The largest energy companies in Australia

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You’ve probably heard about the ‘big four’ banks when it comes to finance, but what about the ‘big three’ in energy? We’re referring to Origin Energy, AGL and EnergyAustralia, who currently have the largest retail market share across the deregulated states.

Now there are numerous reasons why Aussies flock towards a household name – a wide selection of products or longer call centre hours. Regardless of the reason, bill-payers just want to know they’ve made the right decision when choosing an electricity or gas provider and many feel safe in the hands of the big guys. In this guide, we’ll break down what you need to know about the big energy retailers, plus list other information that may help you find a deal best suited to your household’s power needs.

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Who are the largest energy retailers in Australia?

Origin Energy, AGL and EnergyAustralia are the largest energy providers in Australia. Known as the ‘big three’, each has a significant share in the residential electricity and gas markets of New South Wales, south east Queensland and South Australia. While they also hold a huge combined chunk of the Victorian and Queensland market, their dominance has been notably reduced in recent years.

The total market share of the big three energy providers in each state can be found below.

State Big Three Market Share (electricity)
NSW 81.20%
VIC 55.17%
QLD 50.8%
SA 71.70%

Source: Australian Energy Regulator (AER) Retail Energy Market Performance Update for Quarter 1, 2019-20. Essential Services Commission (ESC), Victorian Energy Market Report 2018-19.

Origin Energy

Origin Energy retails electricity and gas to over 4 million customers, making it Australia’s largest energy retailer. Origin sells electricity in NSW, Victoria, QLD, SA and the ACT, as well as natural gas in these states, plus Western Australia. The energy giant usually has about three or four market offers to choose from, all of which vary according to customers’ needs.

Origin Electricity Prices

Here are the Origin Energy plans on our database for NSW. 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 the Origin Energy plans on our database for Victoria. 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 the Origin Energy plans on our database for SE QLD. 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 the Origin Energy plans on our database for South Australia. 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.

AGL

Founded way back in 1837, AGL Energy is Australia’s oldest energy company and services around 3.7 million accounts – both residential and business. Like Origin Energy, AGL retails electricity and gas in the same states, with the exception of electricity in the ACT. AGL tends to market just two products in each state, one with variable energy rates and the other with fixed rates.

AGL Electricity Prices

Here are the AGL Energy plans on our database for NSW. 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 the AGL Energy plans on our database for Victoria. 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 the AGL Energy plans on our database for SE QLD. 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. 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 AGL Energy plans on our database for South Australia. 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.

EnergyAustralia

EnergyAustralia logo

EnergyAustralia has a portfolio of roughly 1.7 million customers throughout Australia, and has proven to be a serious contender to Origin Energy and AGL over the years. The retailer operates in NSW, Victoria, QLD, SA and the ACT. EnergyAustralia currently offers two fixed rate plans and one basic variable rate plan in each state.

EnergyAustralia Electricity Prices

Here are the EnergyAustralia plans on our database for NSW. 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 the EnergyAustralia plans on our database for Victoria. 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 the EnergyAustralia plans on our database for SE QLD. 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 the EnergyAustralia plans on our database for South Australia. 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.

What is a Tier 1 energy retailer?

A Tier 1 retailer is an energy provider that has more than 10% of the market share in a network region (i.e. Ausgrid or Essential Energy), which include the big three. Tier 1 retailers also include the likes of Alinta Energy, Simply Energy and the dual ownership of Red and Lumo Energy in some network areas.

What about Tier 2 energy retailers?

According to the AEMC, a Tier 2 retailer is an energy provider that holds less than 10% of the market share in a network region. A decade ago, Tier 2 retailers were almost non-existent in most states, however there are more than 20 of these smaller companies today, helping increase the level of competition across the areas they operate in.

Biggest Energy Providers by Market Share

Australia electricity map

Here is a list of electricity retailers and their residential market share in Australia:

  • Origin: 28.1%
  • AGL: 21.2%
  • EnergyAustralia: 16.4%
  • Ergon Energy: 9.6%
  • Alinta Energy: 5.4%
  • Red Energy: 4.4%
  • Aurora Energy: 3.8%
  • ActewAGL: 2.6%
  • Simply Energy: 2.0%
  • Amaysim Energy: 1.5%
  • Dodo: 0.7%
  • Powerdirect: 0.7%
  • Lumo Energy: 0.6%
  • Powershop: 0.6%
  • Momentum Energy: 0.4%
  • Energy Locals: 0.3%
  • Locality Planning Energy: 0.3%
  • 1st Energy: 0.2%
  • CovaU: 0.1%
  • Diamond Energy: 0.1%
  • Enova: 0.1%
  • QEnergy: 0.1%
  • Sumo: 0.1%

The above figures have been sourced from the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) Retail Energy Market Performance Update for Quarter 1, 2019-20.

Compare Electricity Prices

See how the big three providers compare to other retailers in terms of price. Use our comparison tool for a more accurate quote in your area.

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.

Who are the biggest gas retailers?

Gas oven with a hot plate on

According to the Australian Energy Regulator (AER), AGL, Origin Energy and EnergyAustralia represent almost 85% of the residential gas market as of January 2020. AGL maintains the largest market share at 37.7%, Origin Energy with 27.2% and EnergyAustralia at 19.3%. Behind these three gas suppliers follows ActewAGL (5.5%), Red Energy (2.9%) and Alinta Energy (2.5%).

Which electricity retailers are government-owned?

The following power companies in Australia are owned by the government:

  • ActewAGL: Operating in the ACT and regional parts of NSW, ActewAGL is jointly owned by Icon Water Limited (an ACT Government owned corporation) and AGL Energy via subsidiary companies. The retail arm has more than 195,000 residential and business customers, as well as 145,000 gas customers.
  • Aurora Energy: A government-owned electricity and gas retailer operating in Tasmania. Aurora Energy provides services to around 280,000 Tasmanians and is one of only three electricity retailers operating in the state.
  • Ergon Energy: Regional Queensland customers in cities like Cairns, Mackay, Rockhampton and Townsville will likely be connected to the government-owned electricity distributor and retailer, Ergon Energy. The company supplies electricity to more than 700,000 customers in the region.
  • Momentum Energy: Owned and operated by Hydro Tasmania – a Tasmanian Government business enterprise and generator – Momentum Energy retails electricity to homes and businesses in NSW, Victoria and South Australia. The retailer has a portfolio of roughly 250,000 customers and is known for being 100% Australian-owned.
  • Red Energy/Lumo Energy: Red and Lumo Energy are both retail subsidiaries of Snowy Hydro – a Federal Government owned energy generation company. Lumo and Red Energy have a combined base of almost one million customers across NSW, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia.

What about small business energy?

Young small business owners with laptop

The retail market share within small business energy is dominated by the big three who service nearly 63% of customers across the National Electricity Market (NEM). For gas, it’s a similar situation, with AGL claiming over a third of the market share, with EnergyAustralia and Origin both sharing 16% apiece.

Does a bigger company mean better energy deals?

Finding a great deal on energy is certainly achievable with the big three power companies, although being larger in size doesn’t automatically mean the ‘best’ or cheapest deals. It may come down to browsing a range of energy deals from multiple retailers, particularly as the industry continues to evolve and new offers enter the market. To see how the biggest energy providers compare in your area, hit the link below.

Image credits: Theerayut/Shutterstock.com, Bilanol/Shutterstock.com, Kaspars Grinvalds/Shutterstock.com 

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