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 energy providers in QLD
What are the 20 cheapest electricity plans in QLD?
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.
Note: For residents outside of South East Queensland, residents don't get to choose their provider as energy is regulated by the Queensland Competition Authority.
The following price estimates are a general guide only. Estimated prices are based on a residential customer in Queensland who consumes 4,600 kWh a year on a single rate tariff in the Energex network and only one plan per brand 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 provider's site before applying.
Difference from reference price
Estimated price (per 91 days)
Estimated price (Annual)
Powerbank Home Flat
ReAmped Handshake | Anytime
Further 7% off the reference price if you always pay on time and 3% off the reference price when you pay by Direct Debit.
Origin Max Saver
Kogan Energy Market Offer
No Fuss - Single Rate
QE Home Saver Lite (Variable 8400)
$1,340.32 (New customers only)
Future X Power
Flexi Saver - Single Rate
Equal to reference price (without conditional discounts)
Further 14% off the reference price if you always pay on time.
PElysian Market Residential Simple Plan (QEX)
11% less (without conditional discounts)
Further 3% off the reference price if you always pay on time.
Powerdirect Residential Discount Saver
Everyday Renewable Saver
3% less (without conditional discounts)
Further 7% off the reference price if you always pay on time and 3% off the reference price when you pay by Direct Debit.
...on average, a household could be charged around $1,288 annually.
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 do I get the best electricity deal in QLD? 3 steps to follow
1. Understand these terms before you compare
If you don't choose a plan yourself, you'll be put on the standing offer by default. The standing offer is a basic power and gas plan which is regulated by rules the government sets, and you won't be able to change from it more than once every six months. The standing offer has no special deals or discounts attached to it, unlike other plans.
If you end up on a standing offer plan, the default market offer dictates the maximum price an electricity company can charge you for a certain level of power usage. While the DMO helps prevent companies from overcharging you per bit of power you use, it doesn't place a maximum limit on how much an individual can be charged for their total power use.
The annual reference price is calculated using the default market offer and allows you to meaningfully compare plans between electricity providers. Note that this is most important to residents of South-East Queensland since you can't choose your provider elsewhere in the state.
How can the reference price help you get a better deal?
The reference price lets you compare the estimated price for a plan as a percentage above or less the reference price. This will help guide you on what is and isn't a good deal.
Default Market Offers for different distribution areas
Brisbane, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast, and Ipswich
If you live in South-East Queensland, you have the option of choosing your contract and provider. Plans can vary considerably in how they charge you based on when and how you use your power, and retailers have their own sets of conditional rewards and discounts. Consider:
The time of day you use electricity and gas the most
Whether you would rather pay your bills manually throughout the month, or get a discount for using a direct debit payment system
Whether you're okay with fixed energy prices or can adjust your usage throughout the day to periods where other people aren't using it
Whether you'll be able to pay on time, every time
Armed with this knowledge, you're set to compare plans.
3. Compare plan features
If you're ready to compare plan features, here's what to look for:
Your plan can come with one of three types of tariff: single rate, time of use, or block rate.
With single rate, you pay the same amount per kWh of electricity, no matter what.
Under time of use, you pay more for electricity used during peak hours and less for off-peak use.
With a block rate, you pay more per unit of power when you exceed certain thresholds — the first 1,000 kWh might cost less than the next 1,000 kWh, for example.
The daily cost of simply having your utilities hooked up and working. This is around $1 - $1.50 for Queenslanders.
How much you pay per kWh unit of electricity. What these are depends upon your provider and the type of tariff your energy plan has.
These can be conditional or unconditional. Some providers will give you a flat discount that applies for a certain period of time after you sign up. Other discounts may apply if you pay every bill on time or pay using a direct debit, and most providers will give you a discount if you get your electricity and gas together through them on a bundled plan.
When you have a contract that lasts a set period like 24 months, you'll often be charged a fee for backing out early. You can avoid termination fees by signing up for a no lock-in contract that lets you switch providers without hassle.
Some providers will give you more flexibility on your payment than the standard monthly bill. You can find plans where you purchase electricity ahead of time, or pay over different intervals, like once every three months.
Digital energy tools
Some providers in Queensland will give you access to a combination of hardware and software like apps that allow you to monitor your electricity usage more closely and therefore better manage your consumption. The more you know about your energy consumption, the better you can make decisions about it.
The tariff type specified on your energy plan affects usage charges, or how much you pay per kWh of energy you consume. Here are the different tariff types you might run across when picking an energy plan:
Single rate. No matter how much electricity you use or when you use it, you will always be charged the same amount per kWh. This is useful if you tend to use power a lot in the evenings during weekdays.
Time of use tariff. A time of use tariff will split the week up into three different periods: peak, off-peak, and shoulder. Rates are highest for peak power use and lower for off-peak use. As a general guide, peak times are 4pm - 8pm on weekdays, off-peak is 10pm - 7am, and shoulders are any other time. In order to qualify for time of use, you must have a multi-read meter than can track time-specific usage.
Block rate. Block rate tariffs will raise the price per kWh depending on how much energy you use. Typically, usage rates will jump from your base rate after you've used your first, say, 1,000 kWh, and potentially drop again after you've exceeded a second threshold. Block rates can be evaluated daily or quarterly.
Controlled load. This is a special type of tariff that usually only applies to a specific device in your house that you've attached a special meter to. With this, you can have a particularly high-usage device like your hot water heater charged at a lower rate than your general consumption.
How to switch providers in QLD
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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