Compare VIC Electricity Providers

Canstar Blue’s review of Victorian electricity providers compares AGL, Alinta Energy, Dodo, EnergyAustralia, GloBird Energy, Lumo Energy, Momentum Energy, Origin, Powershop, Red Energy, Simply Energy and Tango Energy on tools & advice, bill & cost clarity, environmental sustainability, ease of sign-up, customer service, value for money and overall satisfaction.

See our Ratings Methodology.

Canstar Blue Award for best-rated electricity providers Victoria

Most Satisfied Customers | Powershop

Powershop has retained top spot in this year’s ratings, taking out the title of best electricity provider in Victoria. Powershop achieved five stars for overall satisfaction, environmental sustainability and online tools & advice, while it took out four stars in all other research categories, like customer service and value for money.

Powershop logo

 

Fact Checked Fact Checked

Powershop wins best-rated electricity provider in Victoria three years in a row

If you live in Melbourne, you can hardly walk around the corner without seeing some form of advertising from a power company. Victoria is the most competitive electricity market in Australia, and the retailers are desperate for your business – hence all those TV, radio and even billboard ads! This competition is good for consumers who like to shop around for the next best deal, but it can also make things seem extremely confusing. With so many providers available – and so many sales pitches to work through – how are you going to find the right deal for you? Canstar Blue’s customer satisfaction review and ratings helps you cut through the noise and find out which brands are really doing a good job by their customers with regards to the service and tools they provide, as well as the value for money they offer.

This year, over 2,100 electricity bill-payers in Melbourne and across Victoria have had their say on their power companies of choice, which have been rated on factors including bill & cost clarity, tools & advice, customer service and value for money. With so much competition between retailers, the idea is to give you as much information as possible about the 12 brands compared, as well as the others that operate in the state, to help you make the best decision for your needs. If you’ve always been with one of the ‘big three’ energy companies – AGL, Origin and EnergyAustralia – you may find these results particularly interesting given the research highlights a notable divide in satisfaction between customers of the big and some smaller providers. All the details to follow.

VIC 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 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 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.

Best VIC Electricity Providers

Powershop logo

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

  1. Powershop
  2. GloBird Energy
  3. Tango Energy
  4. Red Energy
  5. Dodo
  6. Lumo Energy
  7. Momentum Energy
  8. EnergyAustralia
  9. Simply Energy
  10. Alinta Energy
  11. AGL
  12. Origin Energy

Powershop has made it three years in a row as the best electricity provider in Victoria. Powershop’s prepaid-style to energy retail was once a standout feature, but now its simplified approach is clearly going down well with customers in Melbourne, as is its focus on providing carbon neutral energy. Powershop was the only provider to score five stars for overall satisfaction this year, in addition to online tools & advice and environmental sustainability.

In second place, GloBird Energy stood out this year, striking four stars for overall satisfaction. It was also the only provider that was rated five stars for bill & cost clarity, ease of sign-up and value for money. Tango Energy, Red Energy and Dodo also took out four stars overall, while Lumo Energy, Momentum Energy. EnergyAustralia, Simply Energy, Alinta Energy, AGL and Origin, all settled on three stars overall.

Read on as we explain everything you need to know about electricity providers across the state, and how to get a better deal from them. But first, why not compare plans in our comparison tool below, or read on for a selection of the cheapest published deals on our database.

VIC 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†. 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.

VIC Electricity Providers

Powershop

As well as competitive prices, Powershop focuses on offering customers the helpful tools they need to monitor and act on their power usage, including an online platform and Powershop smartphone app. Once a provider allowing customers to pre-purchase energy, Powershop now offers a simplified approach to billing, where Victorians are billed for the power they consume. The retailer has built a reputation for being a cheeky alternative to the more established companies – regularly poking fun at ‘traditional’ retailer behaviour. When it comes to its plans, Powershop offers reasonable rates, which includes 100 per cent of usage carbon offset at no extra cost.

  • Powershop came in first place again this year, scoring an impressive five stars for overall satisfaction, environmental sustainability and online tools & advice. It got four stars for value for money, customer service, bill & cost clarity and ease of sign-up.

GloBird Energy

GloBird Energy has emerged as one of the main ‘second tier’ challengers to the state’s power giants, AGL, Origin and EnergyAustralia. While some retailers promote their green credentials, helpful tools, or great customer service, GloBird is all about promoting cheap prices and big savings, which it mainly does through low rates and conditional discounts. In addition to supplying electricity, the retailer now also offers natural gas in the state and recently launched in NSW, QLD and SA for the first time. Globird is claimed to be 100 per cent Australian-owned, and is often one of the most competitive brands around.

  • Performing very well this year is GloBird Energy, earning four-star ratings for overall satisfaction and online tools & advice. It was the only provider that scored five stars for bill & cost clarity, ease of sign-up and value for money, while it also received five stars for customer service. It did, however, only get a three-star rating for environmental sustainability.

Tango Energy

Tango Energy is a Melbourne-based provider and the retail arm of renewable power generation company Pacific Hydro. Tango Energy was previously branded Pacific Hydro, but its name was changed in 2018. Founded in 1992, the company was acquired by China’s State Power Investment Corporation after being floated on the ASX in 2016. When it comes to its presence in Australia, Tango primarily operates in Victoria with two market offers. The first plan comes with fixed rates for 12 months so customers are protected from increasing costs in the short term. It does not include any conditional discounts, just competitive rates. The second is much the same, with the added bonus for 100% GreenPower to your plan. Tango Energy is generally up there with the cheapest companies and its back-to-basics approach has made it a hit with locals.

  • In just its fourth year in our Victoria electricity provider ratings, Tango Energy has achieved four stars for its value for money and bill & cost clarity. It also scored four stars for overall satisfaction, customer service, online tools & advice and ease of sign-up. It earned just three stars for environmental sustainability.

Red Energy

The highest-rated electricity provider in our NSW comparison, Red Energy keeps things fairly simple with three market offers for prospective customers to consider. Red Energy’s biggest selling point is its partnership with Qantas as two plans come with the added benefit of Qantas Frequent Flyer points upon sign up and for paying on time. Red Energy’s traditional offer comes with variable rates, with the Qantas deal throwing in two points for every $1 spent on bills. All plans come with no contract term or exit fees. Its standard plan also comes with access to Red Energy Rewards, the retailer’s exclusive rewards program that can deliver discounts on various social activities, such as movie tickets, hotels and numerous other attractions. Like Lumo Energy, Red is owned by renewables company Snowy Hydro.

  • Red Energy earned four stars for overall satisfaction this year, as well as value for money, bill & cost clarity, ease of sign-up, online tools & advice and environmental sustainability. It joined GloBird in being the only two retailers with a five-star rating for customer service.

Dodo

Perhaps best-known as a phone and internet provider, Dodo completes the set of home services by also selling power and natural gas. A fairly no-frills retailer, Dodo operates with a single variable rate market offer, usually competitively priced. This is a no contract agreement, with no exit fees. But Dodo would rather have you sign up for multiple services, claiming notable savings for those who buy their power and internet together. The Dodo brand is owned by Vocus Communications – the company behind lots of other phone and internet companies, including iPrimus. Dodo’s main selling point is that customers have the convenience of dealing with the same company for all of their home services. The problem is that it becomes harder to compare plans when you start bundling them together.

  • Dodo has moved up the ranks this year, scoring four stars for value for money, online tools & advice, ease of sign-up, customer service and overall satisfaction. Dodo fell short on three stars in remaining areas, bill & cost clarity and environmental sustainability.

Lumo Energy

While Lumo Energy did offer Victorians a diverse range of products, including a deal targeted at renters who often move home – as it waives connection and reconnection fees – it has since reverted to only promoting the one market offer, Value. Lumo’s Value plan allows customers to lock in rates for a minimum of 12 months until 31 August 2023. Another big draw to Lumo is its referral program and Ultimate Power Draw. With this, customers can either score an eGift Card for switching their mates over or score in one of Lumo’s daily, weekly or monthly rewards in the power draw (for a limited time only). Lumo Energy may not be the best-rated in this review, but it has historically ranked very well in our annual review of SA electricity providers.

  • The sixth best-rated provider in our latest VIC comparison, Lumo Energy settled on three stars across most research categories. Lumo did manage to score four stars for ease of sign-up, however.

Momentum Energy

Owned by Hydro Tasmania, Momentum Energy is a champion of renewable generation and was one of the first retailers to make moves to help simplify the retail market in Australia by keeping its products free from conditional discounts in an industry where the biggest discounts didn’t always mean the biggest savings – and sticking to all the conditions can prove tricky. Melbourne-based Momentum Energy markets itself as the brand with great rates but no confusing discounts. The retailer has three residential market offers with varying rates but no exit fees. Momentum Energy also offers one of few solar-specific deals in Victoria that has a seemingly generous feed-in tariff. This approach seems to have its fans, with Momentum rating consistently well in our ratings over the years.

  • Taking seventh place in our latest review, Momentum Energy was rated three stars across most research categories. This includes variables such as value for money and customer service. It did, however, score four stars for ease of sign-up.

EnergyAustralia

The best-rated of the big three retailers in Victoria, EnergyAustralia provides a fairly concise range of products. Rates vary between its plans, and one includes a modest guaranteed discount applied to the whole bill. All EnergyAustralia plans are said to be carbon neutral for customers who opt in (you’ll need to check the EA website for 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.

  • EnergyAustralia was ranked eighth in our latest VIC electricity review, scoring a majority of three-star reviews, including overall satisfaction and value for money. It achieved a notable four stars for ease of sign-up.

Simply Energy

Simply Energy is typically a price-competitive brand, offering a range of unique products to choose from. The company is now owned by French utilities giant Engie, but remains based in Melbourne where it offers a couple of price-effective plans with unconditional discounts attached. Simply Energy’s main selling point is its value-add incentives, where customers can choose to sign up to a plan that offers extras they might be interested in. One of its most attractive options in recent years is its special offer for movie fans, bringing free tickets throughout the year. However, this deal is not always available. All plans come with variable rates and no lock-in contracts.

  • Coming in fourth-last in our VIC electricity provider ratings this year, Simply Energy rated three stars for overall satisfaction, value for money, customer service, bill & cost clarity, online tools & advice and environmental sustainability. It got four stars for ease of sign-up.

Alinta Energy

Alinta Energy is one of the largest dual fuel providers in the southern states of Australia, as well as a major gas supplier in Western Australia. It is also now partnered with the Queensland government to supply homes in the Brisbane area. The retailer is headquartered in Sydney and has a strong presence in Perth, but is now owned by a Hong Kong-based conglomerate company. When it comes to Victoria, Alinta has two market offers, both of which come with competitive rates and no conditional discounts. The retailer also brings savings on various activities such as movies tickets and eating out to its customers through the Alinta Energy rewards program.

  • Alinta Energy has been ranked tenth in this year’s electricity comparison. It achieved three stars across all research categories, including value for money, overall satisfaction, online tools & advice and environmental sustainability.

AGL

Like Origin, utilities giant AGL has undertaken a major review of its plans since the introduction of the VDO in 2019, with a move away from conditional discounts, replaced by reasonably low rates instead. AGL’s offers are now the Value Saver and Flexible Saver, both of which come with variable rates. This plan comes with access to AGL Rewards, the retailer’s loyalty program that delivers various value-add benefits. AGL is also one of few retailers to offer specific deals for seniors.

  • In our Victoria electricity provider ratings, AGL received three stars for overall satisfaction, value for money, customer service, bill & cost clarity and environmental sustainability. It achieved four stars for online tools & advice and ease of sign-up.

Origin Energy

Origin Energy has perhaps seen the biggest changes following the industry changes that took effect from July 2019. Previously offering one of the most diverse product ranges around, including large conditional discounts that expired after a year, Origin now promotes a much easier-to-understand line-up of plans. The first of these is its Basic plan with VDO pricing, alongside two fixed rate and one variable rate option, which bring modest savings off the VDO. These plans come with no contract terms or exit fees. Origin also has some specific deals for customers with solar panels.

  • Ranked last in our VIC comparison, Origin earned three stars for overall satisfaction and all other research categories with the exception of four stars when it came to online tools & advice and ease of sign-up.

Market offers vs standing offers

In addition to the market offers mentioned above, all retailers have standard electricity contracts. In Victoria, these are also known as the Victorian Default Offer (VDO). As the name suggests, these are ‘default’ power plans that customers may be on if they’ve never switched companies, or haven’t moved onto a new deal for several years. Standard contracts are usually more expensive than the cheapest market offers.

Who is the cheapest electricity provider in Victoria?

Alinta Energy and Lumo Energy are consistently some of the cheapest electricity companies in Victoria. Nevertheless, it’s best to frequently compare retailers as electricity prices change all the time given there are more than 25 brands to choose from.

Aside from which supplier is cheapest, it’s also important to look into other features like customer service, billing options and rewards programs. Although cheaper prices will generally sway most Victorians when making a purchase decision, don’t discount the energy providers that will go the extra mile for your business.

How to compare electricity providers in Melbourne

You can compare energy providers in your area by using our free comparison tool. Simply type in your postcode or suburb and hit the compare button. From here you’ll be able to view a range of suppliers in your specific region with prices reflecting the appropriate yearly usage amounts according to the relevant distribution zone.

The Canstar Blue electricity comparison tool is easy to use and does not require a phone number. You may also wish to input some details from a previous power bill for a more specific comparison based on your household’s general usage. Our tool allows you to sort deals by brand, plan name, price, value score and more.

How to switch energy suppliers

Once you’ve compared prices, plans and suppliers in our comparison tool, click on the product that’s best suited to your personal circumstances. You will then be directed to your chosen retailer’s website where you will be required to enter some of your details. Your new retailer should provide details about what happens next in terms of account management.

Remember that each power company handles the switching process differently, so don’t forget to review all the terms and conditions from both companies before making the switch. These can be found via the energy price fact sheets which all retailers must provide.

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

It should only take two business days to switch energy providers in Victoria, meaning the old retailer must transfer you to your new retailer within this time period.

It’s important to know that the retailer you’re looking to switch to will usually update you once your account has been successfully transferred. Also, you can expect a final bill from your old retailer which will still need to be settled.

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 VIC Gas Suppliers

Frequently Asked Questions

How to get the best electricity deal

There is no simple answer to this question because it depends on a multitude of factors, from the type of contract you have, to your discount, electricity tariffs, and where you live. But to give you an idea of where to find the cheapest rates, Canstar Blue has a Victorian electricity cost comparison page, showing plans from the providers mentioned in this report. Being the cheapest provider doesn’t automatically make them the ‘best’, but if it’s purely the bottom line you are concerned about, be sure to check out the details. Also be sure to use our comparison tool for specific offers in your area.

Questions to ask before signing up to a new plan

This report offers lots of information to help you make a better-informed decision about your electricity supply, so now it’s up to you to compare providers and plans. To make sure that you get a better deal, be sure to consider and ask the following questions:

  • What type of electricity contract is it? (e.g. VDO or market contract)
  • What are the supply and usage rates? (How much are you paying per kWh?)
  • What different tariff options are available and how do the charges vary?
  • What percentage discount is offered and what are the conditions?
  • What rewards programs or other sign-up incentives are available?
  • Can you add a controlled load (dedicated circuit) for water heating?

You will find the answers to these questions and more in the energy price fact sheets of each provider you compare. However, these documents can be quite difficult to understand, so don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and get the answers you need. It’s also a good idea to contact your existing provider and ask if your current deal is the best they can offer. And remember that the retailers should be working hard to keep you happy, so if you’re not completely satisfied with the price you’re paying or the servicing you’re receiving, you now know what you can do about it.

VIC Electricity Providers

Canstar Blue Award for best-rated electricity providers Victoria

Here is a complete list of energy providers in Victoria.

  • AGL
  • Alinta Energy
  • Amber Electric
  • CovaU
  • Diamond Energy
  • Discover Energy
  • Dodo
  • Elysian Energy
  • EnergyAustralia
  • Energy Locals
  • GloBird Energy
  • Kogan Energy
  • Lumo Energy
  • Momentum Energy
  • Origin Energy
  • OVO Energy
  • People Energy
  • Powerclub
  • Powerdirect
  • Powershop
  • QEnergy
  • ReAmped Energy
  • Red Energy
  • Simply Energy
  • Sumo
  • Tango Energy
  • 1st Energy

There are five electricity distribution networks in Victoria, with numerous energy providers operating throughout. Canstar Blue’s electricity comparison tool includes pricing from all of these providers.

About the Victorian Electricity Market

About Victorian Electricity Market

Victoria is a hugely competitive market for the electricity providers – it’s where many invest the majority of their time, effort and money in order to attract new customers. This is important to know because it means that you have the power to find a better deal – provided that you’re willing to do your research and shop around. This hasn’t happened by chance or overnight. Victoria was the first Australian state to completely remove electricity price regulations in 2009, which means the energy companies are free to set their own plans and prices, with minimal legislative interference under the introduction of the VDO in 2019. Households had been able to switch providers several years earlier, but there was little financial incentive to do so at the time.

With a fully deregulated electricity market, Victorians now have a huge range of different providers, plans and other incentives to choose from. However, with all this choice can come confusion and there is little doubt that the prospect of picking an electricity provider is a daunting one for a great many households, which is why many will still be paying more for power than they need to.

Big changes to Victorian Energy Market

The Victorian energy market went through a significant change in July 2019 when tough new regulations took effect, designed to cut prices, as well as make comparing plans easier. After years of big, often dodgy discounts, retailers must now compare their discounted products to a ‘level playing field’ price called the Victorian Default Offer. The idea is that, unlike before, there is now a consistent price from which plans are compared, meaning you can have greater confidence that the plans boasting the biggest savings genuinely deliver them. At the same time, the Victorian Default Offer (VDO) acts as a price cap for customers who were previously paying the highest prices on standing offers. These customers have now been switched onto the cheaper VDO price and will be saving hundreds of dollars a year. That said, there are still many plans cheaper than the VDO, so shopping around for the best deal is still hugely important.

Victoria Electricity Generation & Power Stations

Victoria currently has three coal-fired power stations in operation in the Latrobe Valley, Yallourn (owned by EnergyAustralia) and Loy Yang A and B (owned by AGL). The Loy Yang power stations alone are said to power approximately 30 per cent of Victoria’s electricity generation, although all three plants are scheduled to close in the next 20-30 years.

The Hazelwood Power Station (majority owned by Engie, the company behind retailer Simply Energy) was previously supplying around a quarter of Victoria’s base load electricity before it was closed in 2017. This means the state is now heavily reliant on its numerous gas turbines and reciprocating power stations, but with the coal-fired plants getting older and becoming less reliable, Victorians are susceptible to blackouts during periods of high demand when power reserves are stretched to the limit. In fact, more than 200,000 people were left without electricity in January 2019 as Melbourne sweltered through a 42-degree day and two of the three coal-fired plants failed.

Victoria is also home to more than a dozen solar farms, wind farms and hydroelectric power generation systems, though these can currently only meet a small percentage of the state’s overall energy demands.

Do energy providers offer the same prices across VIC?

Victoria Electricity Distribution Networks

The other factor that could impact the size of your next bill is where you live. Victoria has five different electricity distribution networks and the cost of supplying power to your home can be different depending on which network you live on. While electricity retailers are the customer-facing business, it’s the distributors who manage the infrastructure (i.e. poles and wires) that transports energy to your living room. The five electricity distributors in Victoria are:

  • Citipower – servicing Melbourne city and inner suburbs
  • Jemena – servicing northern and south-western suburbs
  • Powercor Australia – servicing western suburbs and western Victoria
  • AusNet Services – servicing outer northern and eastern suburbs, plus eastern Victoria
  • United Energy – servicing southern suburbs and Mornington Peninsula

As the retailers pass on distributor costs to their customers, the suburb you live in will impact your energy costs. For example, an Origin customer living in north Melbourne would pay a different rate to an Origin customer in south Melbourne, even if they have the same product and identical usage habits. Distributor costs can account for up to 50 per cent of your overall bill. If you are a homeowner, there is nothing you can do about this, but if you are renting a home or considering where to buy, this is worth looking into. Choosing one suburb over another could save you hundreds of dollars a year in energy costs.

Who pays the most (and least) for energy in Victoria?

Given that distribution costs are passed on to the electricity providers, who then pass the costs onto their customers, it makes sense that households in the most hard-to-reach places will pay the most for power as there are more poles and wires involved in transmitting the energy to them. This is the case in Victoria where electricity customers in central parts of Melbourne (on the Citipower network) generally pay lower rates than those who live on the Powercor and AusNet networks which cover huge parts of regional Victoria.

To illustrate how location impacts the cost of electricity across the five distribution networks in Victoria, Canstar Blue’s electricity database listed the following prices as the cheapest deals on each network as of February 2022. These annual costs are based on assumptions set by the Essential Services Commission.

Electricity Network Annual Electricity Bill
Citipower $962
United Energy $882
Jemena $990
Powercor $1,033
AusNet $1,151

Source: Canstar Blue electricity database February 2022.

As you can see, living in one part of Victoria could see you paying hundreds of dollars a year more than an equivalent household in another part of the state, even with the same retailer. And keep in mind that it’s not only those way out in regional Victoria that pay the highest prices – as a provider’s rates are consistent across each network, you could live on the Powercor or AusNet network in an outer suburb of Melbourne and pay significantly more than your friends in a neighbouring suburb.

Electricity Contracts in Victoria

Victoria Electricity Contracts

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

  • Victorian Default Offer: Introduced in July 2019, the Victorian Default Offer (VDO) has replaced standing offers as the most expensive contract that a customer who does not engage in the market can be on. The price of the VDO is determined by the Essential Services Commission (ESC) and is consistent across all retailers, unlike the previous standing offers. The introduction of the VDO saw customers on standing offers automatically switched onto the VDO price, saving many households hundreds of dollars a year.
  • Market contracts: These are contracts set almost entirely by the energy retailers. They come with varying contract lengths, conditional discounts, benefit periods and fees. These are the plans that are heavily promoted by the retailers and can provide the opportunity for customers to cut costs, as long as they stick to the conditions. However, retailers must meet certain industry rules relating to how their market offers are promoted, including the fact that plans with discounts must be compared to the VDO, which also acts as a reference price for consumers to compare all plans.

It’s estimated that about one in ten households in Victoria were switched from a standing offer onto the VDO in July 2019. But while the VDO price is certainly much less than these people would previously have paid for power, Canstar Blue’s electricity database shows that customers could still save hundreds of dollars a year by switching from the VDO onto one of the cheapest market contracts, even with the same retailer. The VDO is designed to be a “fair” price for power, but that doesn’t mean you should settle for it.

Electricity Charges in Victoria

Market electricity offers in Victoria come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, but they all include two major costs – supply charges and usage charges.

  • Supply charges: These are costs that households incur simply for being connected to the energy grid. Supply charges in Victoria typically cost around 80 cents to $1.20 per day and remain the same every day no matter how much energy you use.
  • Usage charges: These are the rates you’ll pay for actual electricity usage. Depending on different tariffs (which we’ll come to shortly), usage charges can vary considerably. General usage charges in Victoria can cost anywhere from 16 to 25 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh).

It’s important to look at both of these rates when comparing energy plans, but large households should pay particular attention to usage rates, while smaller households with modest energy usage should look for plans with lower daily supply costs as these will make up a higher proportion of overall costs.

Electricity Tariffs in Victoria

Victoria Electricity Tariffs

Energy tariffs are often the cause of confusion for customers, but once you know what they are and how they work, you will realise they could present an opportunity to save on bills. Put simply, ‘tariffs’ relate to the pricing structure of your energy plan, with different usage charges applying based on when you use power. Tariffs available in Victoria broadly fall into two categories:

Single Rate Tariffs

If you have a single rate tariff, you will pay the same usage charges no matter what time of day you use power – so the cost of using air conditioning, for example, will be the same whether it’s used in the early evening (peak times) or in the middle of the night (off-peak times). You might also see a single rate tariff referred to as a ‘general rate’ or ‘peak tariff’ as all electricity usage is effectively charged at peak rates.

Time of Use Tariffs

If you have a time of use tariff (also known as ‘flexible pricing’), you’ll be charged different electricity rates depending on when you use power. These rates are usually split into three categories, although the exact times in which they apply can vary between electricity distribution networks.

  • Peak: These rates usually apply from the early afternoon until the late evening (e.g. 2pm-8pm). The most expensive rates you will pay, these charges can cost up to and over 50 cents per kWh.
  • Off-peak: These rates apply from the late evening until the early morning (e.g. overnight from 10pm-7am) and at weekends. These charges typically cost less than 25 cents per kWh.
  • Shoulder: These rates apply at all other times of day (e.g. late morning until early afternoon). Cheaper than peak rates but more expensive than off-peak rates, expect to pay around 26-32 cents per kWh.

Time of use energy tariffs are only available if your property has a smart meter. As the majority of homes in Victoria now have smart meters installed, flexible pricing is very common and can be helpful in reducing energy costs, particularly if you generally use power at off-peak times. However, picking the wrong tariff for your usage habits could prove a costly mistake. Demand tariffs – which apply an additional charge to reflect a household’s peak time usage – are also now available in Victoria.

It’s also important to note that much like the Victorian Default Offer, there is now a two-period time of use VDO which acts as a safety net for Victorian energy customers on a time of use tariff. The two-period default tariff provides customers with a reference price for their peak and off-peak electricity rates.

Controlled Load Tariffs

In addition to single rate and time of use tariffs, households in Melbourne and other parts of Victoria can also benefit from a controlled load tariff (also called a dedicated circuit). A controlled load tariff is a dedicated metering connection that allows households to pay for high-usage appliances, such as hot water systems, at a cheaper rate. A dedicated circuit is usually only applied to electric water heaters, but with more than one circuit, households can also apply them to pool pumps. Controlled load tariffs are much cheaper than other charges, usually less than 25 cents per kWh. The drawback is that power will only be supplied for a few hours each day (i.e. enough time to heat water for the day or to clean your pool).

Electricity Plans in Victoria

Victoria Electricity Plans

With more than 25 electricity providers competing in Victoria, you won’t be surprised to learn that there is a huge range of different plans to pick from, often differentiated by the conditional discounts and any other incentives on offer. These plans broadly fall into two categories – those which have variable rates and those with fixed rates.

  • Variables rate plans: Much like having a variable rate home loan, electricity plans have variable rate usage and supply charges. This means that your provider could change the prices that you pay for electricity usage and supply at any time, as long as they give you prior notice. However, variable rate plans generally have cheaper rates than fixed rate plans.
  • Fixed rate plans: If you don’t like the idea of prices changing at short notice, some energy companies have fixed rate plans. With these, you effectively lock-in supply and usage charges for a set period, usually one or two years. This means that you pay the same rates for the life of your contract, but this added convenience can come at a higher price – much like fixed rate home loans.

The vast majority of electricity plans in Victoria come with variable rates. Fixed rate plans were once only offered by the big three, AGL, EnergyAustralia and Origin, though nowadays you’ll find smaller providers going down the fixed rate path too.

Solar Plans in Victoria

The sun may not shine in Victoria as often as some other states, but more and more Victorian households are choosing to invest in solar systems. While all electricity market offers come with some form of solar feed-in tariff, there are only a handful of retailers that offer specific solar plans, usually with higher rates for solar generation. These include Tango Energy, Origin, ReAmped Energy and Momentum Energy.

Electricity Discounts in Victoria

In an effort to stand out from the crowd, some providers in Victoria boast market offer plans with discounts off usage charges – up to 40% or more before the energy industry changes that kicked in from July 2019 – but these are much lower now. While these discounts can be a great way to cut your overall power costs, it’s important to not just assume that the providers promising the biggest discounts will automatically work out to be the cheapest, because that’s often not the case at all. Discounts will usually be applied if you:

Discounts usually apply to electricity usage charges only, but some retailers apply their discounts to your entire bill instead. While tempting, it’s important to compare energy plans based on their base rates as well as the conditional discounts. But most importantly, you should see how the plan in question compares to the reference price that is the VDO. Failing to meet the conditions of a discount will mean you are left paying the non-discounted rate, which will be much higher. You may also be charged a fee. Also be sure to check the benefit period of your discount, because most only apply for one or two years, after which you’ll have to pay the full price.

Other Incentives

If discounts don’t appeal to you, you will find a range of other sign-up incentives offered by the electricity retailers in Victoria in an effort to get you on board. Simply Energy and Alinta Energy both have plans that provide incentives for sports lovers, while Red Energy customers can collect Qantas Frequent Flyer points. It’s also common for retailers to throw $50-$100 in sign-up credit at new customers, especially if they sign up online.

Energy Rewards Programs in Victoria

The following electricity providers offer some form of rewards program to customers in Victoria, bringing savings on various leisure and social activities, including eating out, accommodation and even theme park tickets.

  • AGL (AGL Rewards)
  • Alinta Energy (Alinta Energy Rewards)
  • Red Energy (Red Energy Rewards)
  • Sumo (Sumo Perks)
  • CovaU (CovaU Rewards)

Given that Victoria is one of the most competitive energy markets for the retailers, some of these rewards programs are not available in other areas.

More about VIC Energy Networks

Melbourne city

Customers who live in Melbourne’s city or inner suburbs are covered by the Citipower electricity distribution network. Here are the main areas within this network:

  • Armadale
  • Brunswick
  • Camberwell
  • Carlton
  • Caulfield
  • Collingwood
  • Docklands
  • Fitzroy
  • Hawthorn
  • Kew
  • Lalwyn
  • Melbourne CBD
  • Northcote
  • Port Melbourne
  • Prahran
  • Richmond
  • St Kilda
  • Toorak

Melbourne’s northern suburbs

If you live in Melbourne’s north or north-western suburbs, what you may not know is that your electricity is supplied by the Jemena network. Here are a few examples of the areas that fall under this umbrella:

  • Brooklyn
  • Campbellfield
  • Clarkefield
  • Coburg
  • Craigieburn
  • Footscray
  • Gisborne South
  • Heidelberg
  • Mickleham
  • Reservoir
  • Roxburgh Park
  • Sunbury
  • Tullamarine
  • Wildwood

Mornington Peninsula

The United Energy network supplies electricity to all homes within Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, as well as Melbourne’s southern suburbs. These include but are not limited to:

  • Carrum Downs
  • Dandenong
  • Dromana
  • Fingal
  • Flinders
  • Frankston
  • Glen Waverley
  • Mornington
  • Mount Eliza
  • Mount Martha
  • Portsea
  • Red Hill
  • Rosebud
  • Shoreham
  • Sorrento
  • Springvale

Western Victoria

Residents in western Victoria and Melbourne’s western suburbs are supplied electricity though the Powercor network. These include major localities such as Ballarat and Geelong. Other suburbs within this region are:

  • Ardeer
  • Bendigo
  • Cobram
  • Colac
  • Echuca
  • Horsham
  • Kyneton
  • Maryborough
  • Mildura
  • Shepparton
  • Warrnambool

Eastern Victoria

The Ausnet network covers the eastern parts of Victoria, in addition to Melbourne’s eastern suburbs. This is a list of the suburbs that fall in this area:

  • Bairnsdale
  • Beaconsfield
  • Benalla
  • Corowa
  • Euroa
  • Hazlewood
  • Lilydale
  • Mallacoota
  • Mansfield
  • Mt Baw Baw
  • Orbost
  • Rowville
  • Seymour
  • South Morang
  • Wangaratta
  • Warragul
  • Wilsons Prom
  • Wodonga

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 Victoria, have an electricity account, and pay the bills – in this case, 2,118 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.

2020

Winner: Powershop

2019

Winner: Powershop

2018

Winner: Tango Energy

2017

Winner: Powershop

2016

Winner: Powershop

2015

Winner: Powershop

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