It’s a good idea to regularly review the price, terms and features of your electricity and gas plans to make sure you’re getting the best deal. In Queensland, there are multiple gas and electricity companies in Brisbane and throughout the state for both residences and businesses. Identifying the cheapest energy provider can lead to substantial savings for you or your business.
According to the Queensland Government, in March 2020, there were 36 privately owned electricity retailers in QLD. With so many options, make sure you compare electricity and gas providers in QLD so you know you’re getting the best deal or consider switching.
Some regions of Queensland have regulated prices, and in other regions retailers decide the prices. The Queensland Competition Authority sets the prices for regional Queensland, and the government-owned provider Ergon Energy supplies energy to these areas. In the other areas of Queensland, retailers set the energy prices for market contracts.
What are the types of tariffs offered by electricity and gas providers in QLD?
Your retailer will provide you with options, called tariffs, for how they’ll charge you for electricity. The types of tariffs that electricity and gas providers in Queensland offer include:
- Flat rate tariffs: If you opt for a plan with a flat-rate tariff, you pay a daily supply charge, plus a price for each unit of electricity you consume called the usage charge. This usage charge remains the same, irrespective of the time of day you consume the power.
- Time-of-use tariffs: In a time-of-use tariff, you pay higher usage charges during peak periods when there is more load on the network or more people using power. At other times, you pay lower charges that may be one of two types - off-peak and shoulder charges. You may be able to reduce your electricity cost by planning consumption so that you’re using more power during off-peak periods and less during peak periods.
- Demand tariffs: In these kinds of tariff plans, you pay demand charges based on the rate at which you consume electricity. The daily supply and usage charges are usually lower in demand tariff plans.
- Interruptible supply tariffs: These tariff plans are also known as economy, super economy, or controlled load tariffs. The electricity supply to specific equipment will be metered separately and provided only at certain times each day. These will be charged at flat-rate tariff rates and offered only to those households when a permanent supply tariff is also accessed. The usage charges in an interruptible supply tariff plan are cheaper than permanent supply flat-rate tariffs, and you don’t pay any daily supply charge.
- Combination tariffs: You can also opt for a combination of time-of-use and demand tariffs. If you choose this option in your bill, you’ll see that daily supply charges are in cents per day (c/day). The usage charges are charged based on cents per kilowatt-hour (c/kWh). If your bill includes demand charges, you’ll find them listed as dollars per kilowatt ($/kW) per month.
A flat-rate tariff, often referred to as Tariff 11 in regional Queensland, is the most common type, but others are also available. You should select one that best suits your consumption pattern.
How can you compare electricity and gas providers in QLD?
If you want to compare electricity and gas providers in QLD, you can check the details of all the energy plans offered in your location. You should consider whether you want separate gas and electric providers or prefer to group them. You may get a better deal if you opt to group them, as most retailers provide a discount when you do this.
The government sets the maximum price that a retailer can charge on a standard contract, and this is called the ‘default market offer’. Most energy providers will offer discounts, so you get a lower price than the default market offer.
Check which plans are available in your postcode and compare the prices, terms and features offered by each provider for each plan. Your property may have a smart meter that measures how much electricity you use and when and sends this information to your provider wirelessly. If you have one, you can consider any kind of tariff, but if you don’t, then you will have to opt for a flat-rate tariff.
You can read the total annual cost and salient features for each plan, such as benefit period, disconnection or reconnection fees, late payment fees etc. If you have solar panels on your property, you should check which one of the different energy providers in QLD offers a solar feed-in tariff. This tariff will credit back to you any energy your solar panels produce that you don’t use.
If you’ve completed a thorough comparison and decided that you want to switch energy providers in QLD, you can find out how to switch here.
What are the options for business users in Queensland?
If your business is in South East Queensland (SEQ), your energy prices are set by private electricity retailers. You can choose between a standard contract or a range of competitive market offers.
If you run a small business using less than 100MWh per year in power in regional Queensland, the Queensland Competition Authority regulates the electricity prices available for you. Your small businesses can choose a market retailer, but if you do and choose the retailer's standard retail contract, you will pay the listed prices that are often the same as Ergon Energy. You can also choose to go with Ergon Energy directly and have the option to switch back to Ergon Energy Retail whenever you want.
If you have a large business in regional Queensland, you can get regulated prices provided you remain with Ergon Energy. A large business that decides to switch to a private retailer cannot go back to being an Ergon Energy Retail customer in the future.