The energy market in Victoria is fully open to retail competition.
Victorian residents can choose between more than 25 electricity providers and 15 gas providers.
Energy retailers in Victoria offer a wide range of solar solutions.
Compare electricity (and gas) providers in Victoria
...a household could be charged around $1,320 annually on average.
Is electricity expensive in Victoria?
When it comes to the average rate you are charged for using electricity, Victoria is one of the more expensive states, with the average rate being $0.33 per kilowatt hour (kWh).
What does this mean?
Standard household usage in Victoria is around 4,000 kWh over a year. This means a household could be charged is around $1,320 annually [$0.33 x 4000] 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 Electrical Services Commission website and is based on a 'medium' usage household in the Citipower network.
How do I get the best electricity deal in Victoria? 3 steps to follow.
A competitive energy market in Victoria means more choices for consumers.
1. Understand these terms
The first thing you should make sure you understand is 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 Victorian Default Offer is a price cap for providers based on different types of usages. It means that customers who are likely paying more than market offers — because they are not actively keeping up to date with the energy market by comparing and switching— won't be left to pay for ridiculously expensive energy plans.
The VDO includes cost estimates for small, medium and large houses so that consumers have a clearer idea of the prices they can expect to pay.
How can I use the VDO to get the best deal?
Every household and small business in Victoria can now request a default offer, either to purchase or use to compare against providers' prices. When comparing plans on Finder you can check prices and their percentage difference to the VDO, to work out if you are getting a decent deal or not.
Victorian Default Offers for different distribution areas
VDO (based on a general usage of 4,000 kW/h per year)
Melbourne city and nearby suburbs
North and southwest suburbs
Western suburbs as well as western Victoria
Outer northern and eastern suburbs, as well as eastern Victoria
A competitive energy market in Victoria means more choices for consumers. Many providers offer discounts, special offers or unique plans to suit a wide range of customers — which is why you should consider your personal needs when comparing.
Personal needs questions
What time of day do you use the most electricity and gas?
Do you prefer flexibility when it comes to payment options or would you rather a discount for paying via direct debit?
Do you want a flat, simple fee structure with fixed payments or the flexibility to monitor your energy usage and pay for exactly what you use?
Knowing the answer to these questions will make it easier for you to compare plans.
3. Compare plan features
Now you're ready to compare plan features. Here's what you should look out for:
Some plans charge you a single rate tariff (one rate based on use), whilst others charge you a time of use tariff (different rates based on your time of use).
In a free energy market, electricity and gas providers offer all sorts of discounts and energy plans tailored to specific types of consumers, and many offer discounts for new customers. Keep in mind, plans with introductory discounts may have higher charges later on. Look for energy plans that extend discounts to customers beyond the early stages of a contract. Some plans include discounts for paying on time or signing long-term contracts and many providers offer discounts if you bundle gas and electricity plans together.
Some energy providers charge a fee when you terminate a contract before the end period. Early termination fees generally range from $40 to $100 and are specified in your contract. If you don't want to pay early termination fees, look for a no-lock-in contract that allows you to switch providers freely without incurring a penalty.
Check if a provider lets you pay your bills in a variety of ways. If you're worried about paying bills on time, flexible options can help. Some providers let you purchase energy in advance, which can help limit bill shock.
Digital energy tools
Many providers in Victoria offer a variety of apps and online tools that let consumers measure their energy consumption. Knowing more about your energy usage patterns can help you make better energy decisions in the future.
The Victorian energy market is one of the most competitive in Australia, with a large number of gas and electricity providers operating across the state. Regardless of what provider you choose, there is a distributor which is responsible for the supply of your power. Your distributor depends on your location.
Switching energy providers in Victoria is simple. For the most part, choose a new energy provider and contact the new provider to arrange the switch. There may be some fees and outstanding payments to take care of, so run through this checklist to make sure everything goes smoothly.
If you're moving to a different state, your energy options could change. New South Wales, South Australia, parts of Queensland and the ACT have open energy markets and many of the same providers as in Victoria. However, if you move to Tasmania, Western Australia or the Northern Territory, your options will be limited.
Whichever state you move to, you should always notify your energy provider at least a few days before you move out.
Energy providers or retailers sell electricity and gas that they purchase from energy distributors. Providers deliver the energy to customers using the distributer's grids and pipelines.
GreenPower is a government scheme that allows consumers to purchase renewable energy through their provider. Providers offering GreenPower must be accredited by the Australian government. Check out Finder's full GreenPower guide for more information.
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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