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.
Compare energy retailers in NSW
...on average a household could be charged around $1,170 annually
Is electricity expensive in NSW?
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 around $1,170 annually [$0.30 x 3900].
Note: This example is a general guide and doesn't include fixed daily charges and other fees. Average usage has been taken from AER's Default Market Offer Prices Report and is based on the Ausgrid Distribution Network.
How does the energy market work in NSW?
The NSW electricity market was deregulated in 2014 and the gas market was deregulated in 2017. Deregulation means energy providers can set their own plans and prices and has led to a wide range of competitors in both markets. Your choice of provider can have a large impact on the size of your energy bill.
There are more than a dozen solar farms in NSW, as well as several coal-fired power plants generating electricity for the state. Three electricity distributors maintain the electricity grids in different parts of the state:
Endeavour Energy operates in southern and western metropolitan Sydney and the surrounding area, including the Illawarra and the Blue Mountains.
Ausgrid covers inner Sydney, northern Sydney, eastern metropolitan Sydney and surrounding area.
Essential Energy covers regional and country NSW.
There are also three gas distributors operating in NSW:
Central Ranges System covers Tamworth.
Jemena Gas Networks supplies Sydney, Newcastle, Wollongong, Central Coast and parts of country NSW.
Wagga Wagga Gas Network (Australian Gas Networks) covers Wagga Wagga and Albury.
NSW energy retailers
NSW residents can choose from the following energy retailers:
NSW residents have a wide range of options when it comes to energy retailers, so you can save by shopping around. Keep the following in mind when comparing electricity and gas providers:
Discounts. 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.
Fees. 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.
Bundled deals. 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.
Energy monitoring. 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.
Payment options. 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.
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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