Why some NSW suburbs pay more for energy than others

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The amount households in New South Wales pay for energy is dependent on a range of variables, including their contract type, retailer, the specific plan they sign up to, the tariffs they use and the discounts they may receive. However, Canstar Blue research shows that another factor can also play a costly role – location.

The area in which a customer lives has a direct impact on their ongoing electricity costs, as charges can vary considerably between energy distribution networks, even with the same retailer. This is because distributor costs are built into retailer plans and can account for up to 50% of your total bill.

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For example, an Origin customer in the east of Sydney would pay a different amount to another Origin customer in the west of the city, even if they were signed up to the same energy plan and had identical usage habits. However, an Origin customer in regional NSW can expect to pay significantly more than both.

There are three electricity distribution networks in NSW:

  • Ausgrid – servicing inner, northern and eastern metropolitan Sydney and surrounding areas, including Central Coast and Newcastle
  • Endeavour Energy – servicing southern and western metropolitan Sydney and surrounding arrears, including the Blue Mountains and the Illawarra
  • Essential Energy – servicing country and regional NSW

The result is that households in neighbouring suburbs can expect different electricity bills, and that retailers are cheaper on some networks than others.

How do costs compare between networks?

nsw-map

Canstar Blue has compared plans from the four major electricity retailers operating in NSW – Origin, AGL, EnergyAustralia and Red Energy. Using the same single rate tariff plans with the same discounts applied, the research found that households on the Essential Energy network are paying the highest price for power, with those on the Ausgrid network usually paying the least.

Given that the Essential Energy network services country and regional NSW – from Bathurst all the way west to Broken Hill – it is perhaps not surprising that costs are higher here. However, consumers may be surprised to learn the extent to which prices differ. There are also significant cost differences between the Ausgrid and Endeavour networks.

Households in the Sydney suburbs of Bankstown, Auburn and Ryde, for example, can expect to pay more for electricity than those in the neighbouring suburbs of Fairfield, Parramatta and Liverpool, even if their plans and usage are the same.

Ausgrid vs Endeavour vs Essential

Click on each of the NSW distribution networks below to get an idea of just how much prices can change, depending on where you live.

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 Endeavour Energy network in Wollongong but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 4900kWh/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 Essential Energy network in Coffs Harbour 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.

Pricing based on specific postcodes in Sydney (2040), Wollongong (2500) and Coffs Harbour (2450) respectively, but prices may differ in your area. Use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. January 2020.

What can you do about it?

If you own a home on one of these networks, there is obviously little you can do about it, other than to compare plans to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible in your area. If you rent a home, or are considering where to buy, these results are worth keeping in mind.

Please note that these costs were accurate at the time of publication and are provided as a guide only.

NSW Electricity Customer Ratings

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