Living in the ACT? Does your power bill make you shudder? The nation’s capital is a regulated market; this means that unlike most Australian energy markets, ACT electricity prices are regulated by the Government. Gas and electricity providers tend to be reluctant to enter deregulated markets, meaning that ACT billpayers have relatively little choice.
Currently, only nine residential electricity providers operate in the ACT. However, the conditions of the plans on offer do vary considerably! So, there can still be considerable benefits to comparing electricity quotes and finding an option that could better suit you. You can also potentially save hundreds of dollars in the process.
Firstly, a quick introduction. We’re Econnex, an 100% free electricity price comparison service. Our tech-savvy bargain-hunting team brings together our love of helping Aussies get a fair go, with a passion for energy.
Personally, we think energy is really fascinating, but we realise it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. So, if you’re just looking for the best deal, click through to our Electricity Quotes ACT feature for the dollars-and-sense.
Snapshot: Electricity in the ACT
Let’s start with the basics. The electricity network in the ACT is powered by ActewAGL, considered to be one of Australia’s most reliable electricity providers. Along with their predecessors, ActewAGL has been supplying essential services to Australia’s capital region for over a century.
But, what about electricity retailers? As we mentioned, there’s a fair few: nine residential electricity providers, and three more that only serve businesses. Most ACT households are with ActewAGL, but there’s increasing competition from other suppliers like Origin and Power club.
Comparing ACT Electricity Quotes
It’s best to compare electricity quotes every 1-2 years, to make sure you’re still getting the best deal. As time goes by, more electricity retailers will likely enter the ACT market, so keep your finger on the pulse.
But there’s more to ACT electricity quotes than that. In fact, you can save about $530 a year by switching from ACT’s median standing offer to the cheapest market offer. (That’s not a guesstimate, it’s hard data from the Australian Energy Market Commission.) Now that’s more than worth spending some time on! But don’t worry, not much time – we’ll make it easy for you.
But what if you’ve signed onto a plan with an electricity provider, but you’re still paying through the nose? It’s worth checking whether you’re on a default market offer. You see, electricity providers often offer introductory discounts for a period, which then expires. After that, they’ll remove the discount and boom, expensive power bill. It’s like going to a fancy restaurant, paying full-price, and seeing it on a coupon site that same night. Or, as Alanis puts it, “it’s like rain on your wedding day, a free ride when you’ve already paid”; good advice on ACT electricity quotes, that many consumers just haven’t taken yet… okay, we might’ve changed that last part up a bit. But, we digress.
So, at this juncture, maybe you’re wondering about which electricity provider is right for you. Aren’t they all the same? They do the same thing, right? Powering your fridge and TV, keeping the lights on, etc. Well, you might be surprised how much can be comparing electricity quotes in the ACT to save you on your power bill.
For a household consuming 17.4 kWh/day (EME Medium Usage Estimate), ACT electricity quotes vary by about $230 straight away. And there are other factors that can come into play. For example, you may be eligible for discounts; you can choose between peak/off-peak and flat-rate plans (more on that later), and you can get credits for on-time payments.
Electricity Quotes for Solar Customers
If you’re a solar customer, you should also take a look at what solar feed-in tariffs are being offered. These can vary considerably! But keep in mind, the cheapest solar FiT (feed-in tariff) doesn’t necessarily mean the cheapest plan. Double-check the fine print to make sure you’re not trading off something else, like a discount on grid usage charges.
Most households across our sunburnt country export about 75% of their power back to the grid. Especially if you’re not home during the brightest, sunniest hours of the day, that’s quite a feasible figure. If you’re working from home, or bring the kids home at 3 pm, you’re probably looking at around 50% exports. Over time, those solar feed-in tariffs combined with your reduced grid consumption will make your power bill even lower!
Solar payback periods
Of course, your initial investment in a solar PV system is a bit pricy! But it pays itself back quickly and after that, you’ve got ongoing savings. (And as a bonus, you’re saving the planet too! 😇) The Solar Choice Price Index indicates that on average, a 5kw solar PV system costs $4,750 in Canberra; you may be wondering how long it takes for that initial investment to pay off.
The good news is, it’s not long! Choice Magazine finds the payback period for a 5kW system in Canberra is 4-5 years at a 50% export rate. For billpayers exporting 75%, the average rate is 6 years. After that, other than occasional repairs and maintenance (often covered during the warranty period), just sit back and enjoy the savings!
Econnex: empowerment through power.
At Econnex, we’ve developed a handy energy price comparison system used by Aussies to save on their power bills. We deliver gas and electricity quotes in the ACT at a glance; for that matter, we do the same for residential and business consumers in VIC, QLD, NSW, and SA. Our vision is a fairer national energy market, where consumers get a Fair Go.
Unlike some widely-known price comparison sites, we don’t confuse you with star ratings; we understand that you’re paying your bills with hard-earned dollars, not stars! We also present the main info about your electricity contract offer at a glance. That way, it’s easier to understand the fine print and make sure the electricity quote is right for you. After all, what’s a great deal for your off-peak night-owl neighbour might be a red-hot mess for your power needs! (Don’t worry, we’ll go over this more later). And if you’re a bit tech-adverse, don’t worry: there’s plenty of info on our website Econnex to make it easier.
We like streamlining processes and making things easier; so when you’re ready to switch providers, you can do it all on our website. We’ll contact the provider to make the switch; no sales calls, no waiting on hold, no hassle, just results.
So, now you know who we are, and how we make electricity quotes in the ACT and around Australia easier! So, let’s talk a bit about how to decide which of the electricity quotes on offer is best for you.
The nitty-gritty of electricity quotes
There really is a lot of difference between electricity contracts. Peak, off-peak, standing offer, market offer, supply charges, usage charges… and so on. It’s important to read the fine print and understand the basics to maximise savings and minimise bill shock. Here’s a quick guide on the jargon to know when you’re getting electricity quotes in the ACT.
· Standard or market offer? If you haven’t switched your power plan for years, you may be on a standard contract. These are the basic conditions that the government sets, a price cap above which electricity retailers legally cannot charge. In other words, they’re usually maximum expensive.
On the other hand, the market offers to vary a lot; depending on the conditions on offer, they can save you money or cost you a ton. Some of the things to look out for include contract length, discounts, benefit periods, and late penalties. If you’re using a ton of power during peak time, you can really get a nasty bill shock; if you’re sticking to off-peak, your bill can be astonishingly cheap. And remember, you should check whether you’re on the Default Market Offer; if so, you can fix this by signing up for a new plan including discounts.
· Time of Use (TOU) or fixed-rate tariff? On a fixed-rate plan, there’s just one stock-standard round-the-clock electricity tariff, per kilowatt-hour (kWh). With TOU plans, there are usually peak, off-peak, and shoulder times. Are you a first riser or a nighttime owl? Maybe you don’t use aircon much at home? You can probably gain significant savings with a TOU plan. However, if you’re working from home during weekdays, a TOU plan can be an expensive mistake; take into account when you’re using your power before you choose TOU.
· Supply and usage charges. Supply charges are just the base per-day price you pay for grid connection. This won’t change, even if you’re not using power at all on that day. On the other hand, usage charges depend on how much per kilowatt-hour (kWh) power you use; these will be fixed or TOU.
Some retailers may offer you a cheaper supply charge but will charge you more per-kWh for your usage, or vice-versa. Usually, cheaper usage charges will be the better choice; that is unless you’ve got a heavy-duty solar PV system and your grid usage is very low.
· Solar feed-in tariffs. Exporting power back to the grid maximises your solar savings. The credits you receive are called solar feed-in tariffs (solar FiTs). We’ve compiled a list of the best solar feed-in tariffs available in the ACT, from 0c~16c per kWh exported. As we’ve mentioned earlier, though, cheapest isn’t always best. Overall, the best plan for you will depend on a few factors. Are you getting a higher FiT but fewer discounts? What sort of grid electricity usage charges are on offer? Check your fine print carefully.
Why bother with ACT electricity quotes?
Yes, the ACT market is regulated, but that doesn’t mean you can’t save hundreds! It’s easy to compare electricity quotes in the ACT and make sure you’re getting the right plan. With our ACT electricity quotes service (handy link, because we love convenience!) it’s very easy to do. We’ve saved Aussies tons of money with a better way to get electricity quotes in the ACT and beyond.
Nearly 40% of households haven’t compared prices and switched to a cheaper plan. Are you one of them?
So, if you’re wondering if you can find a cheaper, better electricity plan, the answer is “probably yes”!
ACT electricity quotes at your fingertips
It’s never been easier for ACT residents and businesses to find the best electricity quotes, thanks to Econnex. Our service is faster, simpler, better and 100% free service. We’ll do the hard yards, finding you better electricity quotes, so you don’t pay more than you should.
Want to know more about electricity quotes in the ACT and beyond? And useful info about electricity in general? Visit our blog to learn how to make your home energy-efficient and save energy costs on home entertainment systems; or head straight to Econnex’s Electricity Quotes ACT feature to get started on getting a fairer go.