Are you unhappy with the ballooning cost of your power bill? Is your current electricity supplier’s customer service simply not up to scratch? Had one too many power outages recently?
There are any number of reasons why you might consider comparing and changing electricity providers in Victoria. In years gone by, this would have been an incredibly time-consuming chore, but thanks to comprehensive electricity plan comparison tools, switching suppliers has never been easier and can now be completed entirely online in four easy steps.
To help you select an energy provider that best meets your needs, we’ve compiled everything you need to know about the electricity industry in Victoria. Gain valuable insight into energy providers, learn about the state’s electricity regulation and find out if you’re eligible for a concession on your power bill.
The state of the electricity industry in Victoria
Victoria is the second largest electricity market in Australia, with 14 retailers providing energy to more than two million households across the state, as of early 2016. This provides customers with an excellent selection of companies to choose from, and those who do their research before committing to an energy provider are typically able to score some great electricity plans and save significantly on their power bills.
As is the case in many regions across Australia, Victoria is supporting a big push toward eco-friendly energy. One of the ways the government has facilitated this is by amending some of the regulations concerning small-scale renewable energy production. As a result, households are now able to purchase roof-top solar panels and enter into solar power purchase agreements with certain companies.
It’s difficult to forecast the exact impact this will have on electricity prices in Victoria, but it’s entirely possible that we’ll see this trend towards solar – and other renewable energy-generation methods – continue to grow in years to come.
Is the Victoria energy sector regulated?
The electricity sector in Victoria has been deregulated since January 2002, according to the Essential Services Commission. A deregulated market – that is, one in which electricity retailers can set their own prices – creates a more competitive industry, and many new energy retailers have entered the market since the state government established this arrangement.
This is good news for you as a consumer. Why? Well, with more players in the market, there’s naturally a higher level of commercial rivalry, which typically results in more competitive energy pricing as providers do everything they can to carve out their space within the sector. You could end up saving substantial amounts of money on your power bill by simply comparing electricity plans in Victoria and switching to a provider that satisfies your energy needs at a cost that’s in line with your utility budget.
How is the government planning to better manage electricity demand?
The amount of power that Victoria consumes fluctuates depending on the time of day, season and several other factors. When consumption is at its highest, it can be tricky for electricity providers to supply enough energy to keep up with demand. According to the Victoria government’s Department of Energy and Earth Resources, peak demand typically takes place during summer in late afternoon and early evening, as people across the state come return home from work and turn on their air conditioning systems and other appliances.
Managing peak demand requires expensive infrastructure – and guess who would usually have to bear the burden of these costs? That’s right: you.
If you use only a modest amount of power during these peak times, you might be thinking that this arrangement isn’t really fair – and you’re not wrong. To address this issue, the government is introducing a new cost-reflective network tariff. As of January 1, 2017, electricity customers in Victoria will have the option to commit to a new type of electricity plan, which will feature pricing that reflects the time of energy usage.
While the details are still being ironed out, energy providers are proposing the new tariff be comprised of:
- A fixed daily charge
- A consumption charge
- A capped monthly demand charge, based on your highest usage in any half-hour period between the hours of 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays
It’s important to note that this is an opt-in pricing plan, so the changes may not impact you at all. In saying this, however, it’s possible that that the new tariffs could actually work out in your favour. When the new tariff comes into effect, you may find that it’s a compelling reason to switch providers.
What electricity concession are available in Victoria?
As the Victoria government explained, depending on your circumstances, you may be eligible for a number of different electricity concessions to help you offset the cost of energy. One such rebate offers year-round financial support to the tune of 17.5 per cent of your power bill, while the Energy and Water Taskforce Program provides eligible households with energy or water saving products up to the value of $300.
To find out if you’re entitled to these concessions, contact your energy provider or get in touch with the Department of Human Services.
Comparing electricity retailers in Victoria
As touched on, you’ve got a fantastic selection of quality electricity suppliers in Melbourne and across Victoria to choose from.
With so many options available, how do you know which is right for you? To answer this very question, check out our electricity provider comparison tool and find out how much money you could save on your next power bill by switching to a new energy provider.