queensland electricity retail market
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Queensland is the third biggest electricity market in Australia, after NSW and Victoria. The state has approximately 1.6 million residential customers and 200,000 business customers. There are only two electricity networks (called distributors) - Energex, which covers South-East Queensland, and Ergon Energy, which covers rural and regional Queensland.
Queensland introduced full retail competition to the electricity market on 1 July 2007; prior to that date residents of the sunshine state were not able to choose their electricity provider - they were stuck with Energex or Ergon depending upon where they lived. Now South-East Queensland has a very active market with a lot of new competition so consumers now have a great choice. Unfortunately, rural residents living in the Ergon Energy network area still do not have a choice of electricity retailer as no other companies have started selling there at this point in time.
electricity suppliers in brisbane & queensland
Electricity suppliers, called retailers, are companies that sell electricity directly to consumers and/or businesses and issue bills. Retailers do not usually own the wires and poles; they simply purchase electricity wholesale (or in some cases generate electricity themselves) and resell it to the end consumer. They pay the electricity distributors a fee for using their networks to supply power to households and businesses. This fee is passed on to consumers in the form of a supply charge.
As at November 2012, there were nine main energy retailer brands selling electricity to households in south-east Queensland:
- Australian Power & Gas
- Click Energy
- Dodo Power & Gas
- Energy Australia
- Integral Energy
- Lumo Energy
- Origin Energy
brisbane & queensland electricity prices
The amount you pay for power comprises a fixed supply charge (priced in cents per day) plus usage charges per kilowatt hour of electricity that you use (priced in cents per kWh). The more electricity that you consume the higher your usage charges will be so there is always an incentive to use less.
In most states power prices usually vary depending upon where you live. However, in Queensland, regulated retail prices are still set by the Government (via the Queensland Competition Authority), ensuring that those living in rural areas do not pay higher base prices than those living in metropolitan areas. However, as stated above, rural residents do not currently benefit from discounts on these base prices given the lack of competitors to Ergon Energy.
Power prices also vary depending upon the type of meter you have at your home. Many homes have single-rate meters, which means you pay the same price per kWh regardless of when you use electricity. Some households have off-peak meters tied to specific appliances such as hot water or storage heating that work only at night time; in such cases they pay a lower price for this type of usage.
As electricity rates can vary depending upon where you live, the type of electricity meter you have installed and your current electricity provider and plan it is not necessarily a simple task to find cheaper electricity prices in Brisbane and Queensland. However, with Switchwise you can simply enter your postcode on our homepage, answer a few questions about your energy use and we can show you whether we have been able to find cheaper electricity deals from our panel of suppliers.