Understanding the Comparison of Electricity and Gas Prices for Small Customers in Australia – October 2023

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Each year, the Tasmanian Economic Regulator issues a report comparing electricity and gas prices available to small customers in Australia. The 2023 report, issued in October, provides a comprehensive analysis of retail electricity tariffs and gas tariffs across Australia. This article aims to delve into the recent release and shed some light on its findings.

Overview of the Report

The report, titled “Comparison of Electricity and Gas Prices Available to Small Customers in Australia – October 2023”, is essentially an annual comparison of electricity and gas prices available to small customers in Tasmania and across mainland Australia. It is prepared by the Tasmanian Economic Regulator in line with section 10C of the Electricity Supply Industry Act 1995.

The report considers both regulated “standing offer” tariffs and market offer contracts. Given the complexity of comparing many different tariffs across eight jurisdictions, the Regulator has focused on calculating representative tariffs and annual bills for each mainland jurisdiction at typical Tasmanian customer consumption levels.

One of the key findings of the report indicates that Tasmanian residential electricity prices are highly competitive with those offered in other jurisdictions. For business customers, Tasmanian tariffs also proved competitive, with Aurora Energy and 1st Energy’s annual bills being the least costly for both general usage tariffs and time-of-use tariffs compared to bills under equivalent representative tariffs in all other jurisdictions.

Key Findings – Electricity Prices

The report presents several key findings related to electricity prices. Firstly, annual bills under regulated residential tariffs in Tasmania are the lowest under equivalent regulated tariffs in all jurisdictions. This suggests that Tasmanian residential customers are receiving competitive rates in comparison with their mainland counterparts.

The report also notes that Tasmanian small business electricity prices are highly competitive. Annual bills under Tasmania’s regulated small business general usage and time-of-use tariffs are the lowest under equivalent regulated tariffs of all jurisdictions.

“Annual bills under both Aurora Energy and 1st Energy’s residential tariffs are ranked in the three least costly for general usage/controlled load tariffs and for time-of-use tariffs under typical Tasmanian customer consumption levels, compared to bills under equivalent representative tariffs in other jurisdictions.” the report states.

Interestingly, despite a rise in retail electricity prices across most jurisdictions, annual bills for concession residential electricity customers in Tasmania and several other jurisdictions fell compared to the 2022 Report. This was due to increases in the value of concessions offered by governments.

Key Findings – Gas Prices

When it comes to gas prices, the report reveals that Tasmanian residential and small business gas bills under both Aurora Energy and Tas Gas’ tariffs at typical Tasmanian consumption levels are higher than the national average. Aurora Energy’s residential and small business gas bills are ranked as the most costly.

“Annual gas bills rose in all jurisdictions, with Aurora Energy’s increases of 22.0 per cent for residential customers and 23.5 per cent for small business customers at typical Tasmanian consumption levels being amongst the highest.” the report notes.

Conclusion

While the report does not take into account service levels or the terms and conditions offered by retailers, it provides valuable insights into the comparison of electricity and gas prices across Australia.

The report serves as an essential tool for policymakers, regulators, and consumers in understanding the energy market dynamics and pricing trends. It underscores the importance of ongoing monitoring and regulation to ensure competitive pricing and market fairness in the energy sector.

For more detailed findings, the full report is available at the Tasmanian Economic Regulator’s website.

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