Canstar Blue’s annual review of NSW electricity providers compares Red Energy, Alinta Energy, Origin Energy, AGL, EnergyAustralia and Dodo on their customer service, bill & cost clarity, tools & advice, focus on environmental sustainability, ease of sign-up, value for money and overall satisfaction.
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The energy market is undergoing a period of change with new regulations set to make comparing power plans even easier. That’s good news for electricity customers in New South Wales who now pay some of the highest prices in the country. However, that’s not down to a lack of price competition, with Sydney residents able to pick from more than 30 residential providers. The state has become one of the most hotly-contested for the retailers, but with all this competition comes confusion. The providers will all promise you a great deal, but which can you trust? You’ll clearly want competitive rates, but what about good customer service, too? And maybe even some great rewards?
Finding the best electricity company and plan for your needs and preferences comes down to a lot more than just the cheapest prices, with sign-up incentives, bill credits and ongoing rewards programs all giving households plenty to think about. To help make the decision-making process a little easier, Canstar Blue conducts an annual review of electricity providers. This year, more than 2,600 bill-payers across the state have given us their feedback on their electricity provider, based on factors including customer service, bill & cost clarity, online tools and advice, ease of sign-up, and value for money. The idea is to give you as much information about the compared providers as possible, to help you make a more-informed decision. Get all the details below.
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.
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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.
Here are the best electricity providers in NSW as rated by customers in Canstar Blue’s latest satisfaction survey:
Red Energy tops the table for the seventh year in a row – that’s a remarkable endorsement of the company and a great sign that it generally gets things right by its customers. Remember, this is not to suggest that Red Energy is the cheapest provider, but that its customers are the most satisfied with the overall level of service that they receive. Alinta Energy, Origin, AGL, EnergyAustralia and Dodo scored three stars overall.
Read on as we explain everything you need to know about power companies in NSW, and how to get a better deal from them. But first, you can use our comparison tool to compare plans in your area, or keep going for a selection of cheap deals from our database.
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.
Owned by renewable energy generation company Snowy Hydro, Red Energy operates across New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and the ACT, keeping things fairly simple with only two or three market offers for prospective customers to consider. All plans come with variable rates, meaning usage and supply charges can be changed at the retailer’s discretion. However, there are no contract terms or exit fees to worry about if you decide to leave. Aside from great customer service, Red Energy’s biggest selling point is its partnership with Qantas which sees customers pocket two Frequent Flyer points for every dollar they spend on bills. One plan brings two points for every $1 spent. Both plans come with access to Red Energy Rewards – the company’s loyalty program that can deliver discounts on various social activities, such as movie tickets, hotels and attractions.
A major gas and electricity retailer in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Queensland and Western Australia, Alinta Energy is one of the greatest challengers to the big three – AGL, Origin and EnergyAustralia. Alinta is owned by Hong Kong’s Chow Tai Fook Enterprises, but is still headquartered in Sydney. Alinta Energy has two market offers for households to consider. Where previously Alinta was known for its big discounts, its current offers have scaled back to offering no conditional discounts at all. Alinta additionally offers customers access to a rewards program, bringing potential savings on entertainment activities like movie tickets, as well as money off electronics from some major brands.
Origin has always been a retailer offering a comprehensive range of options for residents, and after strict new energy industry regulations took effect in July 2019, not much changed. The first plan in its line up packs the lowest rates, with a 12-month price guarantee, and comes in another variant which rewards customers with Everyday Rewards points. Origin’s other plan holds a modest amount off the reference price, but comes with variable rates instead. Origin Basic is the last plan, which serves up the same rates as the reference price and has no conditional discounts. All plans come with no exit fees or lock in contracts. Origin is also one of Australia’s leading solar retailers, with specific plans for customers who own solar panels.
AGL generally offers a couple of market contracts to households, with differing rates and conditions based on different preferences. While AGL previously offered more variable rate plans, its current line-up gives NSW customers the choice between a fixed rate plan and one variable rate offer, both with a range of value-add incentives. The company also offers its own rewards program called AGL Rewards which brings various discounts and savings on gift cards, plus money off movie tickets and restaurant meals. AGL is also one of few retailers to offer a specific plan for both solar customers and seniors.
After tough new energy industry regulations saw retailers switch up quite a few of their plans in July 2019, EnergyAustralia revamped its product range to provide customers with two fixed rate market offer plans to choose from, as well as one ‘basic’ product. No longer offering conditional discounts on any of its plans, EnergyAustralia has moved toward ‘simplifying’ its offerings, with its most heavily marketed plan providing reasonable usage and supply rates. The brand’s newest plan isn’t much different, coming instead with an unconditional discount that applies on a 12 month benefit period. Both plans avoid all exit fees or lock-in contracts. You’ll also find the Basic Home plan, which is EnergyAustralia’s offer that sits equal to the reference price.
Perhaps best-known as a phone and internet provider, Dodo completes the full set of home services by also selling electricity and gas. Dodo operates across most eastern states, with a single variable rate market offer to its name that carries rates a decent amount less than the reference price. Dodo is owned by the Vocus Group, the company behind lots of names in the telco industry, including iPrimus and Commander. Dodo’s big selling point is that customers have the convenience of dealing with just one company for all their home services. It also has double up discounts available for those who want to buy electricity and gas together.
In addition to the market offers mentioned above, all seven providers also have standard power contracts in NSW. These are ‘default’ plans that customers may be on if they have never switched retailers, or haven’t moved onto a new deal for several years. Standard contracts are usually significantly more expensive than the cheapest market offers.
While prices change all the time, the likes of ReAmped Energy, Mojo Power and Nectr are consistently some of the cheapest retailers in NSW. However, with more than 30 companies operating across the state, finding the cheapest energy provider will require some research on your behalf.
It’s also important to not overlook other features offered by electricity companies, such as customer service, billing options, value-add incentives and rewards programs. Although price will generally have the biggest influence when making a decision, it’s worth knowing which brands go that little bit further for your business.
Switching energy providers normally takes about 30 days to transfer your account to a new retailer, however the process duration will vary depending on when your existing company schedules a final meter reading. This means it could take anywhere between a few days or up to three months before your new retailer takes over your account.
That being said, the entire switching process is usually handled online or over the phone in a matter of minutes, with all the paperwork taken care of by your new retailer.
To compare electricity providers, simply enter your details into our comparison tool. This includes typing in your suburb or postcode and then hitting the compare button. By doing this, you’ll be able to review a range of companies available in your specific area with prices reflecting the appropriate default yearly usage amounts according to the distribution network.
The Canstar Blue comparison tool is free to use and does not require a phone number. You can also input your previous energy bill details for a specific comparison based on your household’s general usage. Our comparison tool allows you to assort deals by brand, plan name, price, value score and more.
To switch providers, use our comparison tool to choose a retailer based on your personal circumstances. Once you’ve landed on a suitable product, you will be directed to your chosen provider’s site where you will be required to input some of your details.
Keep in mind that the sign-up and switching process may be handled differently between providers, and remember to review all plan information directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision. Your new power company should provide you with any details relevant to switching, and will normally handle the breakup from your old provider on your behalf.
This page was originally published by Canstar Blue Editor-in-Chief Simon Downes. He’s been writing about energy prices in NSW for more than five years, covering the initial deregulation of the market in 2014, the subsequent influx of new retailers, the confusion around dodgy discounts, and more recently the fallout from new industry regulations designed to make energy plans more transparent. Simon also acts as spokesperson for Canstar Blue and is one of Australia’s most prominent energy industry commentators.
To get the cheapest possible deal for your household, you will need to take into consideration all of the factors previously mentioned, including:
When you spell everything out like this, it’s easy to see why many consumers find the subject of energy confusing. In an effort to simplify matters, Canstar Blue’s price comparison report for NSW shows overall estimated prices for the power suppliers mentioned in this report. Based on average usage figures and market contract pricing for single rate tariff households on the Ausgrid network, we show that customers could save hundreds of dollars by switching to one of the cheapest offers available. The ‘cheapest’ doesn’t automatically mean ‘best’, but if the bottom line is all you worry about then our report is certainly worth a look.
Ultimately, it’s all about educating yourself on the options available to you. The retailers are required by law to publish all their price fact sheets online, so use the information gathered in this report and check out the facts and figures with your own eyes. Our customer ratings also offer you an insight into how the big brands in the state are performing in the eyes of those paying the bills, so be sure to keep these details in mind too.
The list below features all the available electricity providers in NSW.
Find out which brands are available in your area by using our free comparison tool. Please note that some of these companies only operate in certain areas.
Here are the other brands that operate in the state which did not qualify for our annual review of NSW electricity providers.
While ActewAGL is predominately a retailer that supplies power to homes in the ACT, it also services south-east NSW as well as regions outside of Canberra, such as Queanbeyan. It has a couple of market offers, some of which feature guaranteed discounts and reasonable rates.
Amber Electric is a small retailer offering a different pricing model which gives customers access to wholesale energy prices. Instead of discounts or bill credits, Amber’s main draw-card is low rates, however there is a small monthly subscription fee charged. While the the electricity provider is still in its infancy, Amber Electric claims to offer customers a more ‘honest’ approach to pricing.
Bright Spark Power has recently emerged in NSW, giving customers a couple of choices between a fixed rate offer and a plan with variable rates. While its rates seem to be fairly competitive, Bright Spark Power charges an early exit fee so customers will need to make sure they stick it out with the provider for the duration of the benefit period.
CovaU is a relatively small energy retailer offering both electricity and gas in NSW and Victoria. Depending on your state, you’ll find different energy plans on offer, with NSW households given a single product to consider for electricity, plus a specific offer for solar customers. CovaU offers a seemingly generous discount that applies to the whole bill and is ongoing.
Passionate about renewable energy, Diamond Energy has emerged as a small retailer offering green swinging plans in NSW, QLD, SA and VIC. The retailer owns a few renewable assets and ranks second in Greenpeace’s Green Electricity Guide. While perhaps not the most abundant energy plan provider, its single market offer in NSW will get you a modest discount off your whole bill for combining paying on time, direct debiting and setting up email billing, over a benefit period of two years.
Discover Energy is a new retailer on the block, servicing customers in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia. Claimed to be a 100% Australian-owned energy company, Discover Energy claims to “put green at the forefront of the business”. Discover Energy can offer highly competitive electricity rates along with a guaranteed discount off usage rates. Discover Energy boldly states it’s a “disruptor of traditional energy supply chain”, promising no lock-in contracts, an app and many other technological feats that sets it apart from its competitors.
A no-nonsense supplier, Electricity In A Box has emerged out of Sydney’s Bondi Junction. The company has one market offer without any need for discounts – just fixed usage and supply rates. Electricity In A Box claims to be fully Australian-owned and is currently only available to customers on Ausgrid and Endeavour Energy networks in NSW.
A retailer specialising in somewhat alleviating bill shock is Elysian Energy. The retailer’s billing method works by customers selecting an amount of energy that is thought to be adequate for a home over the span of a month or fortnight, and then pay a set rate at the end of the period for it. What’s good is that customers are not locked into a contract, so bill-payers can exit at any time without a fee.
Another relatively new retailer, Energy Locals operates in NSW, Victoria, QLD, SA, ACT and TAS. It’s different in that it offers an option for customers to support a worthy cause of their choosing through their power bills. Energy Locals offers a straight-shooting electricity plan which doesn’t have any “confusing discounts”, as well as some more unique offers. Its membership-based electricity plans require you to pay a monthly fee on top of regular charges to unlock ‘wholesale’ rates.
Enova Energy claims to be Australia’s first community-owned energy provider, originally only operating on the Essential Energy Network in NSW. Now the retailer has expanded into other parts of NSW. It’s a company that says it focuses on putting local investment back into the community, as well as reducing its carbon footprint. In terms of its energy plans, Enova offers modest pay on time discounts and there are no exit fees for switching.
A new retailer in NSW, south-east Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania, Future X Power has entered the energy market with its sole market offer. Future X Power was previously known for big conditional discounts, however has since opted to concentrate on offering competitive usage and supply rates.
GloBird Energy has spread its wings into NSW, offering households two plans – each of which come with variable rates. One plan features conditional discounts while the other is focussed on low usage and supply rates. GloBird Energy is usually price competitive but has a habit of changing prices more frequently than other providers.
Another new retailer to join the market is Glow Power, a brand claiming to offer simple and transparent pricing. With one market offer available to customers, Glow Power features competitive rates and no exit fees or lock-in contracts. It also has a monthly billing cycle.
Online retail giant, Kogan, has ventured into the market by way of its partnership with Powershop. Kogan is currently retailing in Victoria, New South Wales, south east Queensland and South Australia, offering one plan fittingly called ‘Market Offer’. Kogan Energy has a handy app which allows customers to pay bills and check power usage, as well as other useful insights. With such a renowned reputation in the retail space, Kogan Energy aims to “flip the switch on amazing value” in the energy world.
Known formally as Locality Planning Energy, LPE has made its way south into NSW from QLD, offering customers its sole product that comes with variable rates and no exit fees. LPE also offers monthly billing and GreenPower options. LPE is an established power provider in strata and embedded energy networks, but has since shifted to supply electricity to all residential properties.
In order to sign up to Mojo Power, you’ll need to be a customer in SE Queensland, NSW or South Australia. Mojo Power apparently prides itself on being a company supporting less reliance on the energy grid. Mojo has a standard energy plan in addition to its two standard offers available in NSW. Its plans are best suited to customers with smart meters.
Momentum Energy is owned by Hydro Tasmania, one of Australia’s largest renewable energy producers. It operates primarily in NSW and VIC, and all products are free from conditional discounts. Momentum has actively criticised big energy discounts for some time and instead focuses on offering competitive rates. While Momentum offers specific deals for renters and solar customers in Victoria, it only offers its most basic electricity plan in NSW.
Nectr is another newcomer to the NSW market, giving customers a fixed rate deal with no exit fees. Nectr is a company that prides itself on being green energy and renewables focused, offering bill-payers a 100% GreenPower option. Nectr is owned by South Korean-based, multi-billion-dollar solar manufacturer Hanwha Group.
While OVO Energy may be better known in the UK, it has landed its way into the Australian energy retail scene, bringing with it a plan that boasts unusual benefits. With OVO, customers can expect carbon neutral electricity supply, with the added benefit of 10% GreenPower by default. This provider’s single market offer relies on bill smoothing, rewarding customers with modest interest when their credit is in balance.
As its name suggests, Pooled Energy specialises in catered energy plans for swimming pool owners. Only available in NSW, customers with a pool are offered a comprehensive electricity and pool maintenance package, so you pay the same company for cleaning your pool as you do your power bills.
Powerclub is a smaller electricity retailer operating in NSW, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and the ACT, offering access to wholesale energy rates for a fee. This energy provider aims to offer ‘what you see is what you get’, simplified energy, whereby customers can monitor their usage and adjust their habits to ultimately save on their power bills. In order to smooth out unpredictable price spikes, Powerclub asks you to deposit money into a Powerbank, that replenishes itself when wholesale prices are particularly low.
Backed by power giant AGL, Powerdirect operates across NSW, QLD, VIC and SA. Its priority has historically been business energy, and that’s what you’ll usually see it marketed as, but it still offers competitive electricity deals, usually in the form of fixed rates for a benefit period of 12 months.
Australia’s greenest energy company according to Greenpeace, Powershop is a carbon-neutral electricity and gas retailer operating in NSW, VIC, QLD and SA. Powershop is a little bit different to other energy providers in that it offers energy in pre-purchased Powerpacks, rather than just charging you at the end of your billing period. Customers can purchase power months ahead of time at reduced prices, with standard packs offered in addition to occasional special promotions. However, for those who don’t like the idea of pre-purchasing power, Powershop also provides a basic plan.
While QEnergy has previously focused more on its business energy offerings, residential customers in NSW, QLD, VIC and SA can sign up to at least one plan. Offering no conditional discounts on any of its products, QEnergy joins the ranks of both big and small retailers trying to ‘simplify the energy industry’. However, it has a habit of changing prices more regularly than most.
A new entrant to NSW is Radian Energy, a company also operating in QLD and the ACT. Radian Energy offers a sole fixed-rate plan with no exit fees or lock-in contracts. It also has solar-specific energy deals for customers with PV systems that offer slightly higher feed-in tariffs.
ReAmped Energy is an independent electricity retailer operating in NSW, Victoria, QLD and SA, with a mission to be the cheapest, or at least one of the cheapest, options around. With a handful of market contracts, the company is promising to ‘simplify’ the energy industry by removing conditional discounts and instead giving its customers low rates. ReAmped claims to be 100% online, so is best for those comfortable with signing up and asking any questions online, as well as receiving bills electronically.
Boasting more than 700,000 customers in NSW, QLD, SA and VIC, Simply Energy is gaining traction for its sometimes unusual electricity offers. In NSW, you’ll find one straight-shooting energy plan with variable rates and a generous guaranteed discount. If you’re a member of NRMA, Simply Energy is offering a larger discount with an ongoing benefit period.
One of the freshest faces on the scene is Social Energy – hailing from the UK and now operating across most of the eastern states. It brings seemingly low rates as well as higher than average feed-in tariffs for customers with solar systems. The retailer curates its deals specifically for homes with solar panels and batteries.
Sumo is a relatively new energy retailer that also doubles up as an NBN provider. This means it offers specific bundles for your home services, with bill credits available at times for customers who bundle electricity, gas and internet. When it comes to electricity, it only operates in NSW, VIC and QLD, with a couple of market offers promoted, which all target a variety of households. Sumo also retails gas in Victoria and NSW.
Tango Energy is a new entrant in the New South Wales retail market, bringing its signature plan to Sydney (and many other) shores. The company is owned by Pacific Hydro, a company with a large portfolio of renewable energy investments. Customers who are interested in Tango can expect to pay fixed rates for 12 months, with open options for payment methods. This plan doesn’t come with any conditional discounts, rather offering reasonably low rates.
1st Energy offers plans in NSW, VIC, QLD, and most recently became the first residential retailer to move into Tasmania, where the state-owned Aurora Energy previously enjoyed a monopoly. Claiming to be a ‘customer-focused retailer’, 1st Energy offers plans with large discounts that it says genuinely reflects business costs. Discounts are often some of the biggest in each state, but of course the biggest discounts don’t always mean the cheapest prices.
There are many power retailers in operation now, but it wasn’t long ago that households in Sydney and the rest of the state were stuck with one of the big three companies – Origin, EnergyAustralia or AGL – with no other brands able to challenge their dominance. It’s for this reason that they continue to supply more than 80% of customers in NSW, according to the Australian Energy Market Commission’s 2019 Retail Energy Competition Review. If you don’t remember signing up to one of these companies, you were probably transferred over when one of them absorbed your old retailer.
The NSW electricity market began to change in 2002 when the State Government introduced ‘Full Retail Competition’, meaning that smaller retailers could provide alternative options for consumers. However, while Victoria lifted its pricing restrictions way back in 2009 – and South Australia followed suit three years later – the NSW retail market remained regulated by the state’s Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal until 2014, so there was little or no financial incentive for customers to switch before then. This was a story replicated in Queensland where price regulations were only lifted in 2016.
Electricity price deregulation means the power companies are free to set their own plans, prices and conditions – resulting in a plethora of new entrants into the market. The benefits of deregulation are still up for debate, but the fact is that households have never had so many providers to choose from, presenting the opportunity for consumers to save if they shop around, or just use new offers as leverage to negotiate a better deal with their existing supplier. However, in order to save, you must have at least a basic understanding of the different providers, contracts and plans available. Read on for details.
In July 2019, energy retailers in NSW had to adapt to a range of new industry regulations designed to make power more affordable and make comparing plans easier. After years of often confusing, big discount plans that commonly didn’t result in the savings that they might suggest, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) stepped in to introduce a new, regulated price cap for customers who were previously paying the most. These customers, on standing offers, were switched onto a new Default Market Offer (DMO) price determined by the Australia Energy Regulator (AER). This is a consistent price across all retailers, unlike with the old standing offers. This soon resulted in notable savings for these customers, while the DMO also acts as a reference price for all market offers, including those with discounts. All plans must now be compared to the AER Reference Price, displaying a percentage ‘less than’, ‘equal to’ or ‘more than’, so consumers can see which plans really offer the best value.
NSW is home to more than a dozen solar farms, contributing significantly to the state’s power supply. Yet the state remains dependent on a handful of coal-fired power plants to meet its power demand. Most of these stations are owned by the big three companies – AGL, Origin, EnergyAustralia – and one of the most well-known (and controversial) is ‘Liddell’ in the Hunter Valley. Owned by AGL, the aging Liddell power station has been flagged for closure in the coming years. However, AGL has faced pressure from the state government to keep the plant open beyond its scheduled closure date to ensure adequate supply for the region. AGL, which has committed to ‘getting out of coal’, has even turned down an offer from Alinta Energy to purchase the station. Meanwhile, like other old power stations, Liddell has become notoriously unreliable, frequently breaking down and putting pressure on the network.
You may not realise that there are three different electricity distribution networks covering NSW. This is important to know because the network you live on could have a big impact on your bills, with distribution costs accounting for as much as 50% of your overall bills. The three distribution networks are:
Retailers will have different prices for their plans on each network, meaning that the amount an Origin customer (for example) pays on the Ausgrid network will be different to what an Origin customer will pay on the Endeavour network, even if their plans are the same. As a homeowner, there is little you can do about this. However, if you are renting a home and take utility costs seriously, you could look into different prices before deciding which suburb to move to, because it could save you a significant amount.
The first step in saving money on costs is to understand what type of energy contract you are on. There are two types of contracts:
Canstar Blue’s database shows that some customers still stand to save hundreds of dollars a year simply by switching from their provider’s Default Market Offer to its cheapest market contract, provided they stick to the terms and conditions. The latest figures from the AER show that about one in five households across NSW remain on the default price, and while this is much lower than they were previously paying on standing offers, more significant savings could still be made. The DMO is not designed to be a great deal, but a fairer price ‘safety net’ for those who do not engage in the market.
NSW may be behind other parts of the country when it comes to the uptake of solar power, but power suppliers in the state still offer some of the most generous feed-in tariffs. Rates of up to 21c/kWh are on offer for exported energy, but be aware that the highest feed-in tariffs do not necessarily translate to the cheapest overall bills. When comparing solar plans, it’s important to pay as much attention to the usage and supply charges as the feed-in tariff being offered.
For most households, usage charges will make up the majority of overall costs. However, you should still pay close attention to supply charges which can vary significantly between brands and plans. For small households, supply charges will generally make up a higher proportion of overall costs. But for homes with high usage requirements, usage charges will be the main culprit of large bills.
To get the best deal on your electricity supply, you will need to understand how different tariffs work and how they can impact your overall costs. Some tariffs, however, will only be available if you have a smart meter installed at your property. Tariffs available in are:
If you have a single rate tariff, you will pay the same usage charges no matter what the time of day, up to a point. This is because ‘block rates’ are usually applied to single rate tariff usage charges, with households charged differently depending on how much power they consume. In most cases, customers will pay the highest prices for the first ‘block’ of power they use during the day (usually around 10kWhs) and then less for each following block. There is usually only a marginal difference between the costs of these blocks, but they are still worth being aware of.
Regardless of whether a household has a single rate tariff or time of use tariff, they will still be able to benefit from having a ‘controlled load’. A controlled load, or ‘dedicated circuit’ as it is often called, is effectively a separate circuit that allows you to meter selected high-usage appliances independently from the rest of your home. A controlled load will usually be used to power the electric hot water system in your home. Pool pumps could also be powered this way to reduce swimming pool costs. Controlled load prices will be much lower than normal usage rates, but are only applicable for a few hours each day (between 6 and 8). Households can also add a second controlled load with other big appliances. These can be applied for up to 16 hours per day, but the usage rates will be higher than the first controlled load.
There are a wide variety of different market contracts on offer, usually differentiated by headline discounts or other sign-up incentives, such as ‘bonus credit’ when you sign up online. While some electricity retailers offer multiple market contracts for households to choose from, others have a far more concise range. Dodo only has one residential market offer, while Red Energy, Alinta Energy and Click Energy have two or three. The big three retailers, Origin, AGL and EnergyAustralia, provide three or four market contracts each. These could include both variable and fixed rate plans.
There are other providers doing things a little differently across the state. Pooled Energy, for example, offers specific plans for households with swimming pools, combining its license as an energy retailer with a pool maintaining services – so your power retailer is also responsible for cleaning your pool! Meanwhile, Energy Locals gives customers an opportunity to donate to charity via their bills.
To make them stand out from the crowd, some plans come with headline-grabbing discounts, usually off usage charges for either paying bills on time, paying by direct debit, getting bills via email, or for signing up online. Discounts of more than 20% were common before new regulations took effect, and while several retailers still offer various discounts, they now look much more modest and are generally easier to understand. Many have ditched discounts altogether, replaced by bill credits or other incentives.
If conditional discounts don’t really appeal to you, you will find a range of other sign-up incentives offered by retailers. Alinta Energy has a plan that brings a basic subscription to Kayo Sports during the life of the contract, while AGL customers can earn flybuys points and those with Red Energy can collect Qantas Frequent Flyer points for paying their bills on time. It’s also common for companies to throw $50-$100 in sign-up credit at new customers, especially if they sign up online.
The following electricity providers offer some form of rewards program to customers in NSW, bringing savings on various leisure and social activities, including eating out, accommodation and even theme park tickets.
Given that NSW is one of the most competitive markets for the retailers, some of these sign-up incentives and rewards programs are not available in other areas.
To help reduce utility costs, there are a range of different energy rebates available for households in Sydney and surrounding areas. Customers with low incomes, dependent children and certain medical conditions could be eligible for financial support towards their gas and electricity costs.
The table below shows the annual costs of the providers on our database. We show one product per retailer, listed from the lowest priced estimate first. See here for information on the AER Reference Price, which in this NSW comparison assumes general energy usage of 3900kWh/year, meaning the Reference Price is $1,462/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Use our comparison tool for a specific comparison. Our database may not cover all deals available in your area, and please check retailer websites for up to date information.
|Electricity Provider||Electricity Plan||Difference from Reference Price^||Conditional Discounts||Price Estimate*|
|Elysian Energy||Simple Plan||26% Less Than Reference Price||32% Less Than Reference Price for Paying on Time||$990incl. conditional discount|
|ReAmped Energy||ReAmped Advance||32% Less Than Reference Price||No conditional discounts||$994
|Mojo Power||All Day Breakfast||30% Less Than Reference Price||No conditional discounts||$1,016
|GloBird Energy||GloSave||24% Less Than Reference Price||30% Less Than Reference Price for Paying on Time by Direct Debit||$1,027incl. conditional discount|
|Energy Locals||Online Member||28% Less Than Reference Price||No conditional discounts||$1,054
|Nectr||Friends Clean||20% Less Than Reference Price||$100 bill credit for new customers||$1,067incl. conditional discount|
|Momentum Energy||Self Serve||27% Less Than Reference Price||No conditional discounts||$1,072
|OVO Energy||The One Plan||26% Less Than Reference Price||No conditional discounts||$1,079
|Tango Energy||Home Select||26% Less Than Reference Price||No conditional discounts||$1,084
|Kogan Energy||Market Offer||26% Less Than Reference Price||No conditional discounts||$1,089
|Alinta Energy||Home Deal||25% Less Than Reference Price||No conditional discounts||$1,101
|Powerdirect||Rate Saver||24% Less Than Reference Price||No conditional discounts||$1,108
|EnergyAustralia||Total Plan Home||24% Less Than Reference Price||No conditional discounts||$1,111|
|Powerclub||Powerbank Home Flat||24% Less Than Reference Price||No conditional discounts||$1,115
|AGL||Essentials Plus||23% Less Than Reference Price||No conditional discounts||$1,131|
|Simply Energy||Simply NRMA||22% Less Than Reference Price||No conditional discounts||$1,137
|Sumo||Sumo Assure||22% Less Than Reference Price||No conditional discounts||$1,138|
|Electricity In A Box||Home Anytime||22% Less Than Reference Price||No conditional discounts||$1,139|
|Origin Energy||Everyday Rewards||21% Less Than Reference Price||No conditional discounts||$1,149
|Bright Spark Power||Aussie Flat Rate Plan||20% Less Than Reference Price||No conditional discounts||$1,163
|CovaU||Freedom Plus||20% Less Than Reference Price||No conditional discounts||$1,164
|Powershop||Shopper Market Offer||14% Less Than Reference Price||20% Less Than Reference Price for Pre-Payment||$1,175incl. conditional discount
|Glow Power||Glow Power Saver||20% Less Than Reference Price||No conditional discounts||$1,177
|Future X Power||Smart Flat||19% Less Than Reference Price||No conditional discounts||$1,179
|1st Energy||1st Saver Plus Online||8% Less Than Reference Price||18% Less Than Reference Price for Paying on Time||$1,194incl. conditional discount
|Discover Energy||Smart Saver||18% Less Than Reference Price||No conditional discounts||$1,196
|Dodo||Market Offer||18% Less Than Reference Price||No conditional discounts||$1,206
|Enova Energy||Community Plus||15% Less Than Reference Price||17% Less Than Reference Price for Paying on Time||$1,209incl. conditional discount
|Locality Planning Energy||Principal Rate||16% Less Than Reference Price||No conditional discounts||$1,231|
|Red Energy||Living Energy Saver||15% Less Than Reference Price||No conditional discounts||$1,240
|Radian Energy||Grid To Go||14% Less Than Reference Price||No conditional discounts||$1,257|
|Pooled Energy||Sparkling Water||10% Less Than Reference Price||No conditional discounts||$1,311
|Diamond Energy||Everyday Renewable Saver||3% More Than Reference Price||7% Less Than Reference Price for Paying on Time by Direct Debit||$1,354incl. conditional discount|
|Amber Electric||Amber Plan||Equal To Reference Price||No conditional discounts||$1,462
|QEnergy||Home Your Way||Equal to Reference Price||No conditional discounts
|Basic Plan Information Documents|
*Price assumes general energy usage of 3900kWh/year. Estimated price includes any conditions discounts that may be available. Pricing based on Ausgrid network in Sydney, but prices differ between distribution areas. April 2021.
The following table shows the general usage rates and daily supply charges of the New South Wales electricity providers on our database. We list the rates of the cheapest published deal from each retailer. Rates are for single rate tariffs only. Use our comparison tool for specific rates in your area.
|Electricity Provider||Electricity Plan||General Usage Rate||Daily Supply Charge|
|Alinta Energy||Home Deal||21.34¢/kWh||73.70¢/day|
|Amber Electric||Amber Plan||27.41¢/kWh||109.05¢/kWh|
|Bright Spark Power||Aussie Flat Rate Plan||21.50¢/kWh||89.00¢/day|
|CovaU Energy||Freedom Plus||29.37¢/kWh||84.70¢/day|
|Diamond Energy||Everyday Renewable Saver||28.49¢/kWh||91.74¢/day|
|Discover Energy||Smart Saver||29.48¢/kWh||85.25¢/day|
|Electricity In A Box||Home Anytime||21.49¢/kWh||82.37¢/day|
|Elysian Energy||Simple Plan||23.07¢/kWh||104.27¢/day|
|EnergyAustralia||Total Plan Home||29.56¢/kWh||84.70¢/day|
|Energy Locals||Online Member||19.40¢/kWh||53.00¢/day|
|Enova Energy||Community Plus||24.20¢/kWh||80.30¢/day|
|Future X Power||Smart Flat||21.94¢/kWh||93.50¢/day|
|Glow Power||Glow Power Saver||21.89¢/kWh||88.44¢/day|
|Kogan Energy||Market Offer||19.02¢/kWh||97.37¢/day|
|Locality Planning Energy||Principal Rate||23.61¢/kWh||92.90¢/day|
|Mojo Power||All Day Breakfast||17.82¢/kWh||88.00¢/day|
|Momentum Energy||Self Serve||18.60¢/kWh||94.89¢/day|
|Origin Energy||Everyday Rewards||24.13¢/kWh||70.61¢/day|
|OVO Energy||The One Plan||21.34¢/kWh||67.65¢/day|
|Pooled Energy||Market Offer||29.52¢/kWh||86.38¢/day|
|Powerclub||Powerbank Home Flat||20.05¢/kWh||80.44¢/day|
|Powershop||Shopper Market Offer||21.90¢/kWh||108.60¢/day|
|QEnergy||Home Your Way||27.76¢/kWh||103.81¢/day|
|Radian Energy||Grid To Go||23.65¢/kWh||91.58¢/day|
|ReAmped Energy||ReAmped Advance||17.62¢/kWh||86.85¢/day|
|Red Energy||Living Energy Saver||23.97¢/kWh||83.58¢/day|
|Simply Energy||Simply NRMA||28.61¢/kWh||93.61¢/day|
|Tango Energy||Home Select||19.00¢/kWh||94.00¢/day|
|1st Energy||1st Saver Plus Online||27.13¢/kWh||108.90¢/day|
|Basic Plan Information Documents|
Rates from Ausgrid network in Sydney. Rates last updated April 2021. Use our comparison tool for specific details in your area.
Due to its sheer size and population, the city of Sydney is supplied by two electricity distribution networks – Ausgrid and Endeavour Energy. Ausgrid covers a large part of Sydney’s households and major city area, while Endeavour takes care of the city’s west. Electricity rates can vary between the distribution networks, so you could be paying more or less for power than your friends two streets away on the other network. Outside of Sydney, many areas are covered by the Essential electricity network.
Sydney suburbs on the Ausgrid electricity network include:
Sydney suburbs on the Endeavour electricity network include:
Like other highly-populated parts of NSW, if you live in Newcastle or the surrounding areas, you’ll have quite a few electricity providers to choose from. Like Sydney, Newcastle is on the Ausgrid electricity network.
Here are the main suburbs covered by the Ausgrid network in Newcastle:
The Ausgrid network also covers the NSW Central Coast, which includes the following suburbs:
Wollongong falls on the Endeavour electricity network, including the following suburbs:
Coffs Harbour is on the Essential electricity network. Suburbs in this area include:
Wagga Wagga is on the Essential electricity network. Here are the major suburbs in Wagga Wagga and the surrounds:
Maitland is on the Ausgrid electricity network, covering the following suburbs and surrounds:
The Essential Energy electricity network covers Bathurst, including the following suburbs:
The Shoalhaven region falls on the Endeavour Energy electricity network. Here are the major towns and suburbs in Shoalhaven:
Famous for its country music festival, Tamworth is situated on the Essential Energy electricity network. Here are the main suburbs covered by the Essential Energy network in Tamworth:
Port Macquarie falls on the Essential Energy electricity network. Some of the suburbs and neighbouring towns include:
Canstar Blue surveyed 12,000 Australian adults across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction, via ISO 26362 accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who live in New South Wales, have an electricity account, and pay the bills – in this case, 2,666 people.
Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then by mean overall satisfaction. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.
Business Electricity Plans & Providers - April 2nd
As a senior or pensioner, you may be entitled to specific energy deals that can help keep costs down. Consider providers, plans and deals at Canstar Blue.– Read more
Compare NSW Electricity Providers - April 1st
Who is the cheapest electricity provider in NSW? Compare average costs between energy companies in NSW and find the best deal at Canstar Blue.– Read more
*QLD, SA and NSW: Price is GST inclusive and is: The estimated lowest possible price a representative customer would be charged in a year for this plan, assuming all conditions of discounts offered (if any) have been met, based on the AER’s model annual usage in the distribution region as stated at the top of each table.
~VIC: Price is GST inclusive and is: The estimated lowest possible price a customer would be charged in a year for this plan, using the Victorian Government’s annual reference consumption for domestic customers in your distribution region as stated at the top of each table and assuming all conditions of discounts offered (if any) have been met.
Some plans may require you to meet certain conditions before a discount may become available to you. Check the energy provider’s plan information for details of all possible discounts that may apply and any conditions that need to be met to be eligible for these discounts. Some plans may have a minimum term longer than one year. In that case the total cost over the term will be much higher than the Price (which is only for one year). Consider the provider’s detailed product and pricing information before making a decision to take out a new plan or switch electricity providers.
^What is the Reference Price?
Reference Price: The reference price is set by the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) for a financial year in relation to electricity supply to residential customers in the distribution region and is based on an assumed annual usage amount. Any difference between the reference price and the unconditional price of a plan is expressed as a percentage more or less than the reference price. The terms of any conditional discounts are shown, along with any further difference between the reference price and the discount applied if a condition is met, expressed as a percentage more or less than the reference price.
>What is the VDO?
VDO: The Victorian Default Offer (VDO) includes a daily supply charge and usage charges (per kilowatt hour). Differences in tariffs across distribution regions reflect the unique costs of providing electricity services in each area. The difference between the VDO and the unconditional price of a plan, based on the Victorian Government’s annual reference consumption for domestic customers in the distribution region, is expressed as a percentage more or less than the VDO. The terms of any conditional discounts are shown, along with any further difference between the VDO and the discount applied if a condition is met, expressed as a percentage more or less than the VDO.
ACT: Costs based on annual household usage of 5499kWh/year on the EvoEnergy network in Canberra, September 2020. For more information on annual cost calculations please click here.
TAS: Costs based on annual household usage of 6775kWh/year on the TasNetworks electricity network in Tasmania, September 2020. For more information on annual cost calculations please click here.
†By clicking on a brand, 'go to site' or ‘details’ button, you will leave Canstar Blue and be taken to our referral partner to compare. Canstar Blue may be paid for this referral. You agree that Canstar Blue’s terms and conditions apply to this referral.
Canstar Blue may earn a fee for referrals from its website tables, and from sponsorship of certain products. Fees payable by product providers for referrals and sponsorship may vary between providers, website position, and revenue model. Sponsorship fees may be higher than referral fees. Sponsored products are clearly disclosed as such on website pages. They may appear in a number of areas of the website such as in comparison tables, on hub pages and in articles. Sponsored products may be displayed in a fixed position in a table, regardless of the product's rating, price or other attributes. The table position of a Sponsored product does not indicate any ranking or rating by Canstar. The table position of a Sponsored product does not change when a consumer changes the sort order of the table. For more information please see How Are We Funded.
Annual cost estimates exclude solar payments. Feed-in tariffs shown are single rate only.
Solar products may only be available to solar customers and some products may only be available to customers who purchase solar PV or other products through the retailer.