Queensland Electricity Tariffs

Queensland electricity tariffs and charges explained

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In this guide, Canstar Blue looks at the Queensland electricity tariffs available to households and businesses.

While there are plenty of great value electricity deals on offer in Queensland, there are a few things you should know about electricity before you start comparing plans, mainly when it comes to the different ‘tariff’ options available.

Tariffs essentially determine the way you are charged for power, so it’s important you find the right tariff to suit the needs of your home or business. In this article, Canstar Blue walks you through everything you need to know about electricity tariffs in QLD, including how they work and which could be best suited for you.

Some electricity plans you may like in south-east Queensland

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 4613kWh/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 Energex network in Brisbane but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 4613kWh/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.

What is an electricity tariff?

A tariff is the term used to describe how customers are charged for their electricity usage. On some tariffs, customers may pay a single rate for all their electricity usage; on others, they may be charged different rates depending on the time of day, season or even the type of appliance used at the time.

Almost all electricity tariffs are split into two main costs – the variable usage cost and the fixed daily cost for being connected to the electricity grid. You may already be familiar with these costs on your power bill, which are generally listed as the ‘usage rate’ and ‘supply charge’.

Depending on the tariff a household or business is on, the number of usage rate charges may differ, with some having up to three rates that change as the times of day pass.

It is also important to note the difference between a primary and secondary electricity tariff when choosing the right option for you. A primary tariff refers to the standard household electricity tariff, which is applicable to all appliances in the home. A secondary tariff refers to an optional tariff that manages a separate metering charge for things like high-usage appliances.

What electricity tariffs are there in Queensland?

In QLD, the electricity tariffs available to you will change depending on your location. This is because electricity tariffs are determined by electricity distributors (the companies responsible for building and maintaining the power poles and lines) and there are two electricity distributors in Queensland: Energex and Ergon Energy.

Energex services south-east QLD, spanning from the New South Wales border west to Toowoomba and north to Gympie while Ergon Energy is the regional distributor, supplying most other areas across the state.

Generally, you can expect that both distributors will at least offer the choice between a single rate or flexible pricing tariff. However, these networks may also diversify offerings depending on the area it services.

We’ve taken a closer look into the QLD electricity tariffs available on both distribution networks below.

Electricity tariffs in south-east Queensland

Households in SEQ can generally choose from four residential electricity tariffs, some of which can be combined for use with another tariff in the selection. These tariffs are as follows:

  • Single Rate Tariff: The standard tariff available to all households. This tariff only charges one flat cost for usage, no matter the time of day. A standard daily supply fee is also applicable.
  • Time of Use Tariff: This is a flexible pricing tariff which changes the cost charged for usage dependent on the time of day. There are typically three charges on this tariff: peak, off-peak and shoulder. Peak is the highest, followed by shoulder costs, with off-peak as the cheapest. A standard daily supply fee is also applicable.
  • Demand Tariff: This tariff incorporates a third cost, known as the demand charge, that reflects the maximum electricity usage of a household over a period in the evening. This maximum usage is then calculated against the demand charge amount and added to the power bill as a daily cost, alongside the standard usage rate and supply charge. The usage amount for demand charges resets every month based on the maximum usage recorded.
  • Controlled Load Tariff: Also known as an economy or super economy tariff, this is a secondary tariff option that allows for separate metering for high-usage appliances such as hot water systems or pool pumps. With a controlled load tariff, the designated load is generally only powered for a limited period of the day, e.g. 9am to 3pm, and is done so at a lower usage rate than that charged for the rest of the property’s energy usage. This charge is added to the power bill alongside the standard usage rate and supply charge for energy usage around the rest of the house. Some controlled load tariffs may also charge a separate daily supply rate.

As mentioned above, some households may also be eligible to combine certain time of use and demand charge tariffs together. Eligibility for these kinds of tariffs however is typically reliant on the household having a smart meter installed at the property.

With SEQ having both competition and price deregulation in the energy market, the costs charged on these tariffs may greatly differ depending on the energy provider a household chooses. Naming conventions may also differ from retailer to retailer when choosing a tariff and plan. As such, be sure to compare a range of offers and read the fine print before making a purchase decision. If in doubt, give the provider a call and ask for further details.

Compare single rate electricity plans available in south-east Queensland

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 4613kWh/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 SEQ. 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 4613kWh/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 SEQ. 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 4613kWh/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 SEQ. 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 4613kWh/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.

Electricity tariffs in regional Queensland

Regional QLD has a similar selection of tariffs as those offered in SEQ. The main difference however, lies in the pricing and availability of tariffs. Currently, households in regional QLD have access to the following electricity tariffs:

  • Single Rate Tariff (Tariff 11): A flat rate tariff. Most households are on this tariff.
  • Time of Use Tariff (Tariff 12B): A flexible pricing tariff with higher rates in peak and shoulder periods (evening) and cheaper rates in off-peak times (daytime).
  • Solar Soaker Tariff (Tariff 12C): This is a kind of time of use tariff designed to help households make the most of their daytime energy usage. Peak rates are higher in the evening to encourage load shifting.
  • Transitional Demand Tariff (Tariff 14A): This is also known as an introductory demand tariff with lower demand rates but higher general usage rates.
  • Demand Tariff (Tariff 14B): This is a standard demand tariff.
  • Economy Tariffs (Tariff 31 & Tariff 33): These tariffs help to manage the loads of high usage appliances. Tariff 31 is claimed to be better suited to large hot water systems while Tariff 33 is ideal for hot water systems and pool pumps. This is a secondary tariff that should be used in conjunction with a primary tariff such as a single rate tariff (tariff 11).

Similar to SEQ, households may also be eligible to combine certain tariffs if they have a smart meter installed.

Unlike SEQ however, the regional QLD energy market still operates with pricing regulation in place. What this means is that the Queensland Competition Authority (QCA) sets the rates to be charged by all providers on the Ergon Energy network. Because of this, households in regional QLD only have access to one price for each tariff option and limited choices (if any) when it comes to electricity providers in the area.

For this reason, Ergon Energy tends to service the vast majority of households in regional QLD for electricity. Below we have listed the usage rate charges available on Ergon Energy’s website for the tariffs listed above.

Tariff Type Usage charges
Single Rate (11) 33.2497c/kWh
Time of Use (12B) Peak:42.7229c/kWh Shoulder: 28.0665c/kWh   Off-peak: 27.2723c/kWh
Solar Soaker (12C) Peak: 60.8575c/kWh Shoulder: 20.3731c/kWh    Off-peak: 10.19164c/kWh
Transitional Demand (14A) Demand: $4.9698/kW General Usage: 27.7915c/kWh
Demand (14B) Demand: $9.3621/kW General Usage: 26.6497c/kWh
Economy (31) 20.8681c/kWh
Economy (33) 22.5610c/kWh

Source: Ergon Energy. Prices inclusive of GST. Rates effective as of 1 July, 2023.

Business electricity tariffs in Queensland

Businesses across QLD generally have access to the same selection of tariffs as those available to residential customers. The main difference between these options and those offered to households however is the costs. Eligibility criteria may also differ for the demand, economy or flexible pricing tariffs.

For more information regarding business electricity tariffs, it is best to contact Energex or Ergon Energy.

The right electricity tariff for your household will ultimately depend on your energy usage habits and amounts. Most households are likely to be on a single rate tariff, which is by far the easiest tariff to keep track of, since the rates don’t differ throughout the day. However, a single rate tariff can prevent households from tapping into potentially cheaper usage rates for doing things such as load shifting or investing in solar energy.

If you have the capacity to change your energy habits, utilise solar power technologies or invest in a smart meter and usage monitoring system, then you could find some value in a flexible pricing tariff. Similarly, if you have high-usage appliances on your property, a controlled load tariff could help to negate some of these costs.

The most important thing to keep in mind with Queensland electricity tariffs is that there isn’t a quick fix, one- solution-fits-all option. For some households, switching tariffs could mean spending money on energy upgrades, while for others it could be as easy as flicking a switch. If you aren’t sure whether a change in tariff could be beneficial to your power bill then it may be best to reach out to your provider and see if they can offer any advice on the matter.

Compare Queensland Electricity Providers

Kelseigh Wrigley
Energy Specialist
Kelseigh Wrigley was a content producer at Canstar Blue for three years until 2024, most recently as an Energy Specialist. She holds a Bachelor of Journalism from the Queensland University of Technology.

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