Shop around for electricity and gas plans from NSW energy providers. Learn what to look for and how to save.
In New South Wales there are 3 electricity distributors that maintain electricity grids in different parts of the state. Over 20 retail providers sell electricity from these grids to consumers. There are 6 gas distributors, and 10 retail suppliers that sell gas.
Energy customers in NSW are entitled to rebates if they hold a valid concession card.
Search and compare energy suppliers in NSW
How can I switch providers?
The supply of energy in NSW is a free market. While your electricity and gas come from the same network, your choice of retail provider can make a noticeable difference to your energy bills. Switching providers is fairly simple, but there are a few things to consider when comparing different plans:
- Early termination fees. Some energy providers charge a fee if you terminate a contract early. You should factor this in to your costs when comparing retailers. Early termination fees typically range from $40 to $100 and must be specified in your contract.
- Tariffs. Always compare your current tariffs with any new plan you're interested in. Note which tariffs are fixed and which are variable.
- Cooling-off periods. Check if a provider's energy plan comes with a cooling-off period. Many plans, by law, must have a 10-day cooling-off period that allows you to cancel a plan free of charge.
- Contract terms. Pay close attention to the contract terms. Some providers will automatically roll over your contract when it expires, which can be convenient, but may come with additional costs.
Will electricity prices increase in NSW this year?
Electricity prices are set to rise across most Australian states in the next few years and NSW is no exception. While NSW prices are estimated to rise by a slender 0.9% in 2017/2018, this is expected to jump a further 6.9% in 2018/2019. This could increase average energy bills by $100 a year.
There are several reasons for the increase in electricity prices. These include:
- The closure of the Hazelwood power station in Victoria.
- Increased network maintenance costs.
- Greater investment in renewable energy and increased penalties for unclean energy production.
- Increased retail charges.
What kind of energy plans and deals are available in NSW?
One of the biggest advantages of switching providers is that you can save money. Like any other market, energy retailers are competing for your dollars. While there is no single best energy plan for everyone, there are some features and benefits you should look out for when energy shopping.
- Choice. Some providers offer more than one energy product, and may let you buy your energy in different ways with different prices. For example, Powershop offers NSW consumers the option of buying energy in advance instalments, with various discounts. Many providers offer a variety of plans, so look for the one that works best for you.
- Flexible payment. Check to see what provisions there are for paying your bills. It might be possible to pay in advance, or in flexible instalments. For some customers flexibility can mean the difference between paying on time or paying late and incurring a fee. You should compare what the fees are for late payment as well.
- Discounts. Energy providers want your money and frequently offer discounts for new customers. This alone can make switching worthwhile; but it's a good idea to look for a plan that extends discounts to customers beyond the early stages of a contract. You should to be rewarded for your loyalty. Some plans even include discounts for paying bills on time.
- Bundling. If a provider allows you to bundle your gas and electricity, they may offer a discount for doing so.
- Monitoring. Could an energy app help you save money? Some providers let you track your energy usage through their smartphone app. This could help you understand your usage patterns, and you'll be better informed when you make future energy purchases.
The best way to make sure an energy deal is right for you is to know your needs. Some plans offer free energy at certain times of day, which can be useful if you use energy mainly at these times. If you have a busy household and use energy consistently throughout the day, you might prefer a plan that charges a flat, all-day rate. If you work irregular hours, a plan with peak and off-peak pricing might be a great way to cut down on your power bills.