Post on June 12th, 2015
How to find the cheapest electricity in Brisbane
Queensland is one of the largest electricity consumers in the National Electricity Market and finding the cheapest electricity in Brisbane can be a challenge. New energy tariffs and new energy plans means there’s a lot to consider when comparing offers. The increasing regional electricity consumption is due to continued economic and population growth in this region. And while the cost of living is on the increase, the demand for electricity actually works in your favour. More electricity providers are entering the market, giving you a better chance of finding cheaper electricity in Brisbane compared to regional areas that have not yet been deregulated.
Since July 2007 most homes and businesses in Queensland now have the freedom to choose the retailer that they purchase electricity and natural gas from. Before this time, only large commercial companies were able to freely choose their energy retailer. Full Retail Competition enables SE Queensland customers to choose which retailer they purchase energy from to secure cheaper and more competitive prices.
However, energy prices all around the country are continuing to increase, which means that electricity prices in Queensland still continue on the up and up. In 2010 they rose by a whopping 13%, with Queensland residents paying an average of $200 extra on their annual power bills, due to the result of rising costs for transmission, distribution, and coal and gas. Fast forward almost ten years to 2018 and we are still seeing increases, albeit with a more conservative 4-7% increase being felt by consumers. While it might sound like prices are getting better, they’re still on the rise—and still costing you money.
If you want to start paying less for your energy, simply start with an electricity price comparison. Here’s how you can do one.
How to undertake an electricity price comparison
Start by finding your last few electricity bills, and see how much electricity you’ve been using in your household. This information is normally towards the back of your bill. You’ll also be able to find a graph that outlines your electricity consumption, which should show the amount you’ve used for that billing cycle, and what you’ve used for the year to date.
This graph can give you an idea of your usage habits, so you can see whether your usage has increased, if it’s stayed the same, or if you’re even already reducing your electricity usage (in which case, great!).
This section is where you’ll find the key pieces of information you need to help compare electricity rates and suppliers: what exactly goes into making up your bill. Your charges are made up of a few different things:
- Kilowatt-hour usage: This is the basic rate you’re getting charged for your electricity usage, and is typically listed in kilowatt-hours (kWh), or sometimes as “units”.
- Supply Charge: This is the fee that you’re charged to have your property connected to the electricity grid, which you get charged for at cents per day. It may also be listed as a “service to property charge”.
- Network Charge: A network charge might not necessarily show up on your bill, as it’s an extra charge that some suppliers include that helps to pay for maintenance of their electricity network.
The other key piece of information to find out is what tariff your plan is on. A tariff is the pricing structure that your electricity plan falls under, and there are a couple of common tariffs that your plan might be under:
- Single rate tariff. Under a single rate tariff you get charged just that, one set rate per kilowatt hour, for the entirety of your plan. This remains the same regardless of the time you use your electricity, or how much of it you use.
- Time of use tariff. A time of use tariff means the rate you get charged changes depending on the time of day when you use your electricity. This is where the terms “peak” and “off-peak” take effect: peak hours, usually throughout the day and into the early evening, will see you charged at a higher rate, whereas off-peak hours (overnight and early morning) see you charged at a lower rate.
- Block rate tariff. A block rate tariff works a little differently; for this one, you get charged at different rates depending on the amount of electricity you use. For example, for the first 150 kilowatt hours you use (one “block”) you might get charged one rate, then a lower rate for the next block, and so on.
- Controlled load tariff. Controlled loads tariffs are specific meters for single-use appliances, so things like pool pumps or electric hot water heaters. These appliances get charged independently of your regular tariff, and while you can only have one appliance per controlled load tariff, you can have more than one controlled load appliance at a single property.
So that’s what goes into making up your bill. Now you understand that, you’ll be able to better compare electricity plans and make a more informed decision as to what each electricity company is charging. Now it’s up to you to have a look at each company’s plan, to see what they’re charging, what tariff you might come under, and any other fees that make up your bill.
Cheapest isn’t necessarily the best
While getting the cheapest price is always ideal, getting the cheapest electricity rates in Brisbane doesn’t necessarily guarantee that you will get the best service. So when we say “cheapest”, we actually mean “cheapest and best value”. For the best of both worlds in cheap rates from a top-quality electricity supplier, use the criteria listed below when searching for a supplier:
- • Make note of what each supplier is charging per unit, what tariff you’ll come under, your supply charge, and other fees that make up your monthly bill. The more you understand each plan, the easier it is to make a decision.
- • Check the length of the contract. Make sure you’re signing a contract that’s going for the right length—you don’t want to be locked into something that you can’t get out of for years.
- • Will the supplier increase their rates in the near future? Electricity suppliers can change their rates with only 28 days’ notice, meaning that your electricity bill could vary significantly from month to month. It’s imperative to look for a company that can cap rate increases so that you can rest assured that your cheap rate will remain secure in each billing cycle.
- • Do they charge fees for moving or disconnection, or for breaking contract? You don’t want to move house and find you’re getting slugged with a huge fee, and you want to make sure you’re able to change plans at a time that suits you.
- • Make sure they offer a payment option that suits you, too. It’s no good signing up for a contract, only to find out they don’t offer direct debit.
- • Ask about discounts. With the amount of competition around on the electricity market today, suppliers are keen to do something different to hook you in as their customer, so they might be willing to offer discounted rates, or even perks like magazine subscriptions or movie tickets.
- • If they do give you a discount, be sure to confirm what it’s for. There’s a huge difference between a monthly credit, a discount on your usage rate, and a percentage discount off your entire bill.
- • Does the supplier match—or beat—rates set by their suppliers? Again, here’s where the competition on the market works in your favour. This will ensure that you get the best deal from a dependable supplier that you can trust for the long-term.
And after all that, it can’t hurt to check back in with your current electricity company and ask if they can offer you any special deals, discounts, or incentives, as a way to make you stay on with them. Who knows, you might be able to reduce your electricity prices without even having to change suppliers.
- 1st Energy
- Alinta Energy
- Click Energy
- Diamond Energy
- Dodo Power and Gas
- Energy Australia
- Energy Locals
- ERM Power Retail
- Locality Planning Energy
- Lumo Energy
- Mojo Power Pty Ltd
- Momentum Energy
- Next Business Energy
- Origin Energy
- People Energy Pty Ltd
- Red Energy
- Sanctuary Energy
- Simply Energy
- Tango Energy
Compare rates quickly and accurately!
If that list of suppliers seems daunting, and it sounds like a lot of work to find the cheapest electricity Brisbane has to offer, then don’t worry—we’re here to help. Electricity Wizard has a free call back service that will advise you if there is a better electricity plan released at any time. This service will keep you constantly updated with the best rates and discounts available from many top suppliers in your area so that you never have to worry about wasting money on your electricity bill.
Electricity Wizard is based 100% in Australia and will get you the latest, most up-to-date comparison of which of Brisbane’s electricity suppliers’ offerings will better deliver on your needs, against what you are receiving now. To compare your home or business electricity rates, call Electricity Wizard on 1300 359 779 today!