How Electricity Prices Vary Between States

How Electricity Prices Vary Between States

Wondering if your hefty power bill would be lower if you moved interstate? This infographic from comparison site Bundl shows how pricing for power varies across Australia, and also how much variation there is between different suppliers, especially in NSW.

There’s also an interesting breakdown of the components of your power price and other data on how prices have risen over time. how often people switch.(There’s no data for WA or NT as they haven’t opted into the national electricity market.)


  • Man, that _really_ pisses me off.
    The state that is hauling the rest of the countries arse through the economic mud with the lowest GST return per sqmtr and here we are not mentioned.

    • Bundl (where the infographics are from) doesn’t appear to offer their services to WA – that is why. I don’t think it was a deliberate snub. Just that Bundl doesn’t sell anything in our market.

    • And the attitude that only people who live in WA should benefit from the minerals that are in what is basically half of Australia pisses me off!

      We are all australian, and the minerals being dug up should belong to us all.

  • Where the hell is WA??? It is becoming more evident each day that passes that we would be far better off if we seceded! Fuck carrying the rest of this country when the rest want to continually cut us out of everything. This screwed up government that is in power is only in power due to the east coaster voting them in. The sooner we secede the better!

  • Perhaps the reason that WA is not included is because we are the only Australia state that does not participate in the centralised power grid system?

    Perhaps, by this fact, the comparison figures are not available to the compiler of these graphic?

    Or perhaps (as comments above have implied), the rest of Australia couldn’t give a toss about WA, as long as our mining taxes keep rolling in.


    • Ah — these are the “electricity distribution network service providers”, as opposed to subsequent service providers, like Australian Power and Gas…

      • You are correct Dee. Electricity prices in NSW and VIC vary depending on which distributor network you belong to. So for example, a retailer like Australian Power and Gas will have different prices depending on where your house is located.

  • I understand that we don’t have privatised power in WA but the author of the story should have specified this instead of just going here look at these pics they show a break down of price’s of power in Australia

  • Hey all. We are responsible for designing this infographic. Just want to point out that there is absolutely no disrespect to WA or the NT. We only included states that participate in the National Electricity Market (NEM) because they have competitive retail markets and the available data allows us to compare like against like. WA and the NT have their own electricity markets.
    We would love to add WA and NT into the mix if you can point us to reliable electricity pricing increase data?

    • The NT Govenment recently awarded a tender to a Queensland company for supply of power to….
      The NT Parliament. And the NT Govenment has opened up the market for power supply… just no one has bothered to do anything.
      why dont you just put WA and the NT on the infografic regardless… because we could like to know if we are being ripped off on the price of power. also add christmas island as well. <<– is the power company in the NT.

  • As I said before the sooner we secede the better where is WA or even NT for that matter and why were we not mentioned? Don’t delete this comment I think it is reasonable that I get a say on something like this because it is far too often we are forgotten about because to the rest of Aus, WA doesnt really exist!

  • WA isn’t electrically connected to the eastern states.

    its a separate isolated market. So it would take guts for a retailer to start up from scratch.

    • When I changed from my old power provider to my new one, I went from standard power to 100% green power, and ended up paying slightly less per month. If this sort of result is scalable, then rather than bring in electricity deregulation, the governments would have been better off retaining a monopoly, replacing all the coal plants with renewable energy, then opening things up for competition. No need for a carbon tax then, and there’d be a much greater reduction in emissions. Electricity prices would have remained the same, and no-one would have complained.

      • Quarterpipe is correct – all the eastern states are connected by transmission lines and interconnectors across the borders so they are in effect one system (NEM) and operate in one market, managed by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO). It is obviously more viable to operate WA and NT as separate markets because it is not feasible to interconnect with transmission lines over such long distances.

  • Why have prices raised so drastically in the last 3-4 years? I believe it’s close to 50% rise in the cost since around 3-4 years ago but I’m going to check my bill as some of these numbers don’t seem 100%…

    I would be very interested to see prices over the last 10 years and plot the rises for each year, I can’t see why we have recently had such HUGE rises and why it’s costing so much more now days… I would have though as demand increases the network grows costs are spread out even more and prices should in fact decrease (of cause there is inflation but overall I just can’t understand the reasons or justifications for the rises we’ve seen in Australia of recent)…

  • Hey Guys,
    I just wanted to point out that WA and NT have essentially got subsidised electricity. When their distributors’ costs go up the state government pays for it where as everywhere else the ACCC allows them to increase their charges (OK this is massively simplified).
    Also check out the difference in bills. What you will notice is high population density = lower prices, and hotter weather = higher prices. Low pop. density means more power lines per person, hotter weather means more aircon peaks and again bigger distribution infrastructure. The above graphic doesn’t prove my point that well because it’s ‘average bill’ not cents/kWh.
    If you don’t have an air-conditioner about half your bill is paying for other people using theirs on the hottest 4 days of the year.

  • Australia has really become rip off central over the past 5-10 years… really annoying!
    After travailing overseas you just realise how ripped of we are in Australia from every thing such as power, fuel, land (of which we have a bucket load of) and just general cost of living.. for a country that use to be on the bottom end of the cost of living and now many cities are in the top most expensive places to live in the world, I find this disgraceful…

  • John, I think you should maybe ask a few New Zealanders about their power pricing.
    What I pay here a quarter – I used to at least pay monthly in New Zealand.
    Australians whinge far too much about prices and compare apples with oranges far too often

  • Shane, it’s good to know there is another country that is more expensive than us, well done!
    You still did not manage to explain how prices can increase as much as they have over the last 3-5 years and how they can justify the MAJOR increases… No one has been able to do this for me and I have not been able to find reasons for it either…

    Also if you compare us to other countries other than NZ as they also suck… you will see Australia compared to 5 years ago and now we have seen such major price increases across the board in cost of living yet no one can explain why or justify it… Thats my complaint and people like you just say well I guess we are still cheaper than NZ for power and we are cheaper than xxx for fuel…etc..etc.. it means nothing! There is a LOT more countries we are far more expensive than in just about all regards/areas…

    Any one else care to help explain it to me and others with some substance/reasoning for the huge increases or recent times and what changed so dramatically over the last 4-8 years as an example…

    I agree Australians can whinge a bit at times but yet no answers/details seem to come of it, the issue with Australians is I think we are too easy going at times, we should demand answers and get them, you don’t believe a 40-50% price increase is a little high with no justification given? Especially when we were PROMISED during the elections that prices would go down due to competition yet since then they have constantly gone up! Yet you call it a Whinge… Sorry I don’t buy it… You must get paid too much or I get paid to little, what ever it is I sure do care and would like some details/answers… If I increased our prices over the same period in my business I would have to answer to my customers and most likely the ACCC as well as being out of business yet these guys have free range to do what they like with no much justification it would seem… I say bring on foreign competition and lets have a blood bath, some one is price gouging just like our fuel prices in this country!

    • Jonathan, the main reason for increases over the past few years can be attributed to network costs (ie the poles and wires/substations). Why just the past few years? Because states have traditionally underinvested in their networks and they are now playing catch up. They need to ensure capacity for the hottest days of the year (ie in summer when the cricket is on and everyone pumps up their air con). This costs a lot of money and the increases in network costs are passed on to consumers. This is very simplified, but you get the point.

      The question at the moment seems to be what is better – potentially have an extra hour or two per year without power (ie a blackout) or continue to pump costs into upgrading our networks? Of course, the carbon tax will add a (relatively) small amount to the average electricity bill too.

  • Thanks for the reply Jason, however the increases seem rather substantial and I’ve heard that reasoning before but yet to see factual data other than hear say on what you have said.. to me it seems VERY high, I run a business and just can’t justify those kind of increases in any situation… to me is seems like abuse…

    Lets be honest to put a poll in the ground should not cost much, transformers do cost lots of money locally I agree but to me Australia is getting to expensive, purchase them overseas and import them to drop local prices as local manufacturing costs are far to high as well… perhaps local governments instead of wasting our money should rather help our critical infrastructural businesses with intensive grants and run them with a bit of brains to encourage competition and growth instead of hand outs and raising minimum wage without reason or responsibility might make for better prices and competition..etc..

    I’m all for paying staff great wages but ONLY if they are worth it, far to many people employed expect money for what is basically nothing yet we cant get rid of useless staff… we had a staff member leave us on Friday for a slightly better offer and gave us 1 hour notice yet if we gave a staff member this notice we would end up in court… how is this system fair?

    Time to wake up Australia or fall behind and become another country that relies on overseas countries to supply and import goods and we are unable to product and support ourself…

    Perhaps the electricity industry is the same, stupid increases for labour costs yet productivity is lower than ever and you can’t get/retain decent staff that switch jobs for a matter of $1000 increase a year… loyalty is out the window I guess now days…

    • No problem John. If you are interested in checking out some reports on the latest price increases (including justifications), I recommend you start with the report released by IPART (NSW electricity regulator). Not sure if links are allowed here, so google “Final Report – Changes in Regulated Electricity Retail Prices from 1 July 2012”. For a great summary on the National Electricity Market, I recommend you check out the AER “State of the Market Report 2011”. I am not advocating these price increases, or their justifications, merely being the messenger. Cheers

  • Chaps I want to point a few basic things out here.
    1 The forgetful people in WA and QLD before the mining boom were give more out of the overall tax take from the commonwealth for a very long time. I’d call it payback time for the other states…
    2 Power generation. Great idea from the state government to privatise the lot make a shit load of money and take power generation away from the people. The answer is not large plants but small basement units. We have enough cities/towns with large builds that could do this. The heat generated as a by-product if fuel is used can not only heat but cool the building it’s in. Just look at gas fridges for a start. As for other solutions don’t start me these just to say try putting in a large whatever and connecting it to the grid.
    We need to start looking at the country as a whole not a hole, working together not the collective scattered interest groups tearing the place apart. The media has a lot to answer for here feeding off the greed of a few to insight the fears of the many. Sticking our collective head in the sand only leaves our collective ass out in full view enabling the collective kicking of said ass. We are paying for this and our kids will be paying for this in the years to come.

  • The AGE suggested Victorian Retailers grab more than 25% of your electricity bill. This article quotes less than half this – in Bundis interests??

    Were Middle-Man Retailers mark-up as the Age suggest then inexpensive consumer group quoting – with minimal overheads – SHOULD be able to cut enough fat to offset the Carbon Tax.

    I would also like a simpler, CLEARER bill only showing total PAYABLE [GST included] figures broken down by daily supply & usage charges (with any Retailer “discount” already taken out); rather than following the [mobile phone] commercial imperative of confusing the consumer.

    Would it be too much for our grossly overpaid Pollies (courtesy of the good Prof. Hewson) to embrace the KISS principle & legislate simpler, more clearly understandable billing? Although a British polly has commented on there being only a handful of competent Ministers in Cabinet; I still have this fantasy of our pollies actually earning part of their taxpayer funded remuneration.

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