Queensland's energy market is deregulated for customers in South East Queensland.
If you live in South East Queensland, you can choose from a wide range of electricity retailers.
If you live in regional Queensland, you don't have a choice in retailers as Ergon Energy is the only option outside of South East Queensland.
There are only a few gas providers operating in the state.
Compare electricity or gas providers in Queensland
Is electricity expensive in QLD?
When it comes to the average rate you are charged for using electricity, QLD has the cheapest average rate at $0.28 per kilowatt hour (kWh).
What does this mean?
Standard household usage in QLD is around 4,600 kWh over a year. This means a household could be charged is around $1,288 annually [$0.28 x 4600] on average.
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 Energex network.
How does the Queensland energy market work?
The Queensland energy market is relatively complex compared to other states, as only the market in the South East region is deregulated. There is a wide range of electricity providers in South East Queensland. However, customers in regional and country Queensland only have one option, Ergon Energy. Prices in this area are regulated by the state government.
There are two major electricity distributors in the state. Energex is the distributor for South East Queensland while Ergon Energy is the electricity distributor for the rest of the state. There are also two main gas distributors operating in Queensland.
Queensland energy retailers
Ergon Energy is the only retailer in country and regional Queensland. However, residents in South East Queensland can choose from the following providers:
South-East Queensland: Understand these terms before you compare
If you're in South-East Queensland, 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. The government sets the terms and conditions which are designed to protect the rights of residential and small business customers. Prices are usually set by the government, depending on the state you live in, and you can't change more than once every six months. Generally, you won't receive discounts like you can with other plans.
The default market offer is a price cap on how much an energy company can charge you if you are on a 'standing offer' contract. 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 also the annual total reference price. The purpose of the reference price is to make it easier for you to compare prices between energy providers. It is set by the Australian Energy Regulator and prices will vary between states.
If you live in South East Queensland, consider the following factors when choosing an energy retailer:
Cost. Make sure to factor in the entire cost of the energy plan including any ongoing discounts and fees such as late payment fees, connection fees and early termination fees.
Payment options. Check to see if the provider offers your preferred payment option. Some retailers only accept direct debits, while others also accept BPAY, credit card payments, in-person payments and cheques.
Real-time monitoring. Some providers let you track your energy usage using a smartphone app or desktop software. This can help you budget more accurately and reduce your energy use.
Contract terms. When choosing a provider, be sure to check the contract terms carefully. Some contracts are month-to-month, while others are for terms of up to two years.
How to switch providers in Queensland
If you live in South East Queensland, switching energy providers is simple. After you chose a new provider, you can typically apply to switch online or over the phone. The application process varies depending on the provider.
If you're moving to a different state, you might be able to stay with your current retailer depending on where you live. However, in some states, you will not be able to choose your retailer. To compare retailers by state, check out our guide to energy providers in Australia.
GreenPower is a government scheme that allows consumers to purchase renewable energy through their provider as a way of supporting renewable energy. Providers offering GreenPower are accredited by the Australian government. You can find more information in our guide to GreenPower.
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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