Energy prices are down but Victorians could be saving even more

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Energy prices have crashed by up to 16% in Victoria over the last two years, new analysis from Canstar Blue shows. But relatively few households are really taking advantage.

The research found that Victorians are now saving between $211 and $253 a year on average electricity costs compared to July 2019, depending on where in the state they live. However, the vast majority of bill-payers are not connected with one of the cheapest providers.

The notable power savings have been made possible by favourable wholesale conditions, as well as fierce competition in the retail market, with at least 25 providers for Victorians to choose from. This has led to a reduction in the state’s regulated price cap, the Victorian Default Offer (VDO), but the Canstar Blue analysis shows that all consumers could now be benefiting.

However, it’s not the big names that are currently offering the cheapest prices, with brands including GloBird Energy, Powerclub, Tango Energy and Kogan Energy leading the pack, explained Canstar Blue Editor-in-Chief, Simon Downes.

“The big retailers still dominate the market, but it’s the small players that most people won’t even have heard of that are usually offering the absolutely rock-bottom prices,” said Mr Downes.

“As of now, we see deals that are up to 19 per cent cheaper than the VDO, but many customers are simply not taking full advantage and reducing their bills as much as they could be. While some retailers have passed on notable price reductions without consumers having to do anything, the truth is that the very best deals will be achieved by those who engage in the market and shop around.”

Mr Downes refers to GloBird Energy’s EasySave product as an example of one of the budget deals currently on offer, which has variable rates and costs well below the VDO. This plan requires payment by direct debit with credit card and customers must sign up to e-billing and digital communications.

GloBird Energy is an Australian-owned power company that sells electricity and gas to households in New South Wales, Victoria, south east Queensland and South Australia. According to Victoria’s energy regulator, GloBird Energy only has roughly 36,000 electricity customers as of June 2020.

VIC Energy Prices Compared

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†. Costs are based on the Citipower network in Melbourne 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 Victoria. These are products from a referral partner†. These costs are based on the Citipower network in Melbourne 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 Victoria. These are products from a referral partner†. These costs are based on the Citipower network in Melbourne 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 Victoria. These are products from a referral partner†. These costs are based on the Citipower energy network in Melbourne 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.

2019 vs 2021: Electricity Price Comparison

Canstar Blue research has found that energy bills have decreased considerably since the VDO came into effect in July 2019. We’ve listed the average and lowest annual prices below for 2019 and 2021 across each Victorian electricity distribution network.

Citipower

Here’s what we found on the Citipower distribution network, which covers central Melbourne and the inner suburbs.

Average Annual Cost Citipower
July 2019 $1,428
March 2021 $1,217
Price Difference $211
Lowest Annual Cost Citipower
July 2019 $1,143 (14% Less Than VDO)
March 2021 $1,034 (19% Less Than VDO)
Price Difference $109

These costs are based on the Citipower network in Melbourne 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. The Lowest Annual Costs for July 2019 are compared to what the VDO was at that time. Accurate as of 3 March 2021.

Jemena

The table below is applicable to customers living in north west Melbourne in areas like Footscray and Tullamarine on the Jemena network.

Average Annual Cost Jemena
July 2019 $1,518
March 2021 $1,265
Price Difference $253
Lowest Annual Cost Jemena
July 2019 $1,182 (15% Less Than VDO)
February 2021 $1,095 (18% Less Than VDO)
Price Difference $87

These costs are based on the Jemena network in Victoria 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. The Lowest Annual Costs for July 2019 are compared to what the VDO was at that time. Accurate as of 3 March 2021.

Powercor

Information below applies to customers living on the Powercor distribution network, which covers western Victoria, including Ballarat, Bendigo and Geelong.

Average Annual Cost Powercor
July 2019 $1,537
March 2021 $1,304
Price Difference $233
Lowest Annual Cost Powercor
July 2019 $1,184 (16% Less Than VDO)
February 2021 $1,119 (18% Less Than VDO)
Price Difference $65

These costs are based on the Powercor network in Victoria 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. The Lowest Annual Costs for July 2019 are compared to what the VDO was at that time. Accurate as of 3 March 2021.

Ausnet

Here are the details for households connected to the Ausnet zone that covers eastern Victoria, including areas like Morwell, Sale and Warragul.

Average Annual Cost Ausnet
July 2019 $1,667
March 2021 $1,431
Price Difference $236
Lowest Annual Cost Ausnet
July 2019 $1,240 (19% Less Than VDO)
February 2021 $1,218 (19% Less Than VDO)
Price Difference $22

These costs are based on the Ausnet network in Victoria 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. The Lowest Annual Costs for July 2019 are compared to what the VDO was at that time. Accurate as of 3 March 2021.

United Energy

The table below applied to customers on the United Energy network in areas such as Frankston, the Mornington Peninsula and Rosebud.

Average Annual Cost United Energy
July 2019 $1,483
March 2021 $1,259
Price Difference $224
Lowest Annual Cost United Energy
July 2019 $1,101 (20% Less Than VDO)
February 2021 $1,044 (21% Less Than VDO)
Price Difference $57

These costs are based on the United Energy network in Victoria 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. The Lowest Annual Costs for July 2019 are compared to what the VDO was at that time. Accurate as of 3 March 2021.

How many Victorians are getting the best energy prices?

According to the Essential Services Commission (ESC), only 22 per cent of residential electricity customers in Victoria were with ‘medium’ or ‘small’ retailers in mid-2020. This includes the likes of GloBird Energy, as well as a number of other providers that are currently offering cheaper prices across the state.

Here’s a list of retailers by market share in Victoria as of 30 June 2020:

  • AGL: 22%
  • Origin: 17%
  • EnergyAustralia: 15%
  • Simply Energy: 9%
  • Red Energy: 9%
  • Lumo Energy: 5%
  • Medium retailers: 21%
  • Small retailers: 1%

The ESC refers to medium retailers as brands like Alinta Energy, Dodo, Momentum Energy and Powershop, while small retailers represent companies like 1st Energy, Diamond Energy and People Energy.

More than half of Victorians are with the big three – AGL, Origin and EnergyAustralia – despite five of the cheapest deals currently on the Canstar Blue database belonging to some less familiar brands.

“Victorians receive electricity from the same poles and wires as their neighbours so it’s mind-boggling that tens of thousands of households are still with more expensive companies, or are simply paying the default price for power when there are so many cheaper deals out there,” Mr Downes said.

“The ESC reported that more than 125,000 customers in mid-2020 were still on less-competitive standard contracts, paying prices equal to the VDO.

“While prices have dropped across the board over the past two years, there are greater savings to be had by switching providers in search of the absolutely cheapest deals. All it takes is a few minutes of your time to compare energy plans, which could end up saving you hundreds of dollars a year.”

Image credit: ice_blue/Shutterstock.com

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