The NSW electricity market was deregulated in 2014 and the gas market was deregulated in 2017.
NSW residents have a wide range of energy options with more than 25 electricity providers and more than 10 gas providers.
If you have an eligible pension or concession card, you may be able to get discounts on your energy bill.
Why it pays to compare in NSW
If you don't actively choose a plan, your provider may place you on a 'Default Market Offer' . While a DMO helps protect customers who don't compare, you'll often find a cheaper deal if you shop around.
Compare energy retailers in NSW
What are the 20 cheapest electricity plans in NSW?
Although the cheapest plans may vary based on the type of tariff, your location, your household and your usage, you can get a general idea of who is the cheapest using this table.
The cheapest plans list above is general guide only. Estimated prices are based on a residential customer in Sydney, NSW who consumes 3,900 kWh a year on a single rate tariff in the Ausgrid network and only one plan per provider is shown. Estimated prices include conditional discounts (if any). Any plans with special eligibility requirements are excluded. Prices last checked on December 2019 and are subject to change. Always check the providers site before applying.
Difference from reference price
Estimated price (per 91 days)
Estimated price (Annual)
ReAmped Handshake | Anytime
Local Saver - Anytime
Kogan Energy Market Offer
Origin Max Saver
Elysian Market Residential Simple Plan (NAG)
13% less (without discount)
Further 3% off the reference price if you always pay on time.
Ausgrid Residential Single Rate Ultimate Offer
Sumo Select Residential Single Rate
Equal to (without discount)
Further 15% off the reference price if you always pay on time.
Powerdirect Residential Discount Saver
Future X Power
Flexi Saver - Single Rate
Equal to (without discount)
Further 15% off the reference price if you always pay on time.
Residential Essentials Saver
Residential Essentials Saver
NSW Simply Low Rates
QE Home Saver Smart (Variable EA010)
Everyday Renewable Saver
1% less (without discount)
Further 7% off the reference price if you always pay on time and further 3% off the reference price when you pay by Direct Debit.
Enova Community Plus
Further 2% off the reference price if you always pay on time.
...on average, a household could be charged around $1,170 annually.
When it comes to the average rate you are charged for using electricity, NSW is one of the cheaper states with the average rate being $0.30 per kilowatt hour (kWh).
What does this mean?
Standard household usage in NSW is around 3,900 kWh over a year. This means on average a household could be charged is around $1,170 annually [$0.30 x 3900].
Note: This example is a general guide and doesn't include fixed daily supply charges and other fees. Household usage has been taken from AER's Default Market Offer Prices Report and is based on the Ausgrid Distribution Network.
How do I get the best electricity deal in NSW? 3 steps to follow
1. Understand these terms before you compare
If you're in NSW, then you should familiarise yourself with the following terms:
A standing offer, often referred to as a standard retail plan, is a basic plan for electricity and gas. It's the plan you will be on by default, if you don't choose a plan yourself. All energy retailers are legally obligated to make standing offers available to customers in Australia, including NSW.
They are usually capped at a specific price but generally they're more expensive than a market offer. The price can't change more than once every six months either.
The default market price is the maximum rate that electricity retailers can charge for 'standing offer plans'. It is designed to protect consumers and make it easier for you to compare energy plans across different providers. Energy providers are not allowed to exceed the default market offer reference price, for a particular consumption level. While it's a cap on what retailers can charge for a certain amount of use, it is not a cap on an individual customer's bill.
The Default Market Offer is the annual total reference price. Electricity retailers in New South Wales are required to advertise their plans against this new reference price. This helps make electricity pricing more transparent and easier to compare.
How can I use the reference price to get a better deal?
Retailers now must show the difference between their unconditional price (price without any conditional discounts) and the reference price. When comparing plans on Finder you can check prices and their percentage difference to the reference price to work out if the plan is a good deal.
Default Market Offers for different distribution areas
South and west metro Sydney, including the nearby Blue Mountains and the Illawara region.
4,900 kWh p.a.
Country and regional New South Wales
4,600 kWh p.a.
Inner, north, and east metro Sydney and nearby regions
When comparing electricity deals in NSW, don't be lured in by the cheapest deal; it's not necessarily the best one for you. Look for discounts, special offers or unique plans that suit your needs. To get the right deal for you, ask yourself:
What time of day you use the most amount of electricity and gas (e.g., when do you use the most appliances)?
Are you happy being locked in for longer on a good deal or do you want the flexibility to change regularly?
Do you want a discount for paying via direct debit?
Do you want a flat fee structure where you pay the same each month or do you want to pay for exactly what you use?
3. Compare plan features
Check for the following terms when comparing NSW plans:
An estimated price is the lowest possible price available based on default usage rates. It should give you a rough idea of how much a plan will cost you.
Many providers in NSW offer discounts for new customers. This alone can make switching worthwhile, but make sure to check if the discount extends beyond the early stages of a contract. Some providers also offer discounts for customers who regularly pay their bills on time or who pay using direct debits.
Some energy providers charge connection fees for new customers or exit fees for customers who terminate a contract early. You should factor this in to your costs when comparing retailers and deciding if switching will help save you money. Fees typically range from $40 to $100 and will be specified in your contract.
Check to see what options the provider offers for paying your bills. For some customers, flexibility can mean the difference between paying on time or paying late and incurring a fee.
If you need both gas and electricity services, you may be able to get a discount for signing up for both with a single provider.
Some providers let you track your energy usage through a smartphone app. This can help you understand your usage patterns and know exactly what you're paying for when it comes to energy.
You might pay your energy retailer but they're not actually responsible for delivering electricity and gas to your home — that's the job of the energy distributor. An energy retailer, on the other hand, buys electricity and gas from the distributor and sells it to you at a higher price. Your distributor might differ depending on where you live in NSW but will be one of the following:
A tariff is basically the way you are charged for your energy. These can be broken down into two types:
Usage charges. The charges you receive will reflect the cost of electricity you have used. They are calculated by each kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity and will differ in price depending on your distribution network, energy provider and tariff(s).
Supply charges. This is a price set by the energy distributor in NSW for the maintenance of energy infrastructure. You will be charged a daily rate regardless of how much or how little power you use.
In NSW, customers may have access to the following tariffs:
Time of use tariffs. Your electricity costs will vary at different times of the day. To get this tariff, you will need to have a smart meter installed.
Controlled load tariffs. This is designed for large, high-energy usage appliances like hot water systems, heat slabs and pool pumps. These appliances are metered separately to the rest of the property and charged at a rate that is generally lower than standard usage rates.
Single rate tariffs This is when you pay the same rate regardless of peak or off-peak times. It essentially means that your bill won't be impacted if you use energy at specific times of the day.
How to switch providers in NSW
Your choice of retail provider can make a noticeable difference to the size of your energy bill. Once you've compared electricity and gas plans and chosen a new provider, it's relatively easy to switch. It's simply a matter of applying with the new provider and cancelling your existing plan. Your new provider should generally be able to supply your energy by the next day.
If you move to a different state, you might have to switch providers depending on where you move. New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, parts of Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory have open, deregulated energy markets, which provides consumers with plenty of options. However, other states and territories are regulated and have limited options.
Regardless of which state you move to, you should always notify your energy provider at least a few days beforehand. This way you can be sure you're not paying for energy in a house you no longer occupy. To find out more, compare energy providers in every state.
Energy distributors such as Endeavour Energy and Ausgrid maintain the grids and energy networks. They do not sell energy directly to consumers.
Energy providers or retailers, on the other hand, buy energy from the distributors and sell it on to consumers.
GreenPower is a government scheme that allows consumers to purchase renewable energy through their provider. It is a way of displacing dirtier forms of energy and supporting cleaner options. Providers offering GreenPower must be accredited by the Australian government. You can find out more in our full GreenPower guide.
Sarah Brandon is a senior writer at Finder. She has a degree in Psychology from New York University and loves learning about why people do what they do. Sarah has researched and written about a wide range of topics, from pool fences to private jets to personal loans. But no matter the subject, her number one priority is figuring out what information our readers need to make the best decisions.
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