Queensland residents have a number of choices when it comes to gas and electricity providers, though this will vary depending on the part of the state you live.
See how they differ and compare providers below.
Essential facts about Queensland energy plans
You have a choice of more than 25 electricity providers, but only 3 gas providers
Pensioners and seniors in Queensland may be eligible for the state's electricity rebate
Only part of the state's energy market is deregulated, so options will vary depending on your location
There may be additional costs to be aware of when switching
Search and compare energy providers in Queensland
How does the Queensland energy market work?
The Queensland energy market is relatively complex compared to other states, with only the market in the south east region deregulated. Consumers in regional and country Queensland will likely only have one provider, with energy prices in this area regulated by the state government.
The Queensland energy market is deregulated in the south east, including Brisbane and the Gold Coast, and regulated in regional areas. There are two electricity distributors that each cover one of these regions. These are:
Energex: South East Queensland including Brisbane, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast.
Ergon Energy: Country and regional Queensland.
There are currently over 25 electricity providers in Queensland, though customers in regional areas may only have the option of the one provider, due to the state's split regulatory market.
Ergon Energy is the only provider available in country and regional Queensland, but the state government is responsible for regulating prices.
South East Queensland has the option of the following providers:
Locality Planning Energy
Next Business Energy
Savant Energy Power Networks
There are also two main gas distributors operating in Queensland, though in some areas, the local council owns and operates the gas network. The main providers are:
Allgas Energy: South of the Brisbane River, South Coast, Toowoomba and Oakey.
Australian Gas Networks.
Unlike the electricity market, there are only a handful of gas providers in Australia. These are:
How do I compare energy plans and deals in Queensland?
Switching providers can save you money, which is why many consumers switch. Every home, family and individual will have different energy needs, making it worthwhile to shop around and compare policies carefully.
Whatever your needs, here are key issues to look out for:
Discounts. In a free market, energy providers offer serious discounts to attract customers. When switching, look for discounts that will last. A discount in the first month isn't worth much if prices remain higher later. Also consider your situation. If paying on time is not a problem, consider a policy with pay on time discounts.
Choice. Many providers offer a variety of plans and some might be better than others. If you use a lot of energy during off-peak hours, a policy with off-peak pricing is probably a good idea.
Bundling. Does your provider offer electricity and gas? See if it offers a discount for combining the two.
Flexible payment and late fees. Check to see how your provider lets you pay your bills. It might be possible to pay your bills in advance, or in flexible instalments. For some customers, flexibility can often mean the difference between paying an energy bill on time or paying late and incurring a fee.
Monitoring. Some providers let you track your energy usage using a smartphone app. Knowing more about your energy spending habits can help you make better decisions about your energy usage and save you money.
How can I switch providers in Queensland?
Queensland's energy market is deregulated for customers in South East Queensland, where the majority of the state's residents live. For these customers, switching providers is simple. There are a few things to consider when shopping around for a better energy deal:
Switching fees. By law, providers in Queensland cannot charge more than $20 for switching to a new provider.
Tariffs. Always compare your current tariffs with any new plan you're looking at. Note which tariffs are fixed and which are variable. Note that only regional customers in Queensland pay the fixed, regulated retail electricity tariff set by the government.
Contract terms. When energy shopping, be sure to check the contract terms carefully. Some providers will automatically roll over your contract when it expires, which can be convenient but may come with different costs.
Cooling-off period. Make sure that your plan includes a 10-day cooling-off period.
In Queensland, all energy providers must notify you 10 days in advance if they're increasing prices. Providers must also tell you which flexible payment options are available before you sign a contract.
Electricity prices will rise across the country over the next few years. This also applies to Queensland, where the government deregulated electricity prices for the majority of consumers in July 2016.
In 2016, Queensland actually saw a 1.5% drop in electricity prices due in part to a decrease in the solar bonus scheme. However, prices are set to jump by 4.2% in 2018–19 as wholesale and retail electricity prices rise.
Regional Queenslanders often face higher electricity bills, but are subsidised by the state government.
More questions about Queensland gas and electricity providers
Pensioners and seniors in Queensland are eligible for the electricity rebate and the reticulated natural gas rebate.
Low income customers experiencing an unforeseen crisis may be eligible for the home energy emergency assistance scheme.
Customers using life support systems are eligible for the electricity life support concession.
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 renewable energy. Providers offering GreenPower must be accredited by the Australian government. Read Finder's GreenPower guide for more information.
If you're moving to a different state, your energy options may be quite different. If you're moving to a deregulated energy market like NSW or Victoria, you will have more options. But if you're moving to states with limited competition, like Tasmania, or states with government providers, like Western Australia, you may not have any choice at all.
Regardless of where you move, always notify your energy provider a few days beforehand.
Energy distributors maintain the grids and energy networks. They do not sell energy directly to consumers.
Energy providers buy energy from the distributors and sell it on to consumers.
All energy providers get their energy from the same grids and most of this energy is not carbon neutral. However, some providers will offset the carbon emissions from their energy. Some providers include this as standard or offer it at no extra cost to the consumer.
Shirley Liu is Finder's global program manager. She was previously the publisher for banking and investments and has also written comparisons for energy, money transfers, Uber Eats and many other topics. Shirley has a Master of Commerce and a Bachelor of Media, Journalism and Communications from the University of New South Wales. She is passionate about helping people find the best deal for their needs.
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