t shop around when it comes to their electricity contract,” Ms Savage said.

“While the DMO caps the prices retailers can charge their customers it is still at a level that enables retailers to recover their costs and encourages retailers to compete to offer a better deal to their customers.”

Based on the AER’s figures, residential customers on standing offers are expected to save between $53 and $116 a year, while small businesses will pocket annual savings of $243 to $441, depending on location.

The DMO came into effect on 1 July 2019, which saw sweeping changes take place where retailers must advertise plans with prices compared to the DMO. It was also intended to make the retail market easier for consumers to navigate and compare electricity prices based on the default offer according to their distribution zone.

DMO pricing is set annually by the AER, with prices reflecting market conditions, such as wholesale energy costs, network costs and retailer expenses.

NSW deals cheaper than the DMO

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 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 NSW. These are products from a referral partner†. 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 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 NSW. These are products from a referral partner†. 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 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 NSW. These are products from a referral partner†. 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 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 deals cheaper than the DMO

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.

SA deals cheaper than the DMO

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 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 South Australia. These are products from a referral partner†. 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 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 South Australia. These are products from a referral partner†. 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 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 South Australia. These are products from a referral partner†. 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 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.

Final Default Market Offer Prices 2021-22

Here are the finalised DMO prices for residential and small business customers on standing offers across each region. Please be aware that NSW has three distribution networks so prices will vary according to your area.

Residential customers

  2020-21 DMO Prices 2021-22 DMO Prices Estimated Annual Savings
New South Wales $1,462-$1,960 $1,393-$1,907 $53-$102
South East Queensland $1,508 $1,455 $53
South Australia $1,832 $1,716 $116

Source: Australian Energy Regulator, Default Market Offer – Final Price Determination 2021-22.

Small business customers

  2020-21 DMO Prices 2021-22 DMO Prices Estimated Annual Savings
New South Wales $6,177-$8,041 $5,736-$7,791 $250-$441
South East Queensland $5,760 $5,517 $243
South Australia $8,305 $8,033 $272

Source: Australian Energy Regulator, Default Market Offer – Final Price Determination 2021-22.

How many customers are paying DMO prices?

As of December 2020, the AER states there are a considerable number of customers still on standing offer contracts. Below you’ll notice that roughly one in ten households could be paying too much for electricity, while approximately one in five Aussie businesses may find a cheaper deal by shopping around.

Residential customers on standing offers

  • NSW: 368,180 (11.1%)
  • SE QLD: 175,453 (12.1%)
  • SA: 68,873 (8.7%)

Small business customers on standing offers

  • NSW: 74,356 (22.2%)
  • SE QLD: 26,053 (23.5%)
  • SA: 13,907 (15.8%)

I’m already on a market offer, will this affect me?

Only customers on standing offers will see a reduction to their power bills as of July 2021, but these DMO price changes may flow through to the retailers’ more competitive plans, known as market offers explained Canstar Blue Energy Editor, Jared Mullane.

“It’s good news for customers still on standing offers, with electricity prices set to decrease from July thanks to a reduction in the default tariff, but there are still bigger savings to be made for bill-payers willing to switch to a more competitive deal,” he said. “Even if you’re the set and forget type of energy customer, just remember it only takes a few minutes to switch to a more competitively-priced market offer, which could end up saving you hundreds of dollars over a year or two.

“Given there is so much competition between providers right now, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the cheapest market offers today become even cheaper over time. Ultimately, it’s all about finding a deal that’s best suited to your needs, and shopping around to compare prices is an easy way to ensure you’re driving your dollar further.”

Image credit: Robyn Mackenzie/Shutterstock.com

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