Power companies feeling the pinch of wholesale market mayhem

A handful of smaller power companies have warned customers of rising electricity prices as soaring wholesale costs continue to rock the market.

The shock news comes as wholesale energy prices have more than doubled over the past 12 months, meaning some retailers have had no other choice than to increase their prices for both new and existing customers.

To date, four energy retailers have announced steep price increases, with one Queensland-based company even telling its customers to switch providers as it is ‘no longer in a position to provide competitive rates’.

LPE states on its website that Queensland customers can expect a usage rate increase of up to 123 per cent from 3 June 2022. It also strongly recommended that its customers on the Energex and Ergon Energy networks ‘to seek an alternative supplier immediately to avoid extremely high electricity bills’.

Amid the wholesale pricing chaos, other brands like Discover Energy, Mojo Power and ReAmped Energy have notified bill-payers of incoming price hikes, some of which are anticipated to inflate bills.

Wholesale markets in New South Wales and Queensland have faced the brunt of price volatility, with Victoria and South Australia also recording higher-than-average prices.

Industry insiders warned that more retailers, both big and small, will be forced to pass on costs to consumers.

‘Big three’ provider EnergyAustralia said it will be announcing price changes for customers over the coming months.

“We will inform our customers before any price changes take effect, which typically occurs between June and August,” an EnergyAustralia spokesperson said.

“For customers who want assurance that their power bills won’t rise, we offer fixed-rate plans. We encourage customers to take a look at our Total Plan, which today has our biggest total energy bill discount, no lock in contracts and fixed rates for 12 months.

“It’s our job as an energy retailer to help match the right plan to our customers’ needs, including offering them innovative technologies to help them take greater control over their energy use. As always, we encourage any customer who might be struggling with their energy bills to reach out to us immediately – we have a variety of support options available, including payment plans, extensions and a stay-connected guarantee.”

In addition to rising prices for existing customers, some retailers have also paused onboarding of new customers.

Mojo Power stated on its website that its market offers are currently on hold until 1 July 2022 – when the Default Market Offer (DMO) is reviewed. Aussie-owned provider Discover Energy has also shared on social media that it is not accepting new sign-ups right now.

GloBird Energy and ReAmped Energy hiked prices for new customers late last month in New South Wales and Queensland, blaming recent market conditions.

Worried about rising power costs? Compare cheap electricity deals

Here are some of the cheapest electricity plans in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia. For a specific quote in your postcode, it’s best to use our free comparison tool.

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. 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 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. 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. 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. 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.

Which retailers have been impacted so far?

Several retailers have already implemented changes as a way of shielding customers from rising prices. So far, most of the changes have occurred in NSW and QLD, with some smaller retailers pulling the plug in all states they service.

Retailers that have switched off market offers to new customers

  • Bright Spark Power (NSW & QLD)
  • Discover Energy (NSW, VIC, QLD & SA)
  • Electricity in a Box (NSW & QLD)
  • Elysian Energy (NSW & QLD)
  • GEE Energy (NSW & QLD)
  • LPE (QLD)
  • Mojo Power (NSW & QLD)

1st Energy has also removed its pay on time discount, resulting in a price increase for its plans to new customers in NSW and QLD.

Bill-payers can keep on top of retailer movements by visiting our electricity price changes page.

What can consumers do to avoid higher energy bills?

Households have been warned to brace for rising power costs on the back of unstable wholesale conditions, but there are still ways for Aussies to save on their energy bills.

Canstar Blue’s Energy Editor Jared Mullane explained that while it may be difficult for some retailers to remain competitively priced right now, there are still some deals on offer if you know where to look.

“The outlook for wholesale prices doesn’t look crash hot for energy companies leading into winter, and many will be raising their rates to recoup costs, but that doesn’t mean consumers can’t find a good deal,” he said.

“If your power company has informed you that it’s raising its prices, then now’s the time to compare a range of plans from Australia’s leading providers. Keep an eye on your bills for alerts and check out your existing provider’s website or social media channels for updates. It may also pay to get in early before energy retailers adjust their prices in line with default tariffs, which will change on July 1.”

At the time of publication, AGL is offering up to $150 off energy bills to customers who sign up online in NSW, QLD and Victoria. Powershop has also introduced its ‘Switch Saver’ deal in NSW and Victoria, which comes with big savings for residents who switch their home power or gas.


Image credit: estherpoon/Shutterstock.com, LPE website

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