Aurora Energy vs 1st Energy: Tasmania Electricity Prices

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For decades, households in Tasmania have all had the same company name on their electricity bills – Aurora Energy. As a government-owned retailer in a regulated electricity market, Aurora Energy has been the sole supplier to residential properties, with no other option for Tasmanians to even consider, let alone switch to. But that changed in early 2019 when 1st Energy entered the market, providing the first alternative and potentially paving the way for others to follow.

The Tasmanian government introduced Full Retail Competition in 2014, opening the door for other retailers to compete for customers. But with prices still regulated, it took the best part of five years for someone to make the move. In the end, that company was 1st Energy – a relatively small, Melbourne-based retailer that already services Victoria, NSW and Queensland. So, with 1st Energy taking on Aurora Energy in its own backyard, you’ll no doubt be wondering where you can find the cheapest prices? That’s why Canstar Blue has produced the following guide, which starts by comparing usage and supply rates.

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Aurora Energy vs 1st Energy – Price Check

Here are the cheapest published electricity deals from the retailers on our database for Tasmania. These cost estimates are based on a household with an annual electricity usage of 6,775kWh/year at a selected postcode in Tasmania, but prices will vary depending on your circumstances. Use our comparison tool for a more specific comparison in your area. This table includes featured products from a referral partner. Our database may not cover all deals available in your area, and please check retailer websites for up to date information.

Aurora Energy vs 1st Energy – Prices Compared

Tariff 31 (Light & Power)

Tariff 31 will make up the majority of electricity costs for most Tasmanians. So, how do Aurora Energy and 1st Energy compare?

Provider Tariff Supply Charge Usage Charge
Aurora Energy Tariff 31 96.53 c/day 26.96 c/kWh
1st Energy Tariff 31 96.53 c/day 26.95 c/kWh
Prices sourced from respective retailer websites August 2019. Prices include GST.

Tariff 41 (Heating & Hot Water)

Tariff 41 is used for heating your home and hot water. Which provider has the cheapest rates?

Provider Tariff Supply Charge Usage Charge
Aurora Energy Tariff 41 17.999 c/day 17.507 c/kWh
1st Energy Tariff 41 18.00 c/day 17.50 c/kWh
Prices sourced from respective retailer websites August 2019. Prices include GST.

Tariff 93 (Time of Use)

Tariff 93 is available to households with smart meters. With this tariff, Tasmanians are charged different rates for power, whether it’s used at peak or off-peak times. Peak times apply between 7am & 10am and 4pm & 9pm Monday-Friday. Off-peak rates apply at all other times. Tariff 93 is used in place of Tariff 31.

Provider Tariff Supply Charge Usage Charges
Aurora Energy Tariff 93 107.233 c/day Peak: 32.587 c/kWh, Off-peak: 15.173 c/kWh
1st Energy Tariff 93 107.23 c/day Peak: 32.58 c/kWh, Off-peak: 15.17 c/kWh
Prices sourced from respective retailer websites August 2019. Prices include GST.

Tariff 61 (Off-peak with afternoon boost)

Tariff 61 is a controlled load tariff that is available for a period of at least 9 hours between 8pm and 7am every day, plus 2 hours between 1pm and 4.30pm every day.

Provider Tariff Supply Charge Usage Charges
Aurora Energy Tariff 61 21.808 c/day 13.819 c/kWh
1st Energy Tariff 61 22.24 c/day 14.09 c/kWh
Prices sourced from respective retailer websites August 2019. Prices include GST.

Tariff 62 (Night period only)

Tariff 62 is a controlled load tariff that is available for a period of at least 9 hours between 10pm and 7am every day.

Provider Tariff Supply Charge Usage Charges
Aurora Energy Tariff 62 20.846 c/day 13.016 c/kWh
1st Energy Tariff 62 21.26 c/day 13.27 c/kWh
Prices sourced from respective retailer websites August 2019. Prices include GST.

Aurora Energy vs 1st Energy – Discounts Compared

As the Tasmanian energy market has now opened up to competition, it’s likely that discounts are going to become the point of difference when comparing providers. This is especially true given that the rates of Aurora Energy and 1st Energy are virtually identical. Any type of discount will naturally make a difference, so what do Aurora Energy and 1st Energy offer?

  • Aurora Energy: Customers who pay by direct debit may be eligible to receive a direct debit discount of 5.5 cents per day (inc. GST). That works out to about $20 a year.
  • 1st Energy: Customers who pay their bills on time receive a pay on time discount of 5% off electricity usage charges. This discount lasts for 12 months. 1st Energy also offers another plan that provides $100 in bill credit over 12 months.

So, what does this mean? Well, provided that customers pay their bills on time and receive 5% off their electricity usage charges, this is likely to cut a lot more than $20 off their annual costs. However, remember that 1st Energy’s discount only lasts for the first 12 months, after which you will need to get back in contact with the retailer to request a new one.

Aurora Energy vs 1st Energy – Fees & Charges

Like any electricity provider, Aurora Energy and 1st Energy both have a range of fees that may apply in certain circumstances.

Fee Type Aurora Energy 1st Energy
Connection Fee $86.64 $86.64
Disconnection Fee $86.64 $86.64
Late Payment Fee $5.00
Cheque Dishonour Fee $15.00
Direct Debit Dishonour Fee $7.50
Prices sourced from respective retailer websites August 2019. Prices include GST.

Aurora Energy vs 1st Energy – Solar Feed-in Tariffs

Aurora Energy and 1st Energy both provide feed-in tariffs with their residential electricity plans.

  • Aurora Energy has a solar feed-in tariff of 9.35 cents per kWh.
  • 1st Energy has a solar feed-in tariff of 9.35 to 14.35 cents per kWh. A rebate of up to 19.347c/kWh may be available on its 1st Solar Bonus plan. Contact 1st Energy for details.

So, should you switch to 1st Energy?

The arrival of 1st Energy in Tasmania will no doubt be welcomed by many households. Even though the two retailers have similar rates, those who have experienced what they deem to be poor customer service from Aurora in the past may see 1st Energy as an alternative worth giving a go. And that’s perfectly reasonable. When it comes to price, 1st Energy’s 5% discount looks set to make it slightly cheaper than Aurora, but should you fail to pay your bills on time, you’ll end up paying a similar price to what you would have done with Aurora in the first place.

If you decide to switch to 1st Energy, you effectively have nothing to lose given that the retailer does not charge exit fees. If you find the service isn’t as good as you had hoped, you can always go back to Aurora.

Looking at the big picture, the arrival of 1st Energy in Tasmania is hugely significant – not just because it means there is electricity retail competition for the first time, but because it could lead the way for other providers to follow suit. While the merits of competitive energy markets are up for debate, you would like to think the learnings from the mainland would see Tasmania develop a contestable market that allows engaged consumers to shop around and save on their bills, while ensuring that those who don’t are not forced to pay more as a result.

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