Sustainable living

Explain it to me quickly: electricity price hike, companies going bust, what it means for me

Spring is a smart time to review your plan, compare the market, and learn about 100% GreenPower

electricity prices

Electricity prices across Australia have risen.

Most of us aren’t national energy market experts.

But asking a few questions and keeping an eye on the best deals can go a long way towards reducing our bills.

Why electricity prices are higher right now

We can’t blame it all on inflation. A mix of events is causing supply and price issues.

  • Less capacity - coal-fired power stations still produce most of Australia’s electricity, but roughly 25% of these have been offline this year for planned and unplanned repairs and maintenance. More expensive gas-fired power plants have filled the gap.
  • Higher raw material costs - higher international coal and gas prices, caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, mean suppliers are exporting more overseas. Nearly 80% of Australia’s gas is exported and local prices are subject to the volatility of the international market.
  • The weather - with back-to-back La Ninas, flood-damaged rail lines hindered the transport of coal and flooded mines disrupted the generation of electricity.

Keep an eye on your energy bills – and ask the right questions

All energy providers – that’s more than 20 in NSW – have released new prices since July.

It’s smart to review the new prices your current provider is charging and look for better deals using the excellent, unbiased Energy Made Easy website.

If you’re keen on choosing accredited green energy to help get more electricity from the wind and sun made, tick the GreenPower filter and look for the logo when comparing plans.

If you have a copy of your electricity bill handy you can upload it to make the process faster.

Ask your current provider when you’ll be affected, as your contract may protect you from rising prices for some time.

Use these questions to help you make an informed decision:

  1. What kind of contract am I on and when does it expire?
  2. Are my prices going up? And if so, when and by how much?
  3. Do you have a better deal for me?

If you have a small business, get in contact with the Business Energy Advice Program. They offer free advice to small businesses to help reduce energy costs.

Single O cafe in Surry Hills saved $29,000 by changing their electricity plan. And they opted for GreenPower.
Single O cafe in Surry Hills saved $29,000 by changing their electricity plan. And they opted for GreenPower.

Why it's a good idea to review your plan once a year

Market offers are set by energy companies and often include discounts and incentives.

They’re often available for a limited period, like 9 to 12 months.

When this promotional deal ends, households and businesses are often automatically switched to the default market offer – the highest price an electricity company can charge.

More renewable energy can help prevent future situations like this

More renewable energy generators – both farms and individual homes feeding into the grid – along with methods for storing electricity will help prevent future supply and price debacles.

Currently, around 80% of NSW’s electricity is made by 5 coal power stations. With roughly 25% being offline this year, it’s had a considerable effect.

Daniel Westerman, chief executive of the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) believes recent events have further strengthened the case for the shift to renewables.

“Investment in low-cost renewable energy, firming resources and essential transmission remains the best strategy to deliver affordable and reliable energy, protected against international market shocks.”

Spring clean your electricity plan

We recommend shopping around for a new deal this September to avoid overpaying for power. Pop 30 minutes in your calendar to get it done. You'll feel great about being on top of things.

If you want to help accelerate Australia’s transition to electricity made from cleaner renewable sources, choose an electricity plan with 100% accredited GreenPower. It’s often an extra box you need to tick in the sign-up process. Learn more about GreenPower.

If you have any queries, we'd love to help.

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Published 25 August 2022, updated 13 October 2022