Whether you want to pay less on your energy bills or switch to a better provider, it’s a good idea to regularly compare what deals are available.
Loyalty doesn’t pay when it comes to energy providers – in fact, you could end up paying the lazy tax** for electricity and gas.
The good news is that there are plenty of Australian-owned providers out there who want your business, so seeing what’s on the market and switching to a better deal could save you hundreds of dollars a year.
To help you find the best fit and support local businesses at the same time, here’s what you need to know about energy companies in Australia.
While there are many energy companies that are entirely Australian-owned, some of the largest providers are partly or completely owned by foreign entities.
There are only three Tier 1 energy retailers in Australia: AGL, EnergyAustralia and Origin Energy. All other providers are classified as Tier 2.
Going with one of the ‘big three’ energy retailers won’t necessarily mean you pay less for electricity and gas.
We make finding the best energy prices easy by helping you switch and save to a better provider.
Which energy companies are Australian-owned?
It may not be the most important factor in your final decision – especially if you are trying to save money on household bills – but many Aussies patronise locally-owned businesses because they know their money and the profits the company makes will stay in the country.
However, it can be hard knowing exactly which companies are truly Australian-owned. It gets even more complicated when you realise that many ‘local’ energy businesses are actually only partly Aussie-owned.
Here’s a list of energy companies that are completely Australian-owned*:
Bright Spark Power
Future X Power
Which energy supplier in Australia is the largest?
Servicing more than four million customers across the country, Origin Energy is the largest provider of electricity and natural gas in Australia*. T
he company operates in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australian and the Australian Capital Territory.
However, Origin Energy is only partly Australian-owned. While it has a long and rich history of business in Australia, it’s an ASX-listed company so there are shareholders around the world.
If you’re looking for an energy retailer that’s completely local, you’ll need to look at deals from smaller providers.
Does it matter if your energy company is Australian-owned?
That’s entirely up to you. While some people prefer to do business with local energy retailers, others may not care if the company is fully, partly or not at all Australian-owned.
If cost is the most important factor in your decision, make sure you use an online comparison service that takes your specific energy needs into account to pair you with the best deals available.
Which electricity retailers are government-owned?
Some energy companies are owned and managed by state governments around Australia. For example, EnergyAustralia was formerly owned by the New South Wales state government although it’s now owned by Hong Kong-based CLP Group,
Some of the current electricity retailers that are government-owned include^:
Aurora Energy: 100% owned by the Tasmanian Government.
Ergon Energy: This energy retailer and all its subsidiaries are owned by the Queensland Government.
Synergy: Entirely owned by the Western Australian Government.
What is the difference between Tier 1 and Tier 2 energy providers?
You might have seen news headlines about Tier 1 and Tier 2 energy providers, particularly with the marked rise in energy costs and some energy retailers going out of business.
What you need to know is that there are only three Tier 1 energy companies in Australia*: Origin Energy, AGL and EnergyAustralia*. All other retailers are classified as Tier 2.
That doesn’t necessarily mean a Tier 1 retailer is better or will give you a cheaper deal, but it does mean those three companies have government protections in place for their customers.
For example, if a smaller Tier 2 retailer shuts down, their customers’ plans are automatically rolled onto a Tier 1 provider’s plan (aka ‘Retailer of last resort’).
If you’re worried about the stability of your current provider, you may want to consider switching to a Tier 1 retailer. However, you can end up paying more for your electricity and gas if you go with a larger provider.
Who are the ‘big three’ electricity and gas providers?
As mentioned above, the ‘big three’ electricity and gas providers in Australia are the Tier 1 retailers:
These three companies have massive assets across the country, such as power stations and wind farms. They also have more customers on their books compared to smaller retailers.
Does a bigger company mean better energy deals?
Not necessarily. While the ‘big three’ retailers are generally able to supply energy to most parts of the country, having more assets doesn’t always translate to lower energy prices.
On the contrary, with a larger share of the market, they’re often able to pass on price hikes without significantly impacting their market share.
Smaller energy retailers need to be more competitive with their prices to stay in business and compete with the larger Tier 1 providers.
By comparing energy deals online you may find that choosing a smaller and completely Australian-owned energy company actually helps you pay less for electricity and gas.COMPARE & SAVE
How do I switch energy and gas providers?
Simply choose which service you need – electricity, gas or both – and answer a few quick questions about your circumstances. Our energy experts will get to work finding the best deals for you, so you can start saving as soon as possible.
Which energy companies are foreign-owned or partly Australian-owned?
While there are many Australian-owned energy companies you can choose, there are also businesses that are only partly Australian-owned, as well as some that are completely foreign-owned.
Partly Australian-owned energy companies include^:
DC Power Co
Foreign-owned energy companies in Australia include:
How do I find the best electricity and gas prices today?
Some energy plans will suit your usage and lifestyle better than others. While you could spend hours or even days trawling through every energy provider’s plans, Compare Club makes comparing electricity and gas prices online easy for you.
Whether you're looking to reduce your household bills or want to start getting your electricity and gas from an Australian-owned company, we can help you find the right plan.COMPARE & SAVE