Queensland is the third largest energy market in Australia, after New South Wales and Victoria, supplying 1.6 million residential households. There are two energy providers in the State which has had a deregulated market with full retail competition since 2007. Energex supplies power to electricity providers & suppliers in Queensland and Ergon Energy supplies customers in regional and rural Queensland. In the south east of Queensland there is a dynamic energy market with nine retailers vying for customers. In the rural area, there is only Ergon Energy in the market so there is no competition between retailers for households and businesses energy. Partly because of this factor and partly because of the size of the State, the government regulates the supply charge that can be levied on consumers. The supply charge is a fixed amount on each energy bill and is one way of choosing between retailers, however due to this government regulation all consumers in Queensland will pay the same supply charge regardless of where they live.
The other component of your electricity account is the usage which is divided into peak use and off peak use. In order to make a comparison between different retailers you will need to work out your average household use and how that use is divided between peak and off peak times. You may need to check that you have a dual meter on your home and not a single rate meter. If you only have a single rate meter you will not be able to take advantage of off peak prices. In some cases you may have particular appliances that are designed to take advantage of off peak rates.
Hot water services are one example, especially in the case of those that have a hot water storage tank rather than an instant hot water service. The water in the tank can be heated in off peak hours at the cheaper rate and the appliance can be manually switched over if a large amount of hot water is needed during peak times. There are good online comparison tools available for you to compare retailers and their rates but make sure you ask what is on offer as a bonus for switching to their service. Some retailers offer an ongoing discount on your energy accounts and others offer a once off discount for your first account with a new electricity suppliers service.
If you have gas and electricity tos your home you may also be eligible for a discount on the “bundle” of services if you use the same retailer for both. You have the benefit of getting only one account and there are usually good discounts on offer. If you have been happy with your supplier but you have found a better rate elsewhere, it may be worth asking if your current retailer will match the rate you have been quoted. This might save you a cancellation fee on your contract and get you a better deal on your energy costs at the same time.