Are you paying the country’s highest electricity charges?

Monday, 28 September 2015

Posted by Mozo

Did you know that Aussie households of the same size and type, using exactly the same amount of electricity could be paying hundreds more for their electricity service than their neighbours? Painful, right!

How it works is that every state has different energy distributors, retailers and government rules, all of which combine to decide how much you ultimately get charged. Mozo’s latest energy data found that overall, the states paying the most to switch the lights on were Tassie, paying $701 each quarter and South Australia, where households pay $544 per quarter.

Want to know how your state stacks up on energy charges? Mozo’s resident energy experts crunched the numbers and here’s what they found:

New South Wales

Average annual usage: 6,532 kWh
Highest electricity charge: $2,736 p.a.
Best available offer: $1,752

An average household in NSW and parts of the far north and south coasts are paying $2,103 each year for their electricity while those in suburban areas of Sydney and Newcastle are paying $364 less ($1,744). Depending on where you live, switching from the highest priced plan to the most competitive could save a NSW household as much as $984, while switching from the average offer to the best could still save $351. 

Victoria

Average annual usage: 4,992 kWh
Highest electricity charge: $2,312 p.a.
Best available offer: $1,456

Electricity prices in Victoria can vary by as much as $373 depending on which distribution area you’re located in. Across the state, Victorians could save as much as $856 in a year by switching from the least competitive electricity deal to the best offer on the market.

Queensland

Average annual usage: 5,732 kWh

Highest electricity charge: $1,992 p.a.

Best available offer: $1,644

For households in the south-east of the sunshine state, the average electricity bill is $457 per quarter, while those in the rest of the state are paying a lower $361. This is because Queensland has two distributors, one which services the highly populated south east corner running from Tweed Heads up to Rainbow Beach and west to Gatton, while the remainder of the state is serviced by another provider.

South Australia

Average annual usage: 6,108 kWh
Highest electricity charge: $2,624 p.a.
Best available offer: $1,848

Of the competitive energy markets in the country, South Australians are paying the most of all, forking out $588 more than their Victorian neighbours on the average bill. Households in SA could be up for a $776 saving by switching electricity providers. Mozo’s research revealed that switching from the average electricity plan to the best deal on the market could save a South Australian family $326. This figure jumps to $776 if consumers are on the least competitive deal. While part of this is due to higher usage, it’s also because of higher prices set by the state’s distributor.

ACT

Average annual usage: 7,856 kWh
Highest electricity charge: $1,780 p.a.
Best available offer: $1,472

For households in the Australian Capital Territory, the average electricity bill is $1,590 per year. You can save up to $308 if you switch from the highest to lowest energy plan depending on where exactly your home is located.

Western Australia

Average annual usage: 5,650 kWh
Highest electricity charge: $1,780 p.a.
Best available offer: NA

Western Australia is a non-competitive energy market, which means that residents don’t have the option to choose between multiple providers. The average electricity cost here is $447 per quarter.

Northern Territory

Average annual usage: 6,754 kWh 
Highest electricity charge: $2,196 p.a.
Best available offer: NA

Like Western Australia, Northern Territory only has the option of one energy distributor, which doesn’t really leave you with any choice in terms of electricity plans. The average price the households in NT pay is $549 for every quarter.

Tasmania

Average usage: 9,826 kWh
Highest electricity charge: $2,802 p.a.
Best available offer: NA

Another non-competitive energy market, households in Tasmania have to pay a whopping $701 per quarter for their electricity services. This makes Tassie the most expensive state in terms of electricity costs.

So what’s the verdict? Do you fall within Australia’s highest electricity bill bracket? Read on for Mozo’s expert advice on how to save money on your energy bills. 

5 switches you can make for more energy savings

Switch your energy provider: While you don’t have an option in terms of your electricity distributor, you can save money by switching to a different plan or provider. According to Mozo’s research, the states where the most substantial savings could be made by switching include NSW, VIC and SA where annual savings can be as much as $984, $856 and $776 respectively. Try Mozo’s free electricity comparison tool and find out for yourself.

Switch to energy-efficient appliances: You could save hundreds by switching big ticket appliances like an old fridge or washing machine with a more energy-efficient model. With appliances in the average Aussie household equating to about 33% of the total energy bill, it’s a switch worth considering.

Switch the thermostat setting: Did you know that every 1 degree higher for heating and 1 degree lower for cooling can add 10% to the running costs of your appliance? Switching the thermostat closer to the temperature outside can help save money on your electricity bill.

Switch old bulbs with energy-smart light globes: You know this already, so go ahead and make the change. Energy-efficient fluorescent lights or LEDs might seem more expensive at the outset, but they will last longer than your old light bulbs and use much less electricity.

Switch off: Last but not the least, always remember to switch off any appliances when they’re not in use. Leaving the television or your laptop on standby leads to a whole lot of avoidable electricity wastage.

*The information was validated at the time of writing and prices are subject to change.

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