Canstar Blue’s review of Queensland electricity providers compares Alinta Energy, Red Energy, EnergyAustralia, AGL and Origin 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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Energy has been a hot topic in recent years, and Queenslanders are no strangers to high power bills, especially when it comes to summer and the cost of air conditioning. But the good news is that the QLD electricity market is almost unrecognisable from just a few years ago, with several new retailers to pick from and competition becoming fierce. While many Queenslanders continue to pay for power with one of the big three providers, many have turned to an increasing number of smaller players promising a better deal and superior service. So, what should you do? In this report, we list QLD electricity providers based on customer satisfaction, while offering a detailed buying guide for the Sunshine State, and revealing which companies currently have the cheapest prices on our database.
We want to give you as much information as possible to help you make an informed decision about your next electricity provider. The improved competition in Queensland is certainly good news, and seems to have put a downward pressure on electricity prices. But with the increased marketing and claims of big savings, finding the right power company for your needs has become a tougher challenge. That’s where our comparison can help as we have rated QLD electricity providers based on the real-world experiences of their customers. This year, almost 1,300 households have given us their views. Read on for details.
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 our 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 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 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 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 energy providers in QLD as rated by customers in Canstar Blue’s latest satisfaction survey:
It’s a fantastic result for Alinta Energy to top the ratings for four years on the spin, having only launched in the Sunshine State back in 2017. It’s certainly made a big impact with one of the most competitive deals in the Brisbane area, while also ticking the right boxes in respect of customer service. This year, Red Energy was the closest challenger with four stars for overall satisfaction, ahead of EnergyAustralia, AGL and Origin Energy on three stars.
Read on as we explain everything you need to know about these six energy providers, and how to get a better deal from them. But first, why not review the latest offers with our comparison tool below, or keep reading for a selection of great 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 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 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 SE QLD. These are products from a referral partner†. 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 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 SE QLD. These are products from a referral partner†. 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 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 SE QLD. These are products from a referral partner†. 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 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.
Alinta Energy is one of the biggest electricity and gas suppliers in the southern states of Australia, and gas retailers in Western Australia, but is still a relatively new addition to SE QLD. Alinta is now owned by Hong Kong-based conglomerate Chow Tai Fook Enterprises but remains headquartered in Sydney, with another large office in Perth. Alinta keeps things relatively simple with just one or two market offers in each state that it serves. Alinta’s electricity plans previously came with significant discounts off usage charges but following the introduction of industry regulations in 2019, its plans now come with lower rates and no discounts. There are no lock-in contracts or exit fees. Rates are variable. Alinta has also recently launched a competitive gas offer in the state for those who need dual fuel supply.
Red Energy is another relatively new retailer in Queensland also making a very good impression. Having dominated our NSW electricity ratings for several years now, Red Energy also arrived in SE QLD in 2017 and has more recently become one of the few providers to also supply gas in the state, alongside Alinta, AGL and Origin. Owned by the renewable generation company Snowy Hydro, Red Energy’s big selling point is its partnership with Qantas which sees customers collect Frequent Flyer points for money spent on energy. Red Energy has earned a solid reputation for good customer service, reflected by its continued success in NSW, as well as its consistently positive performance in QLD.
EnergyAustralia has drastically changed it product offers in SE Queensland in recent times, removing several deals promoting conditional discounts and instead now focusing on fixed rate plans that are competitively priced without the need for customers to meet conditions like paying on time. The first fixed rate plan has no discounts but rates locked in for 12 months, while the other fixed rate plan comes with an unconditional discount. EnergyAustralia’s third offer simply matches the Reference Price for Queensland. All EnergyAustralia plans are said to be carbon neutral for customers who opt in (check the EA website for more details). The company helpfully publishes estimated monthly costs for all its plans online so you’ll have an idea of what you’ll pay before signing up.
Powerhouse retailer AGL typically brings two market offers to the table in south-east QLD, with varying benefits and conditions based on personal preferences. The Super Saver plan freezes rates for 12 months and the Flexible Saver plan comes with variable rates and an ongoing benefit period. AGL has at times provided a specific solar product for Queenslanders with solar panels, delivering one of the biggest feed-in tariffs in the market.
Origin recently relaunched its entire product range following the introduction of tougher industry regulations designed to make products simpler and easier to compare. Despite previously offering several products with large conditional discounts which only lasted for a year or two, Origin now promotes a few main market offers, all free of conditional discounts and instead just promising competitive rates. The first plan packs the lowest rates and comes with Everyday Rewards points, while the other plan is suited to those who don’t want to lock in prices, carrying slightly higher rates in exchange. Origin Basic is the retailer’s most ‘basic’ plan, which has the same rates as the Reference Price. Origin is also one of Australia’s leading solar retailers, with specific plans for customers who own solar panels.
All of the retailers mentioned above also provide standard contracts in Queensland. These are default energy plans that customers will be on if they have never switched providers, or haven’t taken up another offer in several years.
Finding the cheapest electricity provider is a bit of a moving target in QLD, especially as competition is so fierce now with multiple companies constantly updating prices. While it’s hard to pinpoint the cheapest retailer at any one time, it’s fair to say that the likes of ReAmped Energy, Mojo Power and Powerdirect are consistently at the top of the tables for cheap prices.
Although price is arguably the biggest influence on choosing your next provider, it’s important not to overlook other features of a power retailer. This includes customer service, value-add incentives, rewards programs, green energy options and discounts. Keep price in mind, but always review brands on other factors that offer value elsewhere, as this will help separate the average deals from the great.
To compare a range of power retailers in Brisbane and other parts of south east QLD, simply use our electricity comparison tool. After typing in your postcode, you’ll be able to see a list of providers currently available in your area on our database. From here you can filter results by brand, price, value score and more to compare which deals are best suited to your circumstances.
Our comparison tool is completely free to use and does not require you to enter your phone number. You may wish to enter in your previous billing information if you’d like a specific comparison based on your household’s usage habits. With more than 25 companies to choose from in SE QLD, there’s never been a better time to compare your options.
After comparing deals from a range of providers, switching to a new company is normally a straightforward process. Once you’ve found a plan that’s right for your household, click on the ‘Go to Site’ button which will direct you to the retailer’s website where you’ll need to input some personal details.
The retailer you’re looking to change to will usually contact your old provider and handle the transfer paperwork on your behalf. During this process your new company should provide some details of your chosen plan and what you can expect. Though, it’s always a good idea to check the fine print before signing up, and remember that switching energy suppliers may be handled differently by certain companies.
Expect a time period of around 30 days before your new retailer takes over your electricity account. The exact time length will depend on when your existing provider carries out a final meter reading, which can take anywhere from a few days to three months.
Once your account has been successfully transferred into your new company’s hands, you’ll usually receive a confirmation email or letter. Also, don’t forget you’ll need to settle any outstanding bills from your previous provider, which may arrive shortly after a final meter reading has been carried out.
This page was written and is regularly updated by Canstar Blue’s Energy Editor, Jared Mullane. He’s an expert in all things utilities, including electricity, gas and water, helping to make complicated subjects easier to understand for consumers. A trained journalist, Jared is usually one of the first to break energy-related news, whether it’s the latest changes in the industry, price movements, or the next best deal you need to know about.
Picking a new electricity provider is not a simple decision, but the good news is that most companies offer plans with no contract agreements – or at least no exit fees – meaning you can easily switch if things don’t work out as you had hoped (i.e. they prove too expensive or their service isn’t up to scratch). Our customer reviews offer a helpful insight into how existing customers rate the biggest operators in SE Queensland – and our database shows where you can find the cheapest rates in the Brisbane area – but you will only really know an energy company once you have signed up to it. However, here are some things to consider before doing so, and some questions you may want to consider:
All power companies are required by law to publish price fact sheets for each of their products, where you will be able to find the answers to these questions, and also check the usage and supply rates you will pay. However, these documents are not always the easiest to interpret, so don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and ask for some straight answers to straight questions.
As an energy customer, you have consumer rights, so if you’re not happy with your existing agreement, make sure you contact your retailer and seek a resolution. If you decide to switch providers, you have a 10-day cooling off period to change your mind without incurring any fees. When comparing offers, be sure to check the costs you’ll be charged, and keep our customer ratings in mind. Everyone wants cheap prices, but good customer service can be just as important. The Queensland electricity market has never been so competitive, so be sure to take advantage of this and find a better deal.
While our customer satisfaction ratings offer an insight into the ‘value for money’ electricity providers in Queensland are deemed to offer (i.e. price versus the quality of service you receive), Canstar Blue also calculates prices for households to show which providers deliver the cheapest overall costs to customers. ‘Cheapest’ doesn’t automatically mean the ‘best’, but for a helpful guide on power prices in Brisbane and the surrounding areas, consult our dedicated cost comparison report. You will notice there is a huge difference in costs between providers, so it’s a smart move to regularly shop around.
Here is a list of energy providers in South East Queensland.
Canstar Blue’s electricity comparison service includes pricing from all of these providers. These companies only operate in South East Queensland. Ergon Energy is the main electricity retailer in regional Queensland.
It’s important to understand that, when it comes to electricity, Queensland is split into two very different geographical areas. In 2016, the Queensland Government deregulated the market in the south east of the state, meaning that retailers are now free to set their own products, prices and conditions – a move designed to increase competition and put downward pressure on prices. Households in Brisbane and the surrounding areas have been able to switch providers since 2007 when ‘Full Retail Competition’ was introduced, but price regulations meant there was little or no cost benefit in doing so. Now the level of competition between providers has increased dramatically and consumers are being presented with all manner of sign-up and ongoing incentives to switch.
Meanwhile, it’s a case of ‘as you were’ for the rest of Queensland, as the state Government continues to control electricity pricing, with Ergon Energy the only provider for regional areas. To summarise:
SE QLD is covered by the Energex electricity network, while most of regional QLD is on the Ergon network. A small area around Goondiwindi on the NSW border in southern QLD falls onto the Essential Energy network, which covers huge parts of rural NSW.
This report talks about the Reference Price for energy, but what exactly is it? Well, in July 2019, tough new industry regulations took effect designed to simplify power plans and the way consumers compare. Part of the change was that a new, cheaper Default Market Offer (DMO) was introduced that meant customers on expensive standing offers automatically switched onto the cheaper tariff. This resulted in notable savings for these customers, but the DMO also now acts as a reference point from which all products must now be compared. The Reference Price is consistent across all retailers, so you can be sure that the percentage savings referenced (either more than, equal to or less than the Reference Price) genuinely indicate the true value of a plan, as opposed to the previous way of doing things whereby discounts were applied to different base rates.
2016 was also a significant year for the Queensland market as the state government decided to merge its two electricity distributors – Ergon Energy and Energex. In addition to providing retail services throughout regional Queensland, Ergon Energy is also the energy distributor, meaning it is responsible for managing and improving the vast network infrastructure which delivers power to homes and businesses. Energex is the electricity distributor for SE QLD. The state-owned companies have been brought together under parent company Energy Queensland, based in Townsville.
The Queensland Government continues to play an integral role in the generation of electricity in the state. It owns a wealth of coal-fired and gas turbine power stations scattered across Queensland, plus hydroelectric stations and solar and wind farms.
With so many power companies operating in SE Queensland, households have a wide range of plans to choose from. The vast majority of market electricity contracts come with variable rates, meaning that the retailer can adjust prices at any time. However, some retailers provide fixed rate deals whereby customers can lock in rates that do not change for one or two years, offering some protection against price increases.
While AGL, Origin and Alinta Energy dominate the SE QLD market – with around 55% market share according to the Australian Energy Regulator’s (AER) latest industry report – other companies are starting to make their presence known, with EnergyAustralia and Red Energy the two most notable additions to the state in recent times. Meanwhile, Powershop gives its customers the opportunity to save on bills in the long-run with the sale of future ‘power packs’ through its online store. The idea is that you can purchase electricity ahead of time at reduced rates. The catch is that you’ll have to log on to the website at least once every month to get the best deals, but for proactive energy-users, it may be worth the effort.
Most plans in Queensland come with a feed-in tariff for solar customers. However, the feed-in tariffs in QLD can vary dramatically between providers. The good news is that, given QLD has the highest solar penetration rate in Australia, the retailers are competing to offer the most favourable rates possible. This means various solar specific plans for Queenslanders and feed-in tariffs of up to 18c per kWh.
Whether you’re on a standard or market contract – or have a variable or fixed rate product – it is hugely important that you understand all of the different costs that make up your power bills. The two main charges that make up your bills are supply and usage charges:
For households with high energy requirements, usage charges will generally make up the majority of your overall costs. However, lower usage households should pay particular attention to supply charges as these will likely make up a higher proportion of your overall costs.
In addition to a growing number of products, households in SE QLD can also consider a number of tariff options that may better-suit their usage habits. An electricity tariff relates to the pricing structure of an energy plan. All power plans have a fixed daily charge for the supply of power to the premises, but the rates that you pay for usage can vary significantly depending on when you use power. The two primary tariffs in Queensland are known as single rate and time of use.
A single rate tariff means households are charged the same amount for electricity whatever time of day they happen to use it, while time of use tariffs can have multiple prices depending on when you use power. Time of use tariffs come with ‘peak’ and ‘off-peak’ rates – with electricity more expensive during periods of high demand – as well as ‘shoulder’ rates for times in between. While single rate tariffs can be used with any type of energy meter, households will need a smart meter or interval meter to access a time of use tariff.
In Queensland, the following electricity tariffs are available. Remember that prices in SE QLD are set by the retailers, with those in regional areas set by the Queensland Competition Authority.
Other, less common QLD electricity tariffs include Tariff 14 (Demand) and Tariff 35 (Smart Control).
If you have a smart meter, there could be savings to be had on a time of use tariff. However, you first need to understand the different pricing structures to find a deal that works for you. Switching to a time of use tariff and still using lots of power when prices are highest in the early evening could prove a financially costly mistake.
Discounts were previously the main marketing tool of retailers in Queensland, but following changes to industry regulations in 2019, most have moved away from discounts and instead compete to offer the lowest base prices, or other sign-up incentives like bill credits. Some brands still offer discounts, which are generally dependent on paying bills on time or by direct debit. Some providers also provide an additional discount if customers receive their bills via email instead of post.
With the average electricity bill in Queensland around $1,240 a year, this will be putting huge financial pressure on some customers. As such, the Queensland Government provides energy rebates for eligible seniors and pensioners. The Electricity Rebate could knock as much as $340 off a customer’s annual power bill. Concessions may also be available for Health Care Card holders. Contact your retailer for details.
If you live in Brisbane, your electricity is supplied through the Energex network. With just one network covering the whole city, this means electricity rates are consistent across all areas of Brisbane. So, if you’re an Origin customer on the north side, you’ll pay the same basic rates as another Origin customer on the south side, for example. However, rates will naturally vary between retailers. Here are the main suburbs covered by Energex in Brisbane:
The Energex electricity network covers the QLD Sunshine Coast, which includes the below suburbs:
The Gold Coast is also on the Energex electricity network. Here are the main suburbs on the Gold Coast covered by this network:
Ipswich residents also receive their electricity through the Energex network. These are the main suburbs in Ipswich:
Outside of south-east Queensland, the rest of the Sunshine State – including the far north – is covered by the Ergon electricity network. Ergon Energy is the only electricity retailer on this network, meaning households in place like Bundaberg, Rockhampton, Townsville and Cairns are not able to choose their retailer.
Like other suburbs in regional Queensland, Bundaberg is supplied electricity by the Ergon network. Here are the main suburbs in Bundaberg:
The Ergon network also covers Rockhampton, including these suburbs:
Living in Townsville, you’ll be covered by the Ergon electricity network. Townsville suburbs that fall under this network include:
Sunny Cairns is also supplied by the Ergon electricity network, which covers the following suburbs:
Toowoomba falls on the Ergon Energy distribution network, covering the suburbs below:
Ergon Energy is the electricity network for Gladstone. Here are the main suburbs in Gladstone:
Located on the southern tip of the Great Barrier Reef is the small city of Mackay, which is serviced by the Ergon Energy network. The main suburbs in Mackay are:
Maryborough and its surrounds are on the Ergon Energy electricity network. Some of the neighbouring towns and suburbs 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 Queensland, have an electricity account, and pay the bills – in this case, 1,389 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.
Winner: Alinta Energy
Winner: Alinta Energy
Winner: Alinta Energy
Winner: Click Energy
Winner: Origin Energy
Winner: Integral Energy
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*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, June 2021. 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, June 2021. For more information on annual cost calculations please click here.
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.
†By clicking on a brand, 'go to site', 'shop online', 'get quotes now', or 'see offer' 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.