Compare SA Electricity Providers


Canstar Blue’s review of South Australian electricity providers compares EnergyAustralia, Origin, Alinta Energy, Simply Energy, AGL and Lumo Energy on their customer service, bill & cost clarity, online tools & advice, ease of sign-up, environmental sustainability, value for money and overall satisfaction.

See Our Ratings Methodology

SA Electricity Providers SA Award

Most Satisfied Customers | EnergyAustralia

EnergyAustralia has emerged victorious in this year’s customer satisfaction ratings for electricity providers in South Australia. This is EnergyAustralia’s first win in the state since 2012, achieving five-star reviews across all research categories, including overall satisfaction, value for money, customer service and ease of sign up. EnergyAustralia leads the way from Origin, Alinta Energy, Simply Energy, AGL and Lumo Energy.

EnergyAustralia logo

Fact Checked Fact Checked

EnergyAustralia takes over as best-rated electricity provider in SA

Everyone knows South Australians pay a ridiculously high price for power, so if you pick up the bills, it’s all about making the best of a bad situation. That could mean negotiating an improved deal with your existing provider, or finding a new one. If you’re sick of paying the highest electricity rates in the country, Canstar Blue’s annual review and ratings can help. In this report, we list the best SA electricity providers based on customer satisfaction, while offering a detailed buying guide for the state, and revealing which companies currently have the cheapest prices on our database.

Given the cost of power in South Australia, you’ll naturally want to find a cheap deal – and we can help you with that. However, we can also show you which SA electricity companies are rated highest based on the experiences of their customers. Paying a low price is good, but not if it comes at the expense of other factors, such as customer service. That’s why our ratings are designed to give you as much information as possible before you pick your next retailer. This year, our review is based on the feedback of more than 840 bill-paying customers in South Australia. Read on for all the details.

SA Electricity Deals

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 SA Power network in Adelaide but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 4000kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area 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 some of the cheapest published deals from the retailers on our database that include a link to the retailer’s website for further details. These are products from referral partners†. These costs are based on the SA Power network in Adelaide but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 4000kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area 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.

Best SA Electricity Providers

EnergyAustralia logo

Here are the best energy providers in SA as rated by customers in Canstar Blue’s latest satisfaction survey:

  1. EnergyAustralia
  2. Origin Energy
  3. Alinta Energy
  4. Simply Energy
  5. AGL
  6. Lumo Energy

Over recent years, our ratings have highlighted a clear divide in customer satisfaction between the biggest providers and some of the smaller challengers, with Lumo Energy and Simply Energy dominating this category since we began comparing SA power companies in 2010. This year, however, EnergyAustralia has totally flipped the script, reaching the top of the leaderboard in scoring five stars for overall satisfaction, customer service and ease of sign-up. Origin Energy, Alinta Energy and Simply Energy all scored four stars overall this year, with AGL and Lumo Energy back on three stars.

Read on as we explain everything you need to know about these six power providers, and how to get a better deal from them. But first, why not jump into our comparison tool below, or keep scrolling for a selection of the cheapest published deals on our database.

SA Electricity Plans

Here are some of the cheapest published deals from the retailers on our database that include a link to the retailer’s website for further details. These are products from referral partners†. These costs are based on the SA Power network in Adelaide but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 4000kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area 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 South Australia. These are products from a referral partner†. These costs are based on the SA Power network in Adelaide but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 4000kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area 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 South Australia. These are products from a referral partner†. These costs are based on the SA Power network in Adelaide but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 4000kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area 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 South Australia. These are products from a referral partner†. These costs are based on the SA Power network in Adelaide but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 4000kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area 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.

SA Electricity Providers


As you might expect from one of the big retailers, EnergyAustralia has a major presence in South Australia – but clearly has some happy customers. It focuses on competitive, fixed pricing as its main selling point. 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 South Australia. All EnergyAustralia plans are said to be carbon neutral for those who opt in (you’ll need to check the EA website for details). The retailer helpfully publishes estimated monthly costs for all its plans online so you’ll have an idea of what you’ll pay before signing up.

  • EnergyAustralia received five stars across all research categories, including overall satisfaction this year, with the same score on value for money, bill & cost clarity, customer service, ease of sign-up, online tools & advice and environmental sustainability.

Origin Energy

Energy giant Origin has moved away from large conditional discounts of lately, instead offering relatively low rate plans and other sign-up perks. The first plan has the lowest rates and Everyday Rewards points up for grabs. All plans come with no exit fees or lock in contracts. Origin is also one of Australia’s leading solar power retailers, with specific plans for customers who own solar panels. In addition, concession card holders in SA may be eligible for Origin’s SA Concessions Energy Discount Offer, with notable savings off the Reference Price. See here for further details.

  • Origin Energy achieved a four-star rating for overall satisfaction this year, with a mixed bag of results across the other variables. The retailer got five stars for value for money, customer service, bill & cost clarity and ease of sign-up, with four stars for online tools & advice, plus three stars for environmental sustainability.

Alinta Energy

Alinta Energy has emerged as one of the biggest challengers to the big three providers – Origin, AGL and EnergyAustralia – in recent years. Now owned by Hong Kong’s Chow Tai Fook Enterprises, Alinta Energy is a major player in the Western Australia gas market and is now picking up customers all over the country, including in South Australia. Households seem to be drawn to its relatively simple approach, with just two retail market offers currently available in SA. While Alinta previously relied on big discounts to give customers low overall costs, its plans now come with no discount at all, just competitive rates. It also offers a rewards programs that delivers various savings at retailers and on entertainment and activities. Alinta may not be Australian-owned any more, but it has major offices in Perth and Sydney.

  • Alinta Energy scored four stars for overall satisfaction in this year’s ratings, while also managing four stars for value for money and ease of sign-up. It scored three stars in all other categories, including customer service, bill & cost clarity, online tools & advice and environmental sustainability.

Simply Energy

Simply Energy is typically a very price-competitive electricity provider in SA, while offering one of the most diverse product ranges around. The company is owned by French utilities giant Engie, but remains based in Melbourne. Simply Energy is well-known for offering a wide range of products, including an exclusive deal for RAA members that brings larger unconditional discounts. Simply Energy’s plans all previously included varying pay on time discounts off usage charges, but the retailer now focuses more on low rates and guaranteed discounts. Rates are variable and exit fees may apply with some plans.

  • The most successful electricity provider in our SA ratings in previous years, Simply Energy had to settle for four stars overall this time. This retailer almost consistently scored three stars, except for value for money where it landed on five stars and ease of sign-up where it earned four stars.


One of Australia’s biggest energy companies, AGL generally offers two market contracts to households in South Australia at any one time, with varying benefits and conditions based on different preferences. The Super Saver plan comes with fixed rates for 12 months, while the Flexible Saver instead has variable rates. AGL also has a dedicated solar product, plus a rewards program.

  • AGL was rated three stars for across the board this year, including overall satisfaction, value for money, customer service, bill & cost clarity, ease of sign-up and environmental sustainability. It did, however, manage to score four stars for online tools & advice.

Lumo Energy

Lumo Energy is one of two providers owned by renewable power generation company Snowy Hydro – the other being Red Energy. Based in Melbourne, Lumo offers a diverse range of products in SA, including a plan targeted at customers who rent their home and often move. While Lumo Energy once relied on pay on time discounts, its latest suite of plans rely on competitive variable rates and other add-on incentives. All deals come on a no-contract basis, plus there are no exit fees. Two of its plans bring access to Lumo’s ‘Lumo Ameego’ shopping program, which gives members a range of exclusive discounts on anything from groceries to petrol.

  • In this year’s review, Lumo Energy ended up on three stars for overall satisfaction, as well as for value for money and ease of sign-up. The retailer managed four stars for customer service, bill & cost clarity and environmental sustainability. Lumo Energy did score five stars for online tools & advice.

Market Offers vs Standard Contracts

Aside from the market offers listed from retailers above, there are also standard contracts or ‘standing offers’ available. These are default plans that customers may be connected to if they have never changed providers or plans in years. Standing offers are usually more expensive than most market offers and tend to sit in line with the SA reference price.

Who is the cheapest electricity provider in SA?

It’s worth noting that energy prices change all the time in South Australia, so it’s hard to pinpoint the cheapest retailer at any one time. That said, Elysian Energy, ReAmped Energy and OVO Energy are consistently some of the cheapest electricity providers in SA. With more than 20 power companies to choose from, finding the lowest prices and best deals in your area will require some research.

Aside from price, it’s still important to check out other credentials of energy companies, like customer service, sign-up incentives and rewards programs. Although price may have the biggest impact on making a decision, it’s good to know which brands are willing to work a little extra for your business.

How long does it take to switch electricity providers in SA?

Changing energy providers usually takes about 30 days for a new company to take over your account, but this process will depend on when your existing retailer carries out a final meter reading. Therefore, switching may take as little as a few days or it can take up to three months.

To switch to a new provider, the process is usually straightforward and can be done online or over the phone in minutes. After you’ve switched, you’ll likely receive a final bill from your old retailer and be updated once your account has been taken over by your new provider.

Do SA energy providers charge the highest prices?

South Australia is regarded as having some of the highest energy prices in the country due to the increased cost of electricity generation, transmission and distribution. These costs will impact power bills as they are passed on to customers from the energy retailers, however, the extent to which these costs are passed on is the subject of much debate and politicization.

The South Australian energy networks are also heavily reliant on renewable energy generation, and during periods of very high demand – such as hot summer days – supply has occasionally failed to meet demand, resulting in blackouts.

How to compare electricity providers in Adelaide

Comparing energy providers in Adelaide and other parts of SA can be done by using our free comparison tool. Simply type in your postcode and hit the compare button from which you’ll be able to see all of the retailers available in your area currently on our database. You’ll also be able to filter your results by price, brand, value score and more.

The Canstar Blue energy comparison tool does not require your phone number and you can even input a previous bill’s details for a more specific comparison based on your home’s power usage. With more than 20 electricity providers operating in SA, comparing your options is a great way of finding a deal best suited to your personal circumstances.

About the author of this page

Jared Mullane

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.

Compare SA Gas Suppliers

Frequently Asked Questions

How to get the best deal on electricity in SA

South Australia Electricity Deals

If you haven’t worked it out yet, finding the best provider and plan for your requirements can be extremely tricky. The fact is that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to energy costs in South Australia. Instead, you will need to work out which offer best meets your needs based on primarily:

  • Your household energy usage and subsequent tariff structure. This is why it’s important to have a recent bill handy when you go to compare plans on our site. The cheapest (or best value) product for you may be different to the cheapest plan for your neighbours.
  • Whether you want the price security of a fixed rate plan (over one or two years), or the flexibility of a no-contract variable rate offer, which means you can switch providers at any time in search of a better deal.

You should also keep in mind that the ‘cheapest’ electricity provider doesn’t necessarily mean the ‘best’. Our ratings are based on customer satisfaction, rather than just the cheapest rates. Our cost comparison report for SA electricity providers, however, is a useful guide to which retailers offer the cheapest deals. Ultimately, you will want an electricity provider that has competitive rates, but also delivers reliable bills and good customer service when you need to.

Realistically, if you haven’t switched electricity providers for two years or more, you are almost certainly paying more for power than you need to. This is because the cheapest offers are often made possible by the conditional discounts we discussed previously. Furthermore, the best deals are generally reserved for new customers. Even if you’re satisfied with your existing provider, it’s worth reviewing your options from time to time and challenging them to match the discount they offer new customers. The power is typically with new customers, or those who threaten to leave. So if you’re ready to save some money on your bills, it’s time to get proactive.

SA Electricity Providers

SA Electricity Provider Canstar Blue 2020 Award

Here is a full list of energy providers in South Australia:

  • AGL
  • Alinta Energy
  • Amber Electric
  • Diamond Energy
  • Discover Energy
  • Dodo
  • Elysian Energy
  • EnergyAustralia
  • Energy Locals
  • Future X Power
  • GloBird Energy
  • Kogan Energy
  • Lumo Energy
  • Mojo Power
  • Momentum Energy
  • Nectr
  • Origin Energy
  • OVO Energy
  • Powerclub
  • Powerdirect
  • Powershop
  • QEnergy
  • ReAmped Energy
  • Red Energy
  • Simply Energy
  • Social Energy
  • 1st Energy

These retailers all operate on the SA Power network, meaning prices are consistent across the network and the state.

Other SA Energy Providers

Below is a list of power companies which did not qualify for our annual review of SA electricity providers. These brands may be available in your area.

Amber Electric

Amber Electric is a new retailer offering a different pricing model which gives customers access to wholesale energy prices. Instead of discounts or bill credits, Amber’s main attraction 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.

Diamond Energy

Diamond Energy is among the ‘greener’ electricity retailers on the SA market, in fact, ranking second in Greenpeace’s Green Electricity Guide. This is perhaps deserved as the retailer owns several renewable energy generators and supports environmentally-minded Australians through energy products that help solar customers make the most of their investments. On offer in South Australia is one market offer that’s straightforward, with no exit fees and conditional discounts for paying on time by direct debit.

Discover Energy

Discover Energy is a new retailer on the block, servicing customers in New South Wales. 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 offers 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.


Dodo (yes, the one that popped up on the TV in the early 2000s selling internet deals) is in the present-day retailing electricity and gas through Vocus Communications, using the name Dodo Power & Gas. It is considered one of the larger ‘second tier’ energy retailers in most areas due to its relatively large customer base. Within SA, NSW, VIC and QLD, you’ll find just one market contract from Dodo, typically coming with somewhat competitive rates and an ongoing benefit period.

Elysian Energy

A retailer specialising in 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.

Energy Locals

Energy Locals is an electricity provider that only came into the market within the last few years. It prides itself on being environmentally conscious, claiming that all of the power you use will be carbon offset through the purchasing of relevant renewable certificates. Another interesting fact about Energy Locals is that you can opt-in to having a portion of your energy bill donated to a charity or cause of your choice. Something else that’s slightly unusual is that the retailer’s plans require you to pay a fee as well as your normal rates to become a ‘member’, and in some cases to gain access to wholesale prices. But if that doesn’t suit you, you’ll also find a simple offer that offers reasonable rates with no exit fees.

Future X Power

Future X Power is a new electricity retailer that started servicing customers in South Australia in late 2019. It also provides power to customers in NSW, QLD and TAS. According to its website, you’ll be met with a “transparent and empowering energy retail experience”, which it attributes to its online sign-up feature. This provider is currently offering one market plan in the states in which it operates, which comes with decent variable rates and an ongoing benefit period.

GloBird Energy

After years of electricity retail in Victoria, GloBird Energy has become one of the latest entrants in the increasingly competitive South Australian energy market. It also recently started retailing power in NSW, where it introduced its signature EasySave and Glosave plans. GloSave has modest conditional discounts, while EasySave offers low variable rates.

Kogan Energy

Online retail company, Kogan, has ventured into the energy market by way of its partnership with Powershop. Kogan Energy is currently retailing in Victoria, New South Wales, south east Queensland and South Australia, offering one plan known simply as the ‘Market Offer’. Kogan Energy also has an app which allows customers to pay bills and check power usage, as well as other useful insights. Being such a big name in the online retail world, Kogan will surely make an impact in the energy space.

Mojo Power

Smart meter owners in SA, south-east QLD and NSW have the option of signing up to Mojo Power. Although it’s not a prerequisite, customers will get the most out of Mojo Power if they are connected to a smart meter as the company prides itself on electricity monitoring and transparent pricing.

Momentum Energy

Owned by Hydro Tasmania, which claims to be Australia’s largest renewable energy producer, Momentum Energy retails electricity to customers in South Australia, NSW and Victoria. In SA, you’ll find one market offer which comes without conditional discounts and with variable rates. On this plan, Momentum claims that through its parent company, it will contribute the equivalent amount of wind, solar and hydro power that customers consume back to the grid. This plan also comes with no exit fees.


Nectr is the newest entrant to the SA 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% carbon offset plan. Nectr is owned by South Korean-based, multi-billion-dollar solar manufacturer Hanwha Group.

OVO Energy

UK power giant OVO Energy has landed in South Australia, bringing its unique product offering with it. 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.


Powerclub follows many other electricity providers in aiming to ‘simply’ the energy market, and is available across SA, NSW and QLD. After paying an annual membership fee to ‘join the club’, you’ll gain access to wholesale electricity rates which are published every 30 minutes. In order to smooth out any spikes in the wholesale electricity market, and ensure you won’t be met with bill shock, the retailer has implemented a personal ‘Powerbank’, with which you place a one-off deposit for your own benefit down the track. Remember that on top of these fees you’ll still have to pay the wholesale electricity rate, as well as a daily operational fee.


Backed by Aussie energy giant AGL, Powerdirect is offering electricity plans in South Australia, NSW, Queensland and Victoria. It generally markets itself as a business electricity retailer, but also has competitive residential offerings available. This provider is advertising just one plan in SA, which comes with fixed rates for 12 months.


Powershop is one of Australia’s most sustainable energy companies, owing to its investments in renewable generation and for carbon offsetting its customers’ electricity usage through the purchase of renewable energy certificates. Powershop has come to the South Australian market, offering up its signature ‘prepaid’ power plans to those living in Adelaide and surrounds, but has switched to a more traditional approach to billing with its latest plan, which comes with reasonable rates. For those who like to engage with their energy retailer fairly often, Powershop also has various promotional packs that are offered from time to time that are typically more heavily discounted.


Whilst QEnergy has in the past placed a heavier focus on its business energy offerings, it has in recent years expanded to reach residential customers within South Australia, VIC, NSW and Queensland. It currently only has one market offer available in SA, which carries no discount. And whilst this brand follows a range of energy retailers in its crack at ‘simplifying the energy industry’, it does change its electricity rates and plans more often than most other providers.

ReAmped Energy

After a successful launch in NSW and expansion to Queensland and Victoria, ReAmped Energy has entered the pool of electricity retailers within South Australia, bringing with it its signature value. ReAmped prides itself on simple energy billing, removing all discounts and credits to instead bring customers low base rates. In South Australia, ReAmped has three market offers, all of which cater to different household needs.

Red Energy

The retail brand of Snowy Hydro, one of Australia’s best-known renewable energy generation companies, Red Energy operates in SA, NSW, VIC, QLD and the ACT. Red Energy’s plans are fairly consistent across states, and in SA you’ll find its signature deal that’s paired with Qantas Frequent Flyer points. These are variable rate products. Red Energy also has its own rewards program called Red Energy Rewards.

1st Energy

1st Energy claims to be a ‘customer focused’ retailer that offers prices that ‘reflect the real cost of doing business’. It’s offering plans in SA, Victoria, NSW, QLD, and even Tasmania. It is the first provider to move into Tasmania, challenging the monopoly of state-owned Aurora Energy. Within SA, 1st Energy is offering one market plan that comes with a large pay on time discount off usage and supply charges.

About the SA Electricity Market

Given the ridiculously high prices that South Australians often pay for electricity, you would be forgiven for thinking there wasn’t much competition between providers in the market. The price of any product or service generally gets higher when there is no competition. However, this is not the case in South Australia as there are many different electricity providers fighting hard for new customers. The problem is the cost of electricity generation, transmission and distribution, which these energy companies need to pass onto their customers. However, the extent to which these costs are passed on to households is the subject of much debate. South Australia is also heavily reliant on renewable energy generation, and during periods of very high demand – such as hot summer days – supply has occasionally failed to meet demand, resulting in blackouts.

South Australia is home to more than 20 solar operating and wind farms, with a mix of private and public ownership. And while there are no more coal-fired power stations in the state, much of the electricity generated still comes from gas turbine power stations. AGL, Origin and EnergyAustralia all own gas turbine power assets in South Australia.

After years of increased competition in South Australia, recent figures from the AER show that the ‘tier one’ retailers no longer rule the energy mix in this state. This is a significant leap from the 75% of households in SA that were with AGL, Origin and EnergyAustralia according to a report from the AER from 2015-16. All signs pointed toward the fact that for years after the market was deregulated back in 2012, which resulted in many new providers entering the local market, many South Australians had not bothered to switch providers. The tables have been turned, with Tier 2 retailer, Simply Energy, overtaking EnergyAustralia to capture about 11% of the SA market, albeit still a far cry from the market share of AGL and Origin. How this small shift in market share affects how much South Australian’s pay for electricity remains debated, especially considering the high prices South Australians pay.

New regulations change the way you compare

The energy market went through a significant change in July 2019 when tough new industry regulations took effect, designed to cut power prices, but also make comparing plans easier. After years of big, often dodgy discounts, retailers must now compare their plans to a ‘level playing field’ tariff called the Reference Price. The idea is that, unlike before, there is now a consistent price from which all plans must now be compared, meaning you can now get a better feeling for which providers really offer the best value. The Reference Price also acts as a price cap for those customers who were previously paying the highest prices. Households on ‘standing offers’ have been automatically switched over to the Default Market Offer (DMO) and many will have saved heaps as a result.

Electricity Contracts in SA

South Australia Electricity Contracts

There are two types of electricity contracts that a household in South Australia could be on – the Default Market Offer (DMO) or a market contract. Knowing which type you have is the first step to saving money.

  • Default Market Offer: The DMO is designed as safety net price for customers who do not engage in the energy market and shop around. Lower than old standing offers, the DMO is the most expensive price that households can pay if they don’t switch providers or seek a better deal. It is not designed to be a competitive price, just cheaper than what households were previously paying.
  • Market contracts: These are contracts set out entirely by the retailers. They come with varying contract lengths and conditions, but can provide the opportunity to save through conditional discounts, such as paying bills on time or by direct debit. Market contracts can also come with various sign-up incentives. However, prices can change at the provider’s discretion and exit fees may apply.

Canstar Blue’s electricity database shows that households in SA stand to save hundreds of dollars a year by switching from a default contract to a market contract, even with the same provider, provided they stick to the conditions of their plan. Bigger savings could even be possible by switching providers. According to the AER’s latest report, one in ten households in SA remain on a default contract.

Understanding Electricity Charges

Electricity Charges

Once you’re settled on the type of electricity contract you want, the next thing you need to understand is the charges that you’ll face. Electricity rates in SA can vary considerably between providers, so it literally pays to get to know these charges, and what cheap energy rates look like. The two charges that make up your electricity bills are fixed supply charges and usage charges.

  • Supply charges are what you will need to pay simply for being connected to the electricity grid. These are ongoing daily charges that remain the same regardless of how much power you actually use. Even if you go on holiday and don’t use any electricity for a couple of weeks, you will still be charged for supply. Expect supply charges to vary between plans and providers, from roughly 85 cents a day up to more than $1.10 a day.
  • Usage charges are what you pay per kWh for electricity usage. These charges can vary significantly depending on your provider and the tariff structure of your plan. Generally, you can expect usage charges in SA to range from about 28c per kWh up to more than 45c, depending on your tariff.

It’s important to get to know these two charges, which can be found in the energy product information documents of your plan. Working out what represents ‘cheap’ rates can help you pick the plan that’s best for you. Keep in mind that households with low usage can expect supply charges to account for a higher proportion of overall costs, while high usage households can expect usage rates to account for a higher proportion.

Electricity Tariffs in SA

South Australia Electricity Tariffs

Tariffs are often the subject of confusion for energy customers, but once you get to grips with what they are and how they work, you should realise that they can actually guide you towards cheaper bills. Across Australia, there are two main types of electricity tariffs – known as ‘single rate’ and ‘time of use’. Their difference is reflected by their names:

  • With single rate tariffs, households are charged the same price for electricity regardless of when they use it.
  • With time of use tariffs, households could be charged different rates for electricity depending on what time they use it (i.e. during peak or off-peak times).

In South Australia, the majority of households have single rate tariffs, so the prices you pay for electricity will not depend on the time of day you use it. If you’ve been in the habit of using your washing machine, dishwasher or other major appliance late at night because you thought it would save you a few bucks, you are probably mistaken.

While some states have different single rate tariff options, in SA there is just one standard electricity tariff for all residential customers, but the way retailers use it can differ. This is called ‘Tariff 110’, but you may also see it called ‘peak’, ‘domestic’ or ‘anytime’ on your bills. Tariff 110 comes with ‘block rates’, meaning that the price you pay for electricity will depend on how much you actually use, rather than when you use it. This basically means your energy usage is split into daily blocks, with the first ‘block’ of power (typically 11 kWh) usually charged at the lowest rate (say, 40c per kWh). The following block could then be charged at, say, 43c/kWh, with the final block costing you 47c/kWh.

Where retailers differ is that some split usage up into just two daily blocks (the second resulting in higher prices), while others split their usage charges into multiple daily blocks, with rates getting gradually higher. You will find plans with as many as five different block usage rates during the day. There are pros and cons to this way of charging. And this means it’s important to understand your household energy consumption, to find the best plan for your needs. If you’re a large household with high energy usage, pay close attention to the price of power in the latter blocks. If you’re a small household with modest usage, you’ll likely be better off finding a plan with the cheapest first block of power, for example.

While the majority of electricity plans in South Australia come with single rate tariffs and block rates, you may still find some offering time of use tariffs. However, to access any time of use tariffs, you will need to have a smart meter installed at your property. Momentum Energy seems to be the most prominent in SA when it comes to time of use tariffs. You will also find block rates applied to time of use pricing, meaning that you could be charged different rates depending on when you use power and how much you use!

Controlled Load Tariffs

In addition to your primary tariff (single rate or time of use), you may also have a controlled load tariff. A controlled load is a separate metred circuit to the rest of your property, which means that you can be charged a different, lower rate for major appliances, usually your electric hot water system or pool pump. A controlled load tariff (also known as Tariff 116 in SA) should be much cheaper than your primary tariff, often costing less than 20c per kWh. The catch is that power is only supplied for a few hours each day.

Demand Charges

Also, be sure to check your retailer’s energy price fact sheet for ‘demand’ charges. This new type of tariff is designed to ‘better reflect customer needs and the impact this may have on the network’. Essentially, customers are charged a low flat rate for electricity usage, plus the standard supply charge. In addition, they will need to pay a ‘demand charge’. This is a daily charge that reflects peak electricity usage within a 30-minute period during peak hours (typically 4pm – 9pm).

Seasonal pricing

Some providers adjust their pricing between summer and winter, meaning you could be charged higher rates in summer – when there is greater demand for energy – and lower rates in winter. AGL is the most prominent retailer for seasonal pricing.

Electricity Plans in SA

South Australia Electricity Plans

With more than 20 different electricity providers now operating in South Australia, you won’t be surprised to discover that there are plenty of options to consider. In their most basic form, energy plans fall into two categories – those with variables rates and those with fixed rates.

  • Most electricity retailers in SA offer variable rate This means the amount you’re charged for electricity supply and usage can change at the retailer’s discretion. Standard contract prices in South Australia are usually only changed every 12 months, but the retailers can and often do change their pricing on market contracts during the year.
  • Only a handful of electricity providers in SA offer fixed rate This means the prices you pay for supply and usage are locked-in for the period of your contract, usually two years. Fixed rate plans are usually only offered by the big three power companies. Fixing your rates for a period of time could protect you from increasing wholesale costs.

While some energy retailers play it fairly straight with their electricity plans, it’s common to see various promotional offers or plans targeting a specific consumer segment to get new customers to sign up. Simply Energy, for example, has a specific product for RAA members in SA, bringing an additional discount. Lumo Energy, meanwhile, has a rewards program whereby customers can get money off at various retail outlets and theme parks, while AGL’s customers can collect flybuys points through their bills. While tempting, it’s important to compare electricity providers in SA on their supply and usage charges before taking any discounts and incentives into account.

Solar Plans in SA

Most electricity plans in South Australia come with a feed-in tariff for solar customers. However, feed-in tariffs in South Australia can vary hugely between providers. Despite SA enjoying one of the highest penetration rates of solar PV in the country, there are few solar-specific plans available. Nevertheless, the retailers are competing to offer the most attractive feed-in tariffs, with rates of up to 21c/kWh currently available to new and eligible customers.

Electricity Discounts in SA

While some electricity providers offer specific incentives in an effort to get you to sign up, most simply rely on attention-grabbing discounts to stand out from the crowd. It’s not unusual to find electricity plans boasting conditional discounts of more than 15% less than the Reference Price, but it’s important not to automatically assume that the biggest discounts will mean the biggest savings. There are a few things you will need to know to get a good deal, including:

  • What are you getting a discount off? Is it usage charges, or your entire bill? Discounts off your entire bill may sound more beneficial, but this is not necessarily the case.
  • What do you need to do to get the discount? Do you have to pay your bills on time, or pay by direct debit? It’s common that the biggest discounts are provided when you also opt to receive bills and other correspondents via email instead of regular mail.
  • What is the benefit period? The majority of discounts are usually only available for one or two years, after which you could start paying your provider’s full rates for power. Some discounts are ongoing, but don’t just assume this means you’re getting the best deal.

Whatever type of discount you decide is best for you, make sure you can meet the conditions. Failure to meet the conditions will result in much higher prices, and you may also be charged a fee.

More about SA Energy Networks


If you live in Adelaide, you’re supplied energy through the SA Power network. The suburbs listed below fall within this electricity distribution network:

  • Adelaide
  • North Adelaide
  • Glenelg
  • Glenside
  • Kensington Gardens
  • Athelstone
  • Megill
  • Newton
  • Campbelltown
  • Port Adelaide
  • Woodville Gardens
  • Salisbury
  • Salisbury East
  • Salisbury North
  • Golden Grove
  • Greenwith
  • Modbury
  • Walkerville

Other parts of South Australia

Those living outside of Adelaide are also provided with electricity by the SA Power network. Here are the broad areas and largest suburbs on this distribution network outside Adelaide:

  • Adelaide Hills (e.g. Mount Barker)
  • Barossa (e.g. Nuriootpa)
  • Clare Valley (e.g. Clare)
  • Eyre Peninsula (e.g. Ceduna)
  • Fleurieu Peninsula (e.g. Victor Harbor)
  • Kangaroo Island (e.g. Kingscote)
  • Limestone Coast (e.g. Mount Gambier)
  • Murray Riverland (e.g. Berri)
  • Yorke Peninsula (e.g. Moonta)

Important Notes

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 South Australia, have an electricity account, and pay the bills – in this case, 847 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: Lumo Energy


Winner: Simply Energy


Winner: Simply Energy


Winner: Lumo Energy


Winner: Simply Energy


Winner: Origin Energy


Winner: EnergyAustralia


Winner: TRUenergy

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