The Australian energy market is forever evolving. The last decade has been a particularly important period for change, including the introduction of controversial legislation, the development of electricity technologies, new operational methods and even deregulation of the industry across several states.
From the early 2000s, deregulation of the Australian energy market commenced in several states, with changes still in effect today.
In 2006 Tasmania became the final state to join the national energy grid, as part of the Australian National Electricity Market (NEM), although Western Australia and the Northern Territory remain segregated and independently manage their energy supply.
In 2011 the Gillard government passed the controversial Carbon Tax, although the Abbott government later repealed it. It is believed that Australian households will save hundreds each year following the abolishment of the carbon tax. However, some remain sceptical about the actual cost and influence this initiative had on the general public.
Find out more about legislative changes impacting energy production and retailing in Australia.
Deregulation of the Australian energy market commenced back in the early 2000s, beginning in Victoria. Today, electricity in some states and territories is deregulated, meaning customers have the opportunity to freely shop around for the best price, assess the options currently available and make the best decision to suit their individual requirements.
New tracking technologies like SMART meters have proven to be beneficial for all parties involved in the energy supply process. SMART meters are a tracking and monitoring device installed into your home that can record energy usage and communicate back to the centralised supplier with current data.
Thanks to SMART meters, energy providers no longer need to physically send someone to an individual property to obtain a reading or to connect and disconnect energy supply. Instead, this can happen remotely and securely, with data sent every half hour under the Australian National Energy Market for regular and up to date reporting.
For the consumer, steady reporting allows for better information around our energy usage, and greater control in managing usage and consequently lowering costs over time.
Despite common preconceptions, there’s much more to our energy bill than the price per KWH transmitted and used. In fact, over half of the billed amount covers other related costs. These may include:
Economic Inflation – an easy and obvious explanation for prices rises, which reflect the current state of our nation’s economy at any given time. Inflation will always have the upper hand and influence electricity prices.
Government influence – Various government initiatives such as the carbon tax (when in effect) can play a part in the final figures on our energy bill, passing on costs to the end consumer.
Energy infrastructure – The cost of infrastructure and system maintenance on the National Electricity Market may surprise you, making up a significant amount of our regular utility bill.