Guide to Comparing Energy Prices in Victoria
Victoria was the first state to deregulate retail electricity prices resulting to more competition among suppliers. Compare energy plans to find the best deals.
by Gary Andrews
Last update 1 May 2021
Victoria was the first state to deregulate retail electricity prices, and as a result it has developed increased competition among suppliers.
It continues to be one of the country's energy powerhouses, though it has been under fire for its dependence on brown coal.COMPARE & SAVE
Victoria has five primary electricity distributors, and each looks after a specific region of the state.
Some customers in Victoria may also be serviced by Essential Energy.
Your distributor looks after the infrastructure associated with supplying electricity to your household.
Your electricity supplier is the company that sells you your electricity and sends your electricity bill.
Most energy suppliers in Victoria are required to take part in the Energy and Water Ombudsman Victoria (EWOV) scheme.
Scheme participants include:
There are a large number of suppliers in Victoria.
It was the first state to deregulate retail electricity prices, attracting new suppliers to the market and allowing for electricity rate comparison in Victoria.
A wide selection of electricity suppliers is great news for Victorians, because competition typically keeps prices lower than they might be otherwise.
Finding the right deal can be a confusing process.
To make it easier, compare electricity suppliers in VIC with our tool to see what’s on offer in your area.
Once you’ve found the lowest prices for your electricity bills in Victoria, you may also be able to benefit from government concessions and rebates.
Most of the below concessions are available to residents of Victoria who hold an eligible concession card.
Terms and conditions may apply so make sure you take the time to familiarise yourself with them.
Annual Electricity Concession
An annual reduction on mains electricity.
Service to Property Charge Concession
Discounted electricity supply charge for certain households.
Medical Cooling Concession
Eligible customers who have qualifying medical conditions requiring cooling.
Controlled Load Electricity Concession
A discount on controlled load usage charges.
Life Support Concession
Quarterly discount on bills for households where a concession cardholder uses eligible life support machines.
Electricity Transfer Fee Waiver
Transfer of service fee is waived for change of occupancy.
Excess Electricity Concession
Discounts for extremely high use of electricity
If you don’t hold a concession card, you may still be able to take advantage of Victoria’s Energy Saver Incentive Scheme, which provides rebates for the purchase of eligible energy-efficient products and appliances.
This is also known as the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target (VEET) scheme.
From 2017, flexible-use tariffs came into effect that gave Victorians even more choice when it comes to their electricity plans.
These demand-based tariffs are optional, with prices based on the time of usage.
If you’re not sure whether these new tariff types are right for you, it’s worth having a quick chat with a consultant for advice.COMPARE & SAVE
The state of Victoria has three gas distributors.
There are gas distributors in Queensland who are members of EWOQ:
Your distributor looks after the infrastructure for the gas network, while your gas supplier is the company that sells you gas and sends the gas bills in Victoria.
Most energy suppliers in the state are required to take part in the Energy and Water Ombudsman Victoria (EWOV) scheme.
Victorian gas suppliers include:
Victoria has long been leading the way in a free energy market for consumers.
The state phased out retail price regulation for gas back in 2009, meaning that the government does not control gas prices for the state.
In turn, this means cheaper gas in VIC.
As with electricity, more gas rate comparison in VIC means lower gas prices for Victorians.
However, roughly 10 percent of customers have remained on the standard plan, meaning they did not change to competitive plans after prices were deregulated.
When customers stop shopping around, gas prices can start to creep up and lead to you overpaying gas in Victoria.
Victorians have enjoyed relative price stability on gas prices lately, but that could change if customers stop shopping around.
When consumers compare prices, gas suppliers are encouraged to keep their prices low.
Victorians may also be eligible for a range of concessions and rebates that can lower their gas bills. These include:
Winter Gas Concession
Discount on gas bills from 1 May to 31 October.
Non-Mains Energy Concession
Annual rebate for cardholders using LPG for small-scale heating or cooking.
Excess Gas Concession
Discounts given to eligible users who use high amounts of gas.
Gas Hot Water Rebate
Cash back when replacing eligible water heaters to more energy-efficient appliances.
Adding solar panels to your home is a smart way to save on electricity while reducing your carbon footprint.
The cost of installing these panels can be high, so it’s worth weighing up what you’re likely to save over the years.
Compare solar in Victoria to see what’s on offer.
Solar panels are gaining popularity in Victoria.
While the government doesn’t offer as many incentives as they used to, they still offer a competitive minimum feed-in tariff rate for those who produce renewable energy.
Feed-in tariff rates are one of the primary incentives for installing solar panels on your home.
Of course, solar panels also reduce your carbon footprint, but the amount you save on your power bill may outweigh the cost of installation in the long run.
Feed-in tariffs are part of that savings and reward you for producing excess electricity and feeding it back to the grid.
Below are the government-mandated rates as well as what some of the major retailers in the state offer.
The government has set a minimum feed-in tariff rate that retailers must offer their customers.
Still, the price is almost double what it was two years ago,when it was only at five cents per kilowatt hour.
Rates have reduced due to fluctuations in the forecast wholesale price of electricity.
Anyone who was on a single-rate feed-in tariff should have been transferred to the new feed-in tariff rate when the statewide change went into effect.
The newest change in policy applies to retailers with more than 5,000 customers.
Retailers are required to offer at least the minimum tariff.
The Victorian government also introduced time-varying feed-in tariffs during their 1 July switch.
This change allows retailers to decide whether they want to offer the flat rate discussed above, the time-varying rate, or both to their customers.
A time-varying rate works similarly to the way peak usage charges work on your electricity plan.
Retailers offer a higher feed-in tariff rate during peak hours, and a lower rate during controlled load and shoulder hours.
Here is a breakdown of how the time-varying tariff works:
There are more than 20 electricity providers in Victoria, so there’s plenty of competition when it comes to where you get your electricity and solar packages.
Not all suppliers provide solar-specific packages, however, and only provide the government’s minimum feed-in tariff rate.
Since there are so many options, there is a good range of selection for comparing solar plans in Victoria.
Some suppliers that don’t offer specific solar plans also offer feed-in tariff rates that are above the government mandated minimum.
Compare solar plans in Victoria to get an idea of whether or not you’re getting a competitive rate.
Fortunately for Victorian consumers, retailers can now provide the option of a flat rate or time-varying rate.
If you produce the most solar power during peak hours, a time-varying rate may be a fantastic money-saving option for you.
Of course, this added option means you may have to think a bit more carefully when selecting a solar energy plan in Victoria.
Keep in mind that feed-in tariff rates aren’t everything.
Having a high feed-in tariff on your plan is great for some people, but also comes at a cost for others.
Keep an eye out for static charges like solar meter charges, which charge you on a daily basis regardless of how much energy you use.
A plan with high feed-in tariffs might also include high usage charges, which isn’t ideal for those with small solar panels or storage batteries.
If your solar system isn’t especially large, you will still rely on the grid for most of your power.
You may not see much from your feed-in tariffs and could get hit with high usage charges.
High feed-in tariffs are ideal for households with large solar systems, or those who spend the bulk of their day away from home.
It’s also worth considering other features of a solar offer, such as discounts for packages bundled with electricity or gas services.
Solar feed-in tariffs may only be offered for a fixed period of time, such as 12 or 24 months.
If you’re deciding between two plans, see which one offers their feed-in tariff for a longer period of time.
Retailers often offer discounts for paying your bill on time, so include these additional discounts when making a decision.
Comparison is crucial when you’re deciding on which solar electricity plan to purchase in Victoria.
There are several options, so take the time to shop around before making a final decision.COMPARE & SAVE
This guide is opinion only and should not be taken as financial advice. Check with a financial professional before making any decisions.