Many South Australians rely on natural gas to heat and power their homes, and given the trajectory electricity rates have taken in the past few years, gas bills can add further pressure to already tight household budgets. While the retail gas market is not as competitive as electricity, customers can still find a cheap deal on gas, provided a little homework is done.
That’s where this page comes into good use. To help make it easier for customers to compare gas prices in South Australia, Canstar Blue has created a list of cheap SA gas plans. The prices below are based on a set of assumptions and apply to a specific household in the Adelaide area, so please treat this information as a general guide only.
Cheap Gas Prices SA – quick comparison
Here are some of the cheapest gas deals on our database for SA. These estimated annual costs are based on the Australian Gas Network in Adelaide and yearly gas usage of 11,875MJ, but prices will vary depending on your circumstances. We show one product per retailer, listed in order of lowest estimated cost. This table includes products from referral partners†. Our database may not cover all deals in your area, and please check retailer websites for up to date information.
Gas Prices Compared in SA
Most homes in South Australia will be supplied gas via the Australian Gas Networks (AGN) – a distribution network consisting of more than 7,500 kilometres of pipes. Before we have a look at each retailer on price, it’s important to note that bills are made up of three components – extraction and generation costs, transmission and distribution costs, and retail costs. In the table below, we assume household gas usage of 11,875MJ a year, but remember that households have different gas consumption needs. Our price assumptions should be used as a general indicator of prices which are currently available from retailers on our database. Calculations factor in usage and supply rates, plus any conditional discounts available on the provider’s cheapest market offer.
|Gas Supplier^||Gas Plan||Discount||Annual Cost*||Important|
|AGL||Essentials Saver||0%||$712||Basic Plan Information|
|Alinta Energy||No Fuss||0%||$718||Basic Plan Information|
|Lumo Energy||Basic||0%||$737||Basic Plan Information|
|Red Energy||Living Energy Saver||0%||$746||Basic Plan Information|
|Origin Energy||Max Saver||10%||$759||Basic Plan Information|
|EnergyAustralia||No Frills||0%||$821||Basic Plan Information|
|Simply Energy||Simply RAA||0%||$822||Basic Plan Information|
*Annual cost estimates based on daily gas usage of 11,875MJ a year, May 2020. Gas prices based on gas provided through Australian Gas Network in Adelaide. Please be aware that some of the discounts shown above may only be available where the customer purchases both gas and electricity from the same retailer. There may be other retailers available in your area.
Which natural gas supplier is cheapest in SA?
Our price calculations suggest that AGL, Alinta Energy and Lumo Energy currently provide the cheapest natural gas deals in South Australia, according to this specific comparison. Following close behind these three providers are Red Energy, GloBird Energy and Origin. Keep in mind that gas prices can change frequently, and remember that costs will vary according to usage habits so it’s important to compare using your billing information.
While you may be naturally attracted to big discounts, it’s worth checking out the base rates of a gas plan. Some retailers may advertise large flashy discounts to gain your business, but these could be hiding inflated rates, or may be only available if you pay a certain way (i.e. by direct debit). Failing to meet the conditions of a discount could see you paying much for gas than you need to.
Another important aspect of a gas bill is the benefit period, which is basically how long you’ll receive a discount for, or other incentives, like bill credits. Benefit periods normally only last for one or two years, meaning you could be moved onto a standard offer with higher rates and no discount once the period has lapsed. Aside from discounts, some gas retailers are now offering once-off or ongoing bill credits, access to their rewards programs, and even a sports streaming subscription. Most of this information also applies when searching for cheaper electricity prices in SA.
Understanding your gas bill
When looking for a cheap gas deal, it helps to know which charges mean what on your monthly or quarterly bill. The bulk of what you pay will usually come down to usage and supply charges, but depending on your gas retailer, there may be other costs involved.
- Usage charges: This charge is the price households pay for using natural gas and is measured in megajoules (MJ). Gas usage charges will either be billed at the same rate (flat/single rate), or will be charged in blocks (block rate tariff). Block rate tariffs charge customers at different rates based on the quantity of gas they use. For example, a rate of 3c/MJ may apply to the first 20MJ block, while the next 20MJ used is charged at a rate of 2.5c/MJ.
- Supply charges: This is a daily charge that covers the cost of supplying natural gas to a home. It is typically around 70 to 80 cents a day, and will be charged to a bill regardless of how much gas is used.
- Discounts: Many plans include a percentage off bills provided customers have met the conditions of a discount. Conditions may include paying bills on time, paying by direct debit, or signing up online. Also, be sure to find out whether the discount applies to both usage and supply charges, or just the usage charges. This information can be found in the fine print of each gas plan.
- Other fees and charges: By checking the breakdown of charges on your bill, you may notice other fees and expenses listed. These may relate to credit card surcharges, late payment fees, paper billing fees or connection charges.
Type of gas contracts in South Australia
There are two types of natural gas contracts in South Australia – market contracts and standard contracts.
- Market contracts: The vast majority of residential gas customers in SA are connected to a market contract or ‘market offer’. These are plans with prices and conditions set by the natural gas retailer, which are usually more competitive than standard contracts. Customers on market contracts will, however, have to be wary of price changes and benefit periods.
- Standard contracts: A standard gas contract is a government-regulated contract that customers are likely to be on if they have never switched gas suppliers, or they haven’t jumped ship in several years. About one in ten SA households are currently on standard contracts.
Is gas cheaper than electricity?
There are many variables at play when determining which source of energy is cheaper to power your home. For instance, households with high gas usage may benefit from lower overall costs than electricity due to cheaper usage prices. Given that the average electricity usage rate in SA is about 42c per kWh – and the gas usage rate is approximately 4.2c per MJ – an argument for natural gas seems like a no brainer. But, it’s the supply charges of natural gas which makes it all a little more complicated, given that you’ll also be paying for electricity supply charges.
Gas can be a viable alternative to electricity for some household appliances, such as hot water systems and heaters, particularly if customers have higher gas consumption needs. For those with lower gas usage needs, you could be better off switching all appliances to electric.
Which gas supplier is rated highest in SA?
Regardless of which gas retailer you choose, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that the quality of your supply will not be affected by your decision. However, just because the natural gas supplied to your home comes from the same pipes, doesn’t mean prices are all set in stone. There are numerous offers from gas suppliers in South Australia, and if price alone can’t help you narrow your choices, then perhaps it’s time to look at other features, like customer service or online tools. To find out who is king of gas in SA, read our annual review of suppliers via the link below.