who can switch suppliers?
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Over eight in ten households in Australia are now able to choose their electricity and gas suppliers. Residents of NSW, Victoria, ACT, Queensland and South Australia can choose their electricity and/or gas suppliers.
If you live in Tasmania you cannot currently change your electricity provider. Aurora Energy is the only company licensed to supply electricity to households. However, the Tasmanian State Government is evaluating whether to introduce electricity competition sometime after 2010.
However, you can choose your gas supplier in Tasmania but only if the gas network is available in your area. The new gas network is currently being rolled out, enabling you for the first time to reduce your use of electricity and switch to the more efficient and cheaper natural gas. However, this will require you to upgrade or replace your hot water, cooking and/or heating systems to use gas. There might be rebates and incentives available to help reduce the cost to you of replacing these appliances. To find out more visit the TasGas website.
If you live in Western Australia or Northern Territory it is not possible for you to switch your electricity and gas supplier. However, both Governments are evaluating whether to introduce retail competition in the future. We encourage you to write to your Government or local MP about this issue.
Switchwise is available to all households across Australia. You can compare prices for a range of suppliers in your state or territory; however, in some cases, as discussed above, there is only one supplier available but at least you can see some of the different plans they offer.
Switchwise is not currently available for businesses. However, we hope to be able to help businesses find a better deal on their electricity and gas bills in the future.
Please note that if you have a poor credit history or have outstanding debts with your current supplier your application to switch providers might be delayed or refused until the issue is resolved.