Gas And Electricity Melbourne
Post on June 13th, 2015
When it comes to electricity supply, Victoria is home to the second-largest market in Australia. Electricity and gas are provided to more than 2.1 million homes and 300,000 businesses throughout the state through many different electricity and gas distributors, who are responsible for maintaining various regions of the electricity and gas network state-wide.
Victoria was the first Australian state to take advantage of a completely deregulated energy market, so power companies have long had the freedom to set their own prices for gas and electricity in Melbourne. To ensure fair prices and healthy competition in the energy marketplace, these prices have to be approved by the government. In 2016, the Victorian Government announced an independent review of Victoria’s electricity and gas market to ensure customers were getting the lowest price available for their energy. As a result, the current electricity market in Melbourne reflects the increasing competition between retail suppliers.
Customers in Melbourne have a range of choices when it comes to finding cheaper rates for gas and electricity as well as flexible energy plans and discounts. Take advantage of market changes and shop around for the best deal on electricity plans. If you are unhappy with the current prices that you are paying for electricity, then look no further than our convenient, up-to-date electricity comparison service.
Electricity Wizard will save you money on your power bills. Start saving today by calling 1300 763 627 or fill in the form below for more information at no obligation to you.
How to Find Lower Prices on Gas and Electricity in Melbourne
Understanding the market
The deregulated energy market in Victoria has been a huge boon to consumers. Whether you’re looking for a new plan for your home or your business, it actively works in your favour, as you have the power to choose the retailer that supplies your gas and electricity.
This came about in 2009 when the Victorian Government removed its restrictions on electricity and gas competition and prices, which meant that new energy retailers were free to enter the market. Each of these companies were then able to set their own pricing system, create their own energy plans, and fix their own conditions.
Understandably, this has led to fierce competition between retailers.
Understanding not only which electricity companies supply your area of Melbourne, but what each company does, helps to set the scene for finding cheaper electricity and gas prices. It’s important to understand just who your bill is coming from.
There are two types of companies involved with the connection and supply of your gas and electricity: the distributor, and the retailer. The distributor owns and operates the electricity poles and wires, or the gas pipes, that distribute the energy from its source to your home. The retailer is the company that charges you for the energy you use. Your energy retailer is the company that will be sending you your electricity or gas bill. Residential and business customers in Melbourne have a range of suppliers. Find the best retailer and plan for your needs starts with Electricity Wizard.
Electricity Retailers – Not all electricity retailers were created equal. Their prices in Victoria will vary due to costs needed to operate and maintain the electricity network. Additionally, factors like the age and size of a company, as well as the population density of a service area, will cause their base price to rise or fall accordingly.
Gas Retailers – Compared to the rest of the world, Australia has access to abundant natural resources to create a thriving gas industry. According to the Australian Pipeline Industry Association Limited, there is 33,000 km of high-pressure steel pipelines throughout Australia and more than 25,000 km are used for the transmission of natural gas. And while it might not feel like it, homeowners in Australia pay dramatically lower prices than many other developed countries for natural gas, so there’s stiff competition between the retailers to get your business.
So with all the competition available, this means that even cheaper prices can be found if you compare leading gas and electricity retailers and see what they’re willing to do for you.
Understanding your bill
The key to finding lower prices on your gas and electricity bill is to understand exactly what goes into each bill, so you know what to look for when shopping around. It sounds simple, but when you actually have a look at your bill it can get pretty confusing.
Here’s what makes up each bill. A typical electricity bill in Melbourne usually consists of:
- A base fixed supply charge (tallied at cents per day).
- Plus a basic usage charge billed per kilowatt hour of electricity that is used (cents per kilowatt hour)
A typical gas bill in Melbourne usually consists of:
- A daily fixed supply charge
- Plus a basic usage charge billed per amount megajoules used (based on cents per megajoule).
The usage charge is a based on how much gas or electricity you use. This is what your retailer charges you, and is made up of peak time and off-peak-time usage charges. This means that your electricity retailer might charge you less for the power you use overnight (off-peak), or your gas retailer might charge you more during the colder winter months (peak time).
You might also be charged a “service to property” fee. Service to property is a fee for the supply of electricity to your home. This “service to property” fee is charged at a cents-per-day rate.
The supply charge is what you’re paying for the service of being connected to the electricity grid or to gas. These costs will generally be around the same for each bill—unless your retailer changes their pricing.
So in its simplest form, your bill consists of the electricity or gas that you use, plus the cost of supply to your home. And although homeowners in Melbourne may receive electricity from the same distributor, each of the electricity and gas retailers in Victoria will offer a different pricing structure.
This means that one homeowner may pay drastically different rates than another who has made the switch to get a cheaper price on gas and electricity. Here’s what you should look for when comparing prices.
How to find the best deal
Shopping for the cheapest deals on your electricity and gas is just like anything else—you have to balance quality with quantity. The cheapest electricity rates might not always guarantee the best service, and the best service generally won’t deliver the cheapest rates.
So if you’re after the best rates coupled with the best service, make sure to keep the following in mind when you’re searching for your new electricity supplier:
- Rates and charges – Start by looking at usage rates. With over 20 suppliers operating in Victoria, there are plenty to choose from, so you’ll be sure to find a rate that sounds good to you.
- Don’t hesitate to match rates – Ask the energy supplier if they’re able to match, or even beat, the rates guaranteed from other suppliers. With the amount of companies and competition available, price matching can allow you to get a better deal from the supplier you want to go with.
- Choose the right plan – Check to see if your supplier is offering you a fixed rate or a variable rate plan. Most retailers will have plans that feature variable rates, meaning the price that they charge you for electricity or gas can change. However, some retailers are starting to introduce fixed rate plans, where your energy usage rate is locked in for a certain period of time.
Depending on your usage, this can work out to be a smart move, and you won’t be subject to any surprise changes in your bill. But make sure you read the terms and conditions first.
- Terms and conditions – The fine print is where some companies can get you. Be sure to compare all relevant tariffs, caveats, and terms and conditions from each supplier before deciding to make the switch. Make sure you’re not getting into a plan that will be hard to get out of in the future.
- Ask about discounts? – Everyone likes a discount, so it never hurts to ask. A lot of energy suppliers provide discount offers to entice new customers, such as a direct debit discount, email correspondence discounts, seniors’ discounts, and even for just paying on time. But make sure you know what you’re getting into.While it might sound like a saving, check to see that any terms and conditions aren’t going to come back to bite you (such as losing a discount because of a late payment), and be sure to see if you’re getting the discount for the full term of your plan.Be aware too that some retailers apply discounts to your usage charge only, while others might apply it to the whole bill. So before you sign up based on the discounts on offer, spend some time doing to the maths to make sure it’s actually worth it—it’ll save you in the long run.
One thing to be aware of when you’re shopping around for a retailer, is that while it might be cheaper, if their deal is too good to be true… well, it usually is, and the retailer will most likely offset their cheaper supply fee with higher usage fees.
So make sure you take the time to dig in to any plan you’re looking at, to really read the fine print, to get as much information as you can, so you can determine which is going to be right for you in the long term. And to keep that competitive edge, it’s best to change suppliers every 12 to 24 months, to make sure you can take advantage of the best rates and any new technologies that might come along.
Get a Better Deal on Your Electricity Bills
At Electricity Wizard, we do all the hard work for you. When you call us, we’ll compare your rates and plans against our preferred suppliers available in your area and help you select a great plan for you to cut down costs and meet any other criteria you may have. Best of all, our service is completely free – so what do you have to lose?
Try us today! Call Electricity Wizard now on 1300 359 779 or fill out your details below to have one of our comparison specialists help you get a better deal on your energy bills starting today!