Your cheat sheet to finding a better energy deal after July 1

The end of financial year can be a stressful time where many consumers are hitting the reset button on their budgets, and there usually isn’t a more taxing household expense than energy. Thankfully for the most part, power prices have gone down in several states as of July 1 – a date becoming increasingly familiar with customers to review their existing energy plan and provider.

In this cheat sheet we’ll run bill-paying Australians through the electricity price changes they need to know about, as well as how much they can potentially save by taking advantage of some new offers. Click on the relevant sections below to skip ahead.

What’s changed and how does it affect me?

Two arrows up and down on blue background

Each year on July 1 energy retailers change their rates to reflect a regulated benchmark price that was introduced in 2019 on the back of sweeping changes made to the retail market. These changes were (and are) designed to protect customers on less-competitive standing offers – a default energy price – that caps the amount retailers can charge households based on a specific set of electricity usage assumptions across certain distribution zones.

The default market offer (DMO) as it’s formally known also serves as a reference price for customers to compare energy deals from. This means that Aussies can now see how a power plan stacks up against the energy reference price in their area, and in turn, make a better-informed purchase decision.

Most customers still on standing offers paying DMO prices should have seen a reduction in their energy bills from 1 July 2021 – with any changes to rates listed on their previous invoice or via separate communication, such as an email. These price changes came into effect for residential and small business customers on standing offer contracts in New South Wales, south east Queensland, South Australia and the ACT.

For the majority of customers on market offers not paying default energy prices in these areas, their rates may have also changed. Rather than having regulated pricing, market offers refer to deals that generally have cheaper rates which are set by the retailers, and can include other incentives like bill credits or discounts. This is why July 1 should be etched in peoples’ calendars to check and see if power prices have gone up or down, and to switch to a better deal if one is available.

What does the reference price look like?

Below is an example of how the reference price may be displayed by some electricity providers. In this example, these are market offers currently promoted by AGL to customers in Sydney living on the Ausgrid network. As you can see, each deal has a percentage showing how it compares to the reference price – either less than, more than or equal to.

AGL reference price sample

Source: AGL Energy website. Pricing information based on a residential customer with an annual estimated cost for a household using 3900kWh on a single rate tariff in the Ausgrid network. Accurate as of 7 July 2021.

Energy Price Changes in New South Wales

It’s good news for Sydneysiders and customers across the state, with all three NSW distribution networks decreasing prices from 1 July 2021. The reference price for households has dropped between $53 and $102 a year, depending on location. Be aware that these price drops may not flow through to customers already on market offers, hence the importance of shopping around.

Distribution Network Reference Price Before 1 July 2021 Reference Price After 1 July 2021 Annual Price Change
Ausgrid $1,462 (3,900kWh/year) $1,393 (3,900kWh/year) $69
Endeavour Energy $1,711 (4,900kWh/year) $1,609 (4,900kWh/year) $102
Essential Energy $1,960 (4,600kWh/year) $1,907 (4,600kWh/year) $53

Source: Australian Energy Regulator (AER), Final Determination, Default Market Offer Prices 2021-22.

Compare Electricity Prices in Sydney

Here are some sponsored 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 energy 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 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.

Energy Price Changes in Victoria

The latest reference price changes don’t impact customers in Victoria, as the state operates under its own set of regulated pricing framework, known as the Victorian Default Offer (VDO). Much like the reference price in other eastern states, the VDO acts as a safeguard for consumers who do not engage in the market, and are left on costlier standing offers.

The VDO is currently being reviewed by the state’s energy regulator, the Essential Services Commission (ESC), and is set to change on 1 September 2021. Since its inception in mid-2019, VDO pricing is normally reviewed at the start of each year, but recent changes to distribution costs along with other market variables has led to retailers adjusting prices throughout the year.

Energy retailers in Victoria are also now required to inform customers every quarter whether they’re on the ‘best offer’. It comes after new data from the ESC revealed more than a million Victorians aren’t on their provider’s best offer and are likely paying too much for power.

Other notable changes include a decrease to the minimum feed-in tariff (FiT) rate for solar customers who export electricity back into the grid. The FiT rates from 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2022 are:

  • Single rate: 6.7c/kWh
  • Time-varying: 10.9c/kWh (peak), 6.1c/kWh (shoulder), 6.7c/kWh (off peak)

Compare Electricity Prices in Melbourne

Here are some sponsored 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 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 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†. 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 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.

Energy Price Changes in Queensland

For residential customers living in south-east Queensland on the Energex network, the reference price has fallen by $53 a year. This means households on default offers in Brisbane, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast may start seeing lower energy bills. For many Queenslanders on market offers, these changes won’t guarantee any savings, so be prepared to switch to a new provider that may be offering cheaper prices.

Distribution Network Reference Price Before 1 July 2021 Reference Price After 1 July 2021 Annual Price Change
Energex $1,508 (4,600kWh/year) $1,455 (4,600kWh/year) $53

Source: Australian Energy Regulator (AER), Final Determination, Default Market Offer Prices 2021-22.

Compare Electricity Prices in Brisbane

Here are some sponsored deals from the retailers on our database that include a link to the retailer’s website for further details. These are products from our 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.

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.

What about energy in regional Queensland?

While energy prices are still regulated in regional Queensland, there are some signs of competition opening up. This means customers outside of the Energex network may be able to switch to a provider other than Ergon Energy, however pricing is still set by the Queensland Competition Authority (QCA).

Although there isn’t much wiggle room for consumers outside of the south-east, there have been some noteworthy changes reported by Ergon Energy, including:

  • Tariff 11 decreasing by 7.4% or around $111 a year
  • Tariff 33 falling by roughly 12.3% or $23 a year
  • Tariff 31 dropping by an estimated 12.7% or $29 a year
  • Solar feed-in tariff rate decreasing from 7.861c/kWh to 6.583c/kWh

Energy Price Changes in South Australia

The reference price for all South Australian households has fallen by $116 a year, signifying the need for consumers to shop around and compare. Bill-payers in Adelaide and surrounds should check the type of plan they’re on and make sure the prices they’re paying are well below the reference price.

Distribution Network Reference Price Before 1 July 2021 Reference Price After 1 July 2021 Annual Price Change
SA Power Networks $1,832 (4,000kWh/year) $1,716 (4,000kWh/year) $116

Source: Australian Energy Regulator (AER), Final Determination, Default Market Offer Prices 2021-22.

Compare Electricity Prices in Adelaide

Here are some sponsored 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.

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.

Energy Price Changes in the ACT

Bucking the trend in price drops across most of Australia is the nation’s capital, with typical household energy bills to rise by $241 a year. According to ActewAGL – the largest power retailer in the ACT – electricity prices are set to increase by 11.95% for residential and small business customers from 1 July 2021. With competition not as prevalent, Canberrans should compare rates from the providers operating in their area.

Compare Electricity Prices in Canberra

Here are some of the cheapest published deals from the retailers on our database for the ACT. These are products from referral partners†. These costs are based on annual energy usage of 5499kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff, and a selected postcode in Canberra, but these prices will vary depending on your own circumstances. We show one product per retailer, listed in order of price. Use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all deals available in your area, and please check retailer websites for up to date information.

Energy Price Changes in Tasmania

Last but certainly not least is Tassie, an island state known for its limited choice in energy providers. While there aren’t many options for households, regulated electricity prices in Tasmania have dropped by 7.1% from 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2022. Depending on location and the type of tariff a customer is connected to, annual bill savings between $126 and $145 can be expected.

It’s not all good news though, with Tasmanian solar customers now having to settle for a minimum feed-in tariff rate of 6.501c/kWh, dipping from 8.471c/kWh the previous financial year.

Compare Electricity Prices in Hobart

Here are the published electricity deals from the retailers on our database for Tasmania. These cost estimates are based on a household with an annual electricity usage of 6,775kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff at a selected postcode in Tasmania, but prices will vary depending on your circumstances. Use our comparison tool for a more specific comparison in your area. This table includes featured products from referral partners. Our database may not cover all deals available in your area, and please check retailer websites for up to date information.

How to find a better energy deal

Finding a better energy deal will ultimately come down to a range of personal circumstances, like how much power you consume and what you’re looking for in a provider. Where you live will also impact what you pay for electricity, so always compare deals in your area by using our free comparison tool.

Make sure you consider the factors below before heading off to find a better deal:

  • Check what type of plan you’re on – market or standing offer
  • Take note of the plan’s electricity usage and supply rates
  • Compare rates and plans from a range of providers available in your location
  • See if there are any benefits on offer, like discounts and rewards programs
  • Contact your provider and ask to be put on the best offer or negotiate a better rate
  • Don’t settle for poor customer service
  • Look over the fine print to see if there are any hidden fees or charges

BEST OF LUCK!

Image credits: Krakenimages.com/Shutterstock.com, Dmitry Demidovich, AGL Energy

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