Electricity prices vary significantly by state

Peter Terlato 20 December 2016

bill shock

South Australians pay the biggest energy bills.

Electricity prices throughout Australia have risen across every state, except for Victoria and the Northern Territory, since 2015, according to the latest energy market report.

St Vincent de Paul Society and Alviss Consulting's National Energy Market - A Hazy Retail Maze tariff tracking report found electricity prices have increased dramatically between July 2009 and July 2016.

In 2009, South Australia had the highest prices and the ACT had the lowest. The difference between the annual bill for South Australia and ACT households (consuming 6,000 kWh per year) was just $350.

In 2016, this gap has ballooned to around $1,100, with South Australians paying $2,500 per year.

Electricity prices in the ACT, while still the lowest of all jurisdictions, are around $1,400 per annum.

The figure is closer to $1,800 in Western Australia and the Northern Territory, while residents of Tasmania pay around $1,900 per year. In Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria, bills all exceed $2,000.

Breaking down costs further is tough, given we don't know what retailers pay for wholesale energy.

However, the report estimates wholesale costs, per megawatt hour (MWh), for each state in 2016/17.

The ACT and Tasmania ($45/MWh) will have the cheapest, followed closely by NSW ($46/MWh) and Victoria ($50/MWh). Queensland and South Australia will be the most expensive ($69/MWh).

Electricity bills across Australia are expected to rise in every state, aside from Queensland and Tasmania, over the next two years, according to the Australian Energy Market Commission's (AEMC) latest report.

In November we reported household debt for electricity and gas bills had fallen, with fewer Australians on payment plans and more households completing hardship programs to avoid disconnection.

Use our comprehensive guide to compare and contrast different offers from a variety of energy suppliers.

We've also got tips to help you properly read your energy bill and understand the fees you encounter.

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