NSW energy prices are falling – now’s the time to save

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More than 35 retailers, unprecedented price competition, and a significant reduction in the regulated tariff means there’s never been a better time for New South Wales households to start saving on their energy bills.

However, official figures from the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) suggest only a few thousand bill-payers in NSW are currently taking advantage.

“After years of seeing energy prices only ever go in one direction, to the point where most Australians declared energy bills as their greatest financial concern, market conditions are now perfect for us all to start saving,” explained Canstar Blue Editor-in-Chief, Simon Downes. “This is especially true for those in NSW where there has been an explosion in price competition and now a notable reduction in the Default Market Offer, which should help to drive costs down even further in the months ahead.

“It sounds cliché, but the conditions are perfect for consumers to save hundreds of dollars on their bills if they are proactive and switch to one of the cheapest deals in the market. Unfortunately, many people are going to go on paying more than they have to. It’s taken some time, but we are now seeing the type of price competition that the sector was opened up for in the first place – now we just need consumers to take full advantage.”

Mr Downes refers to Sydneysiders now being able to cash in on electricity plans that are up to 32 per cent off the Reference Price – the biggest savings recorded since the Default Market Offer (DMO) was introduced in 2019.

This pricing feat belongs to ReAmped Energy, an independent provider that’s offering customers on the Ausgrid network a deal that’s $182 cheaper than that of the cheapest plan offered in July 2019, at time of publication.

ReAmped Energy has made a habit of changing prices over the past year, undercutting its rivals on more than 10 occasions in frequently becoming the best-priced retailer across New South Wales, south east Queensland and South Australia.

NSW Energy Prices

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.

2019 vs 2021: Electricity Price Comparison

Canstar Blue data highlights that power bills have experienced considerable price reductions since the DMO came into effect in 2019. Here’s what we found across each of the NSW distribution networks:

Average Annual Cost Ausgrid (3,900kWh) Endeavour (4,900kWh) Essential (4,600kWh)
July 2019 $1,485 $1,744 $1,964
February 2021 $1,282 $1,509 $1,728
Price Difference $203 $235 $236
Lowest Annual Cost Ausgrid (3,900kWh) Endeavour (4,900kWh) Essential (4,600kWh)
July 2019 $1,176 (20% less than Reference Price) $1,423 (17% less than Reference Price) $1,602 (18% less than Reference Price)
February 2021 $994 (32% less than Reference Price) $1,240 (28% less than Reference Price) $1,372 (30% less than Reference Price)
Price Difference $182 $183 $230

Accurate as of 18 February 2021. Based on single-rate plans on Canstar Blue’s database, excluding solar-only plans. Reference usage and cost based on those set by the Australian Energy Regulator (AER). Averages based on annual costs that are based on the AER’s reference annual usage and assume all conditions of discounts offered (if any) are met.

How many customers are taking advantage of cheaper prices?

According to the AER’s latest report, only around 15,000 NSW households are currently connected to five of the cheapest energy providers in NSW. Keep in mind that the retailers below may not operate in all areas and prices will change depending on your location.

Energy Retailer Residential Electricity Customers Market Share
ReAmped Energy 6,423 0.2%
Mojo Power 2,678 0.1%
GloBird Energy 2,355 0.1%
Nectr 3,401 0.1%
Tango Energy 873 <0.1%

Source: AER Retail Energy Market Performance Update for Quarter 1, 2020-21. Cheapest providers based on plans listed on Canstar Blue’s database, accurate as of 18 February 2021 for residential customers on a single rate tariff living on the Ausgrid network.

To put these numbers into perspective, Origin, EnergyAustralia and AGL have roughly 2.6 million electricity customers in NSW combined. The next biggest retailers by customer share being Red Energy with 255,618 and Alinta Energy with 89,229.

Regulator: ‘Customers should be paying less for energy’

The regulator reported that annual wholesale electricity prices last year fell by up to 58 per cent compared to 2019, with some savings headed towards bill-payers’ pockets. This was largely due to reduced costs for power generators, increased uptakes of residential solar systems and international gas prices falling.

AER Chair, Clare Savage, said that current market conditions should be putting downward pressure on power bills.

“We expect these sustained lower wholesale prices to be reflected in retail bills, so households and businesses should pay less for their energy,” Ms Savage said.

This comes after the AER announced its drafted pricing for the DMO in 2021-22, which will see even further price decreases for customers on expensive standing offers. The industry watchdog revealed plans to cut the annual cost of the DMO in NSW by up to $136 from July.

“These are the perfect conditions for consumers to start saving serious money on their energy bills, but this will only happen if people are proactive,” said Mr Downes. “Don’t be stuck paying 2019 prices when you have the chance to take advantage of the cheap deals that, currently, only a few thousand people in NSW are really benefiting from.”

Image credit: Krakenimages.com/Shutterstock.com

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