There are three types of energy contracts in Australia: standard retail, market, and government regulated.
Standard retail contracts typically cost more than market contracts, and energy prices (or ‘rates’) can still change with little warning – but the retailer can only change rates a certain number of times in a year.
Market contracts may cost less than standard retail contracts and include discounts, but rates can change at any time – even shortly after you’ve signed up.
Government regulated contract means energy prices are set by the government, not the retailer – although the retailer can provide input.
Keep in mind that the government still sets energy rates in Western Australia, Tasmania, regional Queensland and the Northern Territory. Before you start searching, check that your preferred type of energy contract is available in your part of Australia.
A ‘tariff’ is the price you’re charged for using energy under your contract. The energy distributor in your home state sets the tariff structures.
Tariffs typically consist of two parts:
You can find the fixed and variable charges that make up the tariff on your electricity or gas bill.
It is also worth noting that tariffs depend on the type of meter you have at your premises, and different variable charges can apply depending on how much energy your business uses.
There are several types of electricity tariffs in Australia:
Energy distributors regulate gas prices in most Australian states and territories (apart from Western Australia, Tasmania, regional Queensland and the Northern Territory). Most business gas offers usually include single rate tariffs – meaning usage rates stay the same regardless of the time of day or year.
However, distributors may offer seasonal rate tariffs in some states. A seasonal rate tariff means your usage rates increase during peak season (i.e. winter). Specific dates for these tariffs vary between distributors and states.
You might have to pay a cancellation fee if you choose to leave your contract. This cost is also called an ‘exit fee’ or ‘early termination fee’. Check your contract terms and conditions to see whether the cancellation fee applies to you.
You’ll need to advise your energy provider about the date you want to be connected on, and they’ll work with the distributor to arrange the connection at your business premises.
If you want to sign up to a new business energy deal or switch to a plan that fits better, you can easily do so with our energy comparison service. It will only take a few minutes to access a range of quotes from Australia’s leading energy providers.
Do you have more questions about energy tariffs? Or want to find out more about business energy contracts available in your area? Simply call us on 1300 798 697, and one of our experts will help you with your query.