Electricity Distributors Explained

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Post on April 29th, 2020

What Is an Electricity Distributor?

Each state in Australia receives electricity from different electricity distributors. Most of these distributors were previously owned by the government yet have now become privatised thanks to deregulation.

Before the 1990s, Australia’s electricity industry was state owned and managed by government authorities. The government was responsible for generating, transmitting, distributing, and retailing electricity to both homes and businesses. Each state was responsible for managing its own electricity needs and generating enough power to cater to all homes and businesses in the area.

In the 1990s, the electricity industry in Australia was transformed. The reason being was because the Industry Commission believed there was a need to promote healthy competition in the power industry. This process of privatised electricity distribution offered customers more options than ever before.

Customers can now benefit from:

  • Being able to choose their own retailer.
  • Securing a lower cost of service than was originally available.
  • Taking advantage of a wider variety of services.

How Electricity Distributors Supply Power

There are 16 different electricity distributors in Australia today, providing power to the populated areas of the country. Electricity distributors own power poles and wires and are responsible for maintaining and generating electricity for consumer use. Historically, distributors have had the responsibility of looking after the electricity meters that measure each customer’s electricity usage. As of December 2017, Power of Choice has shifted the responsibility of new metering from distributors toward retailers.

In order for power to be used by a home or business, it must move from the transmission grid to the distribution grid. This power conversion occurs at the power substation, where transformers will split electricity into multiple directions to be sent to homes and businesses nearby. Transformers are necessary to convert transmission voltage into distribution voltage at less than 10,000 V for consumer use.

Who is my Energy Distributor in NSW?

In NSW, electricity is distributed to homes and businesses via a network of transmission lines and substations. The electricity distributor is responsible for maintaining the network of powerlines, poles, and meters that retailers and consumers use.

All electricity distributors that supply electricity to retail customers in New South Wales must be licensed as members of the Energy and Water Ombudsman NSW, otherwise known as EWON.

In New South Wales, customers buy their electricity from an Electricity Retailer in their area. The prices that customers pay for electricity, or the electricity rate they are on, can be negotiated through a large number of competitive electricity retailers.

If a customer doesn’t shop around for a discounted rate, or negotiate a low-price plan, they may be paying more than the best price available to them. A lot of customers are paying more than they need to for their energy, due to being on a default offer.

Customers are encouraged to shop around with different retailers to find the most competitive deal on their energy. A customer is also welcome to change their electricity retailer at any time, although this will not change their network provider – the company that owns the pipes and wires that deliver electricity.

Electricity distributors are responsible for reading meters and maintaining electricity network assets. There are three different electricity distributors in New South Wales that have designated network service areas.

3 New South Wales Electricity Distributors

1. Ausgrid – Ausgrid was formerly known as Energy Australia. Ausgrid distributes electricity in a 22,275 square kilometre region in New South Wales. Ausgrid supplies electricity throughout Sydney, the Central Coast, and the Hunter Valley. Ausgrid is partially owned by the New South Wales government (49.6% share). In December 2016, the NSW Government formed a partnership with AustralianSuper and IFM Investors who operate their 50.4% share of Ausgrid under a long-term lease.

2. Endeavour Energy – Endeavour Energy was previously known as Integral Energy. Endeavour Energy is an electricity distributor that services a 24,800 square kilometre region in New South Wales. Their distribution region includes Sydney’s Greater West, the Blue Mountains, Southern Highlands, Illawarra and the South Coast. 49.6% of Endeavour Energy is owned by the State of NSW, with 50.4% owned by an Australian-led consortium that includes Australia’s Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets, AMP Capital, and others.

3. Essential Energy – Essential Energy was previously known as Country Energy. Essential Energy is an electricity distributor that services a 582,000 square kilometre area spanning regional and rural New South Wales. This service region includes the cities of Albury, Grafton, Port Macquarie, Tamworth, and Wagga Wagga. Essential Energy is owned by the New South Wales government


New South Wales Electricity Distributors Contact Information

  • Ausgrid – Please call 13 13 88 for 24 assistance for faults and emergencies.
  • Endeavour Energy – Please call 131 003 for 24 assistance for faults and emergencies.
  • Essential Energy – Please call 13 20 80 for 24 assistance for faults and emergencies.


Queensland represents the third largest electricity market in Australia, after New South Wales and Victoria.

Electricity is distributed to 1.6 million homes and 200,000 businesses. Queensland now operates under Full Retail Competition as of July 2007.

Before that date, customers were not able to freely choose their electricity provider. The energy market in Queensland has seen some huge changes over recent years. Fluctuating prices, huge infrastructure overhauls, and changing government tax and rebate schemes have made for an uncertain few years. Electricity Wizard has up to date information on the range of gas and electricity companies and prices in Queensland.

The Queensland electricity industry is made up of:

  • Generators – In Queensland, electricity is generated at a large number of power stations using a range of fuel sources including coal, gas, oil, hydro, wind, and solar. These electricity generators include both government-owned corporations and private companies.
  • Transmission – Electricity is then transported via a large transmission grid or network. Powerlink Queensland owns and maintains the high voltage transmission grid.
  • Distribution – Electricity distributors oversee the maintenance of poles and wires, carry out repairs, and ensure a safe and reliable local network. There are three main electricity distributors in Queensland: Energex, Ergon, and Essential Energy.
  • Retailers – Retailers buy electricity from the wholesale network. They re-sell the electricity and manage customer accounts and billing. There are an increasing number of energy retailers. Electricity Wizard can help you to compare the best electricity supplier for you.

Looking For Electricity Distributors in QLD?

There are three major electricity distribution companies supplying Queensland.

  • Energex is a government-owned electricity distributor supplying customers in South East Queensland.
  • Ergon Energy is a government-owned electricity distributor supplying customers in regional Queensland.
  • Essential Energy is a New South Wales energy distributor supplying customers in areas along the Queensland – New South Wales border.

All electricity prices are regulated by the Queensland Competition Authority to ensure that reasonable prices are made available to customers. The Authority continually monitors the quality of electricity service provided to ensure that customers receive an appropriate standard of service. Read below to know about electricity distributors in QLD.

  • Queensland Electricity Distributors Contact InformationEnergex – Please call 13 19 62 or 000 for emergencies or 13 62 62 for outages and for 24/7 assistance.
  • Ergon – Please call 13 16 72 or 000 for emergencies or 13 22 96 for outages and for 24/7 assistance.
  • Essential Energy – Please call 13 20 80 for 24 assistance for faults and emergencies.

Who Distributes Electricity in South Australia?

South Australia has the fourth-largest electricity market in Australia, next to New South Wales, Victoria, and Queensland. The electricity market in South Australia services 750,000 homes and 100,000 businesses. The primary electricity distributor in South Australia is SA Power Network.

Previously called ETSA, South Australia’s electricity distributor was rebranded as SA Power Network in 2012. Their major network covers the metropolitan area of Adelaide and the south coastal areas of South Australia. Remote area networks are also managed by SA Power Network and other providers throughout the state’s remote rural areas.

In times of peak demand, the Murraylink and Heywood electricity interconnectors allow South Australia to import electricity from the eastern states. During these peak demand periods, electricity prices in South Australia increase to cover the generation and network costs.

The network costs associated with transmitting and distributing electricity form a large part of retail electricity prices. Since South Australia has one main electricity distribution network, customers are likely to receive consistent pricing from the different electricity suppliers. This means homes and businesses will know if their retailer is offering them the best discount available.

To ensure a stable supply of electricity in South Australia, along with fair retail pricing for consumers, the electricity distribution and retail network is monitored on a number of levels.



Who Distributes Electricity in Victoria?

Electricity distributors are responsible for managing poles, wires, and pipes that deliver electricity to homes and businesses. In Victoria, there are five different electricity distributors for the public. Each distributor controls a different geographic region of Victoria.

5 Electricity Distributors in Victoria

1. Citipower: Citipower serves Melbourne City and the inner suburbs. Citipower supplies electricity to more than 310,000 customers in the CBD and city area with a network that encompasses 157 square kilometres.  Citipower relies on advanced software to distribute and monitor electricity for Australians in Victoria, ensuring a reliable and high-quality electricity supply.

2. Jemena: Jemena serves the northern and south-western suburbs of Melbourne. Jemena currently supplies electricity to 319,000 homes and businesses in their region of Northwest Melbourne. Jemena’s electricity network encompasses 11,000 km of wires and cables that span 950 square kilometres. Jemena also supplies gas to NSW.

3. Powercor Australia: Powercor is the largest electricity supplier in Victoria, distributing electricity to 780,000 customers in central and western Victoria and Melbourne’s western suburbs. Their network encompasses over half a million poles and 84,000 km of power lines. Powercor averages higher than 99.9% network reliability, which is the best in Australia.

4. AusNet Services: AusNet Services supplies the outer northern and eastern suburbs of Melbourne, as well as eastern Victoria. Their network supplies electricity to 720,000 customers in a region of 80,000 square kilometres, using 52,000 km of wires and cables. Electricity is distributed through a high-voltage transmission grid with circulation throughout 13,000 high-voltage towers and 6600 km of transmission lines.

5. United Energy Distribution: United Energy Distribution services Southeast Melbourne and the Mornington Peninsula, encompassing a 13,000 km electricity network in a region of 1450 square kilometres. United Energy’s distribution network provides service to over 660,000 homes and businesses.

Victoria Electricity Distributors Contact Information

1.   Citipower: Contact 13 12 80 for faults and emergencies or 1300 301 101 for general enquiries.

2.   Jemena: Contact 13 16 26 for faults and emergencies or general enquiries.

3.   Powercor Australia: Contact 13 24 12 for faults and emergencies or 13 22 06 for general enquiries.

4.   AusNet: Contact 13 17 99 for faults and emergencies or 1300 360 795 for general enquiries.

5.   United Energy Distribution: Contact 13 20 99 for faults and emergencies or 1300 131 689 for general enquiries.


How Electricity Wizard Works to Save you Money

Our expert electricity comparison tool allows Electricity Wizard to track all the available offers and discount rates on electricity being offered in each of the distribution networks by the retailers you have al on our panel. We can find you the best options available though our panel so you can compare, switch, and save.

Our expert energy comparison tool allows Electricity Wizard to track all of the available offers and discounted rates on our panel, per distribution area. We can find you the best option available on our panel for your circumstances, so that you can compare, switch and save.

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