What is a good rate for electricity?

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Not all energy plans are created equal when it comes to the underlying costs you’ll be paying for powering your home. That’s why it’s important that you’re able to identify a good electricity rate when you see one. This is where we can help. In this guide, we’ll give you all the information you need to make an informed decision about what is or isn’t a cheap electricity rate.

Before we dive into what a ‘good’ rate looks like, it’s worth noting that your total energy costs are broken into two main types of charges. These are electricity usage charges and supply charges, which make up the bulk of your bills. Usage charges are the rate you’re charged for using electricity (per kilowatt hour), while supply charges are the daily rate you’re charged for having electricity supplied to your home.

Electricity rates vary considerably between providers and location, meaning that the same plan in Sydney with low rates may be higher in Coffs Harbour, for example. This is why it’s best to use our comparison tool, where you can review multiple plans and compare from a range of different companies in your area, by clicking on the link below.

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What is a good electricity rate?

If you live in New South Wales, Queensland or Victoria, an electricity usage rate of around 20 cents per kWh can reasonably be considered a good rate, although lower rates may be available. However, if you live in South Australia, the best you can hope for is around 30 cents per kWh.

When it comes to electricity supply charges, anything under 90 cents per day can be considered a good rate, no matter where you live. Once again, lower rates may be available in your specific area.

Keep in mind that some retailers compensate for low usage rates with higher supply rates, and vice versa. So, to truly find a good deal, you’ll have to find competitive usage and supply charges. If your household uses lots of power, pay particular attention to usage charges, which will make up a higher proportion of your overall energy costs. If you don’t use much power, pay particular attention to the supply charge.

The cheapest electricity per kWh

Solar energy money house concept

With competition in the retail energy market fierce, retailers will often change their electricity rates to become more competitive and attract new customers. This means the cheapest rates can change frequently. Here are the cheapest electricity usage rates on our database per kilowatt hour (kWh):

  • NSW: 17.62c/kWh
  • VIC: 18.92c/kWh
  • QLD: 16.32c/kWh
  • SA: 25.95c/kWh

Usage rates are based on single rate electricity tariffs in select postcodes. Accurate as of November 2020. Rates are subject to change.

Compare Electricity Rates and Plans

It’s definitely a good idea to understand what good electricity rates look like, but what about the final cost of powering your home? The table below shows some of the cheapest electricity deals on our database, which therefore come with competitive usage and supply rates.

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.

Am I getting a good energy deal?

Here are the average electricity usage rates on our database in NSW, Victoria, QLD and South Australia, so you can decide whether or not the rates you pay are good, or pretty… average. To calculate the usage rates below, we looked at each flagship offer from six leading energy providers, which were AGL, Origin Energy, EnergyAustralia, Red Energy, Click Energy and Alinta Energy. Prices are shown in cents per kWh.

State Average Usage Rate (per kWh)
NSW 25.78c/kWh
VIC 23.47c/kWh
QLD 21.30c/kWh
SA 34.59c/kWh

Prices based on single rate electricity tariffs for selected postcodes in each state. Accurate as of October 2020. Usage rates are subject to change.

How much should I be paying for electricity supply?

Much like your usage rate, electricity supply charges will differ between areas and retailers. What you may notice is that some states (we’re looking at you SA) have low electricity supply rates, but much higher usage rates. If you’re a small household with modest energy usage, supply charges will account for a larger portion of your bill, so keep a close eye when you go to compare prices.

We’ve used the same six companies as the previous table to determine the average supply rates in NSW, VIC, QLD and SA. Prices are shown in cents per day.

State Average Supply Rate (per day)
NSW 82.72c/day
VIC 105.07c/day
QLD 99.28c/day
SA 90.49c/day

Prices based on single rate electricity tariffs for selected postcodes in each state. Accurate as of October 2020. Supply rates are subject to change.

Are electricity rates all you should be looking at?

Stressed energy bill

Absolutely not. If electricity rates are the only factors you’re mindful of, then you could be missing out somewhere else. It would be like buying a car straight from the dealership at the asking price without seeking any extras or customer incentives. In the world of energy, it’s a similar situation, where price alone is just the starting point. Here’s a few features to look out for in an energy plan to get the best overall value.

  • Discounts: Typically apply to usage or usage and supply rates for a period of time. Some discounts may only apply if certain criteria is satisfied, like paying on time or setting up direct debit payments.
  • Bill credits: Some retailers offer credits off bills to customers who sign up online or bundle their utilities with the same company, such as electricity and gas, or even internet. Energy bill credits are either a once-off or ongoing feature.
  • Rewards programs: Energy providers like AGL, Red Energy and Lumo Energy offer exclusive deals to customers in partnerships with various companies. Some rewards include frequent flyer points, shopping vouchers and movie tickets.
  • Entertainment packages: Whether it’s a subscription to a sports streaming service or tickets to a zoo, many entertainment features can be unlocked with some plans. Keep in mind these offers change quite frequently.
  • Customer service: Last but certainly not least, don’t sacrifice customer service as you may regret it should you ever need to get in contact. Look at call centre hour availability as well as smartphone apps and website functionality.

How to find a good electricity rate

Hopefully we’ve cleared up any doubts about energy rates and you’re in a better position to find a deal that’ll help keep electricity costs down. If you’re still a little overwhelmed, try jumping into our comparison tool. Best of all, it’s free to use and we won’t ask for your phone number, allowing you to browse a range of electricity rates from more than 30 electricity providers.

Image credit: Rodolfo Clix/Pexels

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