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Electricity and gas market offers
With many energy offers available, it pays to shop around to see if you're getting the best deal from your current energy retailer for your particular needs. Ensuring you get the most cost-effective electricity or gas deal for your household is one way to keep household energy bills down. If you’ve been on the same energy contract for many years it’s particularly important to investigate the options available, as you may well be paying more than you need to.
In all states and territories except the Northern Territory, Tasmania, Western Australia and areas outside South East Queensland, you have a choice of energy retailers to go with. In some regional areas there's only one electricity retailer, so it's important to make sure you're on the contract that's most suitable for your particular needs.
Households can choose to enter into market or standard retail contracts (except in the Northern Territory and Western Australia).
A standard retail contract is the default contract you'll be on if you haven't shopped around for another contract. It includes set terms and conditions that cannot be changed by the retailer. In the Australian Capital Territory, Northern Territory, Queensland, Tasmania and Western Australia, the price is set by a regulator or the state or territory government. In all other jurisdictions, retailers set the standing offer price.
Market retail contracts have a minimum set of terms and conditions, but other terms and conditions vary from contract to contract. Retailers set the market retail contract price. These contracts may cost less, offer renewable energy or discounts and often have fixed term durations and exit fees if you leave early. Selecting a market retail contract which is the right fit for your household is where you're likely to find the most savings.
Given the number of offers available, carefully choosing the best fit for your circumstances is important—especially as not all offers are marketed in the same way and retailers often use different terms to describe their services. You have a right to access your electricity use data by making a request to your retailer. You can use this data to seek further advice from service providers on the best offer for you.
When looking at switching to a new gas or electricity provider, follow these steps:
- Compare. To assess the available options there's a range of calculators or estimators that can help with finding the best option for your household. These tools allow you to compare electricity and gas contracts available from licensed energy retailers.
- Consider. As each household is different you'll need to review information you get from using an online calculator with your particular circumstances. You also need to be aware that some online services and estimators may have agreements in place with particular energy retailers.
- Check. Before you make your decision to switch retailers or change packages with your existing provider make sure you read the fine print. Follow our checklist to ensure you know what to look for and which questions to ask your retailer.
EnergyMadeEasy.gov.au is available for customers in the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, South Australia and Tasmania and has tools to help you to compare offers—as well as information on your rights as a consumer, understanding energy tariffs and average energy use in your area so you can see how your household compares. Calculators for other states and territories are listed in More from around the web (see below).
Remember that while changing your provider can get you a better deal for your household energy bills, taking some simple actions around the home may also save you money on your bills while reducing your energy use at the same time.
More from around the web
- ACT |
- NSW |
- NT |
- QLD |
- SA |
- TAS |
- VIC |
- WA |
Did you know?
An average household can use around a quarter of its total energy on heating water
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