Guide to Comparing Energy Prices in Tasmania

Tasmania’s location and high reliance on hydropower puts it in a unique position within Australia’s energy industry. Compare energy plans to find the best deals.

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by Gary Andrews

Last update 1 May 2021

Overview

Tasmania’s location and high reliance on hydropower put it in a unique position within Australia’s energy industry.

This growing market is one to watch and residents can still benefit from comparing suppliers.

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Electricity Competition in Tasmania

A regulated electricity market means there’s no room for competition, and this was the case in Tasmania until 2014.

Competition regulation isn’t the only type of regulation, however, and price regulation still exists in the state.

Aurora Energy has been the only option for Tasmanian residents for a while, and it doesn’t look like that’s about to change anytime soon.

Aurora is the only retailer in the state that offers retail contracts, though businesses have a bit more choice when it comes to their energy retailer.

Businesses in Tasmania can choose between Aurora, Flow Business, AGL, and ERM Business Energy.

Although these retailers provide slightly different benefits in their contracts, electricity retailers in Tasmania are hamstrung due to the price regulation in the state.

Price Regulation

Price regulation could be the reason competition in the residential market hasn’t picked up.

The government caps the price that retailers are allowed to charge, which means there’s very little.

The government’s price regulation means a lack of competition for retail customers, but it also provides a bit of protection against the country-wide electricity price hike.

Most Australians – regardless of where they live – have seen a price increase for sources of energy.

Petrol, electricity, and natural gas prices have risen substantially in recent months, but the price cap in Tasmania has protected customers to a degree.

Aurora Electricity Prices

The Aurora electricity prices break down into five different tariff sections. Your tariff determines the electricity payment structure of your plan.

Since Tasmanian residents don’t currently have a choice in their electricity retailer, it’s important to know which tariff you are on to understand better how much you’ll pay on your electricity bill.

Residential customers are on tariff 31, which is the light and power tariff.

Residents who use electricity for their heating may also be on the heating and hot water tariff: tariff 41.

Tariff 61 and 62, which are controlled load heating tariffs, are less common for residential customers, bust still may apply to you.

If you aren’t sure which tariffs apply to you, check your most recent bill or contact Aurora.

What is the Time of Use Tariff?

The time of use tariff, Tariff 93, is an opt-in only tariff for Tasmanian households.

Customers on this tariff have elected to do so. The chart below shows the pricing breakdown of Aurora’s Time of Use tariff.

Choosing the Tariff 93 pricing scheme can save you money, depending on when you use the bulk of your electricity.

Using electricity during peak hours costs more money than a standard tariff, but it may suit customers who use the most electricity during controlled load hours.

What are the features of Aurora Energy?

Aurora Energy provides some basic features for their customers, including an online account management portal, green energy incentives, and a Pay as You Go policy that allows you to prepay for your electricity use.

Electricity Concessions

Some low-income households may be eligible to receive electricity pricing concessions from the Tasmanian government.

The following is a list of concessions available to some residents of Tasmania:

  • Annual Electricity Concession
  • Heating Allowance
  • Life Support Concession
  • Medical Cooling or Heating Concession

Annual Electricity Concession

Those who have the following cards will be eligible for this concession:

  • DHS or DVA Pensioner Concession Card
  • DHS Health Care Card
  • ImmiCard (Bridging Visa E)
  • Tasmanian Concession Card (issued by the Department of Communities Tasmania)

Heating Allowance

The heating allowance provides government assistance to DHS or DVA Pensioner Concession Card holders.

Life Support Concession

Tasmanian residents who use an approved life support system may also be eligible to receive a concession.

These customers will receive a discount depending on which life support system they need in their principal place of residence.

Medical Cooling or Heating Concession

Those who have or live with someone who has a medical condition that requires additional cooling or heating in their home may be able to receive a concession.

How to Find the Best Electricity Deal?

Since competition has yet to pick up in Tasmania, there isn’t much you can do in the way of comparison.

Even if other retailers enter the market in the near future, their plans are unlikely to differ very much from the existing offers from Aurora.

What you can do, however, is make sure you’re on the best tariff scheme for your electricity usage.

For instance, you should explore the time of use tariffs if you usually use energy during controlled load hours.

Take a look at any concessions you might be eligible for as well.

These concessions can save you money on your daily charges, which adds up over the long run.

Gas savings in Tasmania

Although gas prices are unregulated in Tasmania, limited choice has kept the market from being as competitive as it might otherwise be.

There is currently one gas distributor, TasGas, and two gas power suppliers in TAS, Aurora and TasGas.

Whenever possible, compare gas suppliers in Tasmania to see if a better deal is available.

If you are considering hooking up to the gas network, taking a few minutes to do a gas rate comparison in TAS can put you in a better position to save.

Over time, if more suppliers begin selling gas in Tasmania, the gas rate in TAS is more likely to stabilize and become more competitive.

The Tasmanian government offers some energy concessions, so contact your supplier to see if you qualify for any of the below.

Heating allowance

Eligible customers can save on heating costs

Medical cooling or heating concession

Daily discount offered to eligible customers who rely on temperature regulation for a medical condition.

At the moment, gas is not considered an essential service.

In fact, it competes with electricity for its market share.

Some economists speculate that offering short-term incentives may encourage potential gas customers to enter the market; keep your eyes peeled for any money-saving offers that might lower your gas bills in Tasmania.

Tips for TAS gas customers

  • Compare prices from different suppliers in your area to find cheaper gas in Tasmania
  • Ask your supplier about any concessions you may be eligible for
  • Consider your household energy needs and whether a combination of electricity and gas might be an option

Solar Energy Companies & Providers in Tasmania

Tasmania relies heavily on renewable energy.

According to the Tasmanian Renewable Energy Alliance, over 24,600 households have already installed solar panel systems.

Solar customers are able to leverage solar energy in TAS in two ways: first by reducing the amount of energy they draw from the grid, and second from feed-in tariffs.

Tasmanians who take advantage of solar power will see the cost-savings on their electricity bill.

At the moment Aurora is the primary electricity supplier for Tasmania.

Solar power savings in TAS

Saving on solar starts with installation.

Though it may seem like a smart idea to generate as much solar power as possible, that can lead to overpaying energy bills in Tasmania.

It is usually more efficient to install a system that maximises the amount of power you use in real time.

Solar panel systems are not yet sophisticated enough to store energy (though this is under development), so any unused electricity is fed back to the grid.

This is where feed-in tariffs come into place.

Whenever possible, you should compare solar suppliers in Tasmania to get the best deal on your energy bill.

Finding cheap solar energy in Tasmania is about striking a good balance between the cost of kilowatt hours and the amount paid for them.

You may also be able to benefit from solar controlled-load offers, which are tariffs priced specifically for solar-powered appliances such as a solar water heater.

This may be less costly than the installation of a larger solar panel system but could still save you on your overall energy bill.

Tips for TAS solar customers

  • Install an efficient solar panel system that is right for your household’s rooftop and energy usage
  • Compare solar offers whenever possible to get cheaper energy in Tasmania
  • Consider a solar hot water system
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This guide is opinion only and should not be taken as financial advice. Check with a financial professional before making any decisions.