Compare internet from over 50 providers in our broadband engine.
Average SME electricity bill
We analyse the latest figures on how much businesses are paying for power across Australia.
We’re reader-supported and may be paid when you visit links to partner sites. We don’t compare all products in the market, but we’re working on it!
For those running a small or medium enterprise (SME), electricity use can be a major operating cost. To help you see how your business's power use and bills stack up against others in your state or Australia, we've gone through and analysed the data from the ACCC's September 2020 Inquiry into the National Electricity Market report.
All the data in this report was collected in the third quarter of 2018 and 2019. Note that the majority of the report deals with median values – the middle value of each data set – instead of the average value. This is designed to help cancel out any outliers.
What is the median bill for SMEs?
The median quarterly bill is the value that falls right in the middle when we look at all the bills for SMEs, sorted by state. Here, we've compared median bills of businesses on market offers to those on standing offers.
For more on the difference between market and standing offers, see our guide.
Bills for small and medium businesses on market offers generally dropped by about 1.5% between 2018 and 2019.
While standing offer customers look to have paid far less overall than market offer customers, this is entirely due to the fact that standing offer customers used significantly less power than those on market offers, leading to these smaller bills. Prices on standing offers remained higher overall, as shown in the next section.
What is the median usage cost for SMEs?
Usage costs are how much you pay for each unit of energy consumed, measured in c/kWh (cents per kilowatt hour). Once again, we've compared median usage rates for businesses on market versus standing offers.
Standing offer customers paid an average of $424 extra per year compared to market offer customers.
How much electricity are SMEs using?
Besides usage rates, the other major factor that determines your business's energy bill is how much power it's using. We've compared median power usage in kWh for businesses on market versus standing offers.
|State/region||Median usage (market, 2018)||Median usage (standing, 2018)||Median usage (market, 2019)||Median usage (standing, 2019)|
Standing offer customers used significantly less power than those on market offers, in some cases consuming half or less the amount of power. This led to the lower overall power bills seen in the first section.
Energy is getting cheaper for SMEs
On average, SMEs are paying less in 2019 compared to the previous year, with standing rate customers paying almost 15% less and market rate customers paying 6% less.
Usage rates for SMEs dropped by around 3.5c/kWh for standing offer customers, and 0.5c/kWh for market offer customers, consistent with the overall lower energy bills.
What percentage of SME plans have a conditional discount?
There are two types of discounts:
- Guaranteed discounts, which apply to your usage rates or total bill no matter what, for a certain period of time.
- Conditional discounts, which only apply so long as you're meeting a particular condition, such as paying your bill on time or paying via direct debit.
This chart shows what percentage of market offer business customers were on plans with conditional discounts in particular in 2018 and 2019.
The fraction of SMEs on conditional discounts increased in every region except NSW, showing that they were still perceiving value in conditional discounts. This coincided with a reduction in conditional discount advertising due to changes in legislation.
What tariff type are SMEs on?
There are four main types of tariffs we consider here:
- Flat tariff. All energy use is billed at the same rate, no matter when it is used.
- Time of use tariff. Energy use is billed differently depending on time of day, divided into peak (high rate), off-peak (low rate), and possibly shoulder (medium rate) periods.
- Controlled load (CL). A dedicated circuit for a high-demand appliance, like an electric hot water heater or underfloor heating. Can be combined with flat or time of use tariffs.
- Demand. Customers are charged both for their peak demand on the network, plus how much power they use. Generally for larger businesses.
The pictograph below illustrates the percentage of SMEs on each tariff in 2019, by state or region.
|State/region||Flat (no CL)||Flat (CL)||Time of use (no CL)||Time of use (CL)||Demand|
In the table above, we've excluded SMEs on other tariffs than the four listed, since they made up less than 0.4% of customers in all cases.
More guides on Finder
Energy Locals price drop: How much can you save?
Energy Locals' electricity plans are cheaper than ever before following a recent reduction in rates.
This is what COVID-19 did to your electricity bills
Despite households consuming more energy in 2020, this year has seen a decline in electricity bills – with the potential of a further $200 per year in savings.
What is the average electricity and gas bill in Australia?
We asked thousands of users questions about their power bill. Check your bill against the average in your state.
Cheap gas providers in SA
Compare gas plans from South Australia providers. Find a better deal and switch today.
Cheap gas providers in QLD
Compare gas plans from QLD providers. Find a better deal and switch today.
2020 MG ZS EV Review
The MG ZS EV is generally held as an impressive first attempt at building an electric vehicle.
How to switch your electricity provider
Switching electricity plans should be easy. Find out what to consider in choosing the best energy plan to switch to in our guide.
What are the extra electricity costs of working from home?
One person working from home could spend up to $343 more per quarter on their energy bills.
Solar panel quotes Sydney
What you need to know to get started with solar energy in Sydney.
Electric car ownership guide
Find out how to switch from a fossil-fuel guzzler to an electric car.
Lower your household bills
Check out our select picks of the best plans available.
Compare mobile broadband services, perfect for renters and travellers.
Ask an Expert