Average Price Of Electricity In Australia

Are you wondering what the average price of electricity is in Australia? Find out average tariff rates here with Savvy.

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, updated on July 27th, 2023       

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Electricity is an essential part of our daily lives, but it's important to know how much it costs. In Australia, the average price of electricity is a topic that affects many people. It helps us understand how much we need to budget for our energy bills and make smart choices about our electricity usage. By knowing the average price, we can compare different energy plans and find the best deals for our needs. In this article, we'll explore the average price of electricity in Australia and share some key factors that can influence the cost of electricity. 

 What's the average price of electricity in Australia?

The average price of electricity in Australia varies depending on a number of factors. These include things like where you live, the time of day, what type of tariff you are on, and your individual usage pattern. Additionally, prices fluctuate over time due to market conditions, wholesale energy prices, and changes in government policies.

The most recent data suggests the average price of electricity in Australia is approximately 25 cents per kilowatt-hour (c/kWh). However, it's important to note that this is a general average figure, and actual prices differ between states, territories, and different electricity plans offered by retailers. Some states have higher or lower rates due to factors like distribution costs, network infrastructure, and government regulations.  

It's always a good idea to check with your energy retailer or closely look at your energy bill to find out exactly what tariffs apply to the electricity you use. Compare plans using Savvy’s free comparison service to get the most accurate and up-to-date information on electricity prices in your area.

What are electricity tariffs, and how do they affect my electricity bill?

Electricity tariffs are the pricing structures set by energy retailers for the electricity you use in your home. These tariffs determine how much you pay for the electricity you use. Different types of tariffs impact your electricity bill in various ways. Here are some common electricity tariffs and how they affect your bill: 

  • Flat Rate Tariff: With a flat rate tariff, you pay a fixed rate for each unit of electricity consumed, regardless of the time of day or season. This tariff is straightforward, as the rate remains constant throughout the day. Your bill is calculated by multiplying the tariff rate (say, 25c) by the total number of kilowatt hours of power you use, which is expressed as c/kWh.
  • Time-of-use tariff: Time-of-use tariffs divide the day into different periods, such as peak, off-peak, and shoulder. Each period has its own electricity rate, reflecting the varying demand and cost of electricity during different times. Peak hours usually have higher rates, while off-peak hours offer lower rates. By shifting your energy consumption to off-peak periods, such as running appliances or charging devices at night, you can reduce your bill.
  • Controlled load tariff: Controlled load tariffs apply to specific appliances, such as hot water systems or pool pumps, which are separately metered and connected to dedicated circuits. These tariffs offer lower rates for electricity used by these appliances during specific off-peak periods. By using these appliances during the controlled load periods, you can take advantage of the lower rates and potentially lower your bill.
  • Feed-in tariff: If you have a solar power system and generate excess electricity that you feed back into the grid, you may be eligible for a feed-in tariff. This tariff credits you for the electricity you export, offsetting your overall electricity bill. The rate at which you are credited depends on the feed-in tariff scheme in your state or territory.

It's important to understand the tariff structure and rates associated with your electricity plan, as they directly impact the cost of your bill. By choosing the right tariff and being mindful of your energy usage patterns, you can potentially save money on your electricity bill. 

What other factors affect the average cost of electricity in Australia?

The average price of electricity in Australia is influenced by several key factors that are specific to our country's energy landscape. Here are the main factors affecting the average price of electricity in Australia: 

  • Reliance on expensive fossil fuels:

Australia depends heavily on costly fossil fuels like coal and gas for our electricity generation. International shortages of these fuels have led to increased prices, impacting the operating costs of our gas and coal-fired power stations. This has resulted in higher wholesale energy prices. For example, average wholesale gas prices per gigajoule have more than quadrupled from about $6 in 2020-21 to more than $25.50 in March 2023. 

  • Geo-political influences:

Global events such as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have impacted global energy prices, affecting gas supply and demand. Australia is one of the largest gas exporters in the world, and 80% of all Australian gas is sent overseas. Gas corporations are trying to send as much gas as they can offshore, because that’s how they maximise their profits. However, gas suppliers have also been charging retail distributors these higher prices for gas, which has pushed up the cost of gas plans for ordinary Aussies.  

  • Outdated energy infrastructure:

Australia's aging coal and gas-fired power stations need to be replaced, as they rely on outdated and highly-polluting technology. Many are nearing the end of their useful life, creating safety and efficiency concerns. For example, by the year 2040, around 70% of the coal-fired power plants in the National Electricity Market will have reached the age of 50 years or more. Our aging coal-fired generators underscore the urgency to embrace new renewable energy technology.  

  • Transition to renewable energy:

Embracing renewable energy sources like solar and wind power comes at a cost. Although renewable energy options and efficient storage systems offer a cost-effective solution for Australia's energy needs, they cost a lot of money to build. Replacing outdated power stations with renewable energy infrastructure will lead to more affordable and sustainable electricity generation in the future, resulting in long-term price reductions. However, for now, consumers are paying the price for all the new infrastructure being built to help Australia transition towards a greener energy future. 

How do I know how much different appliances cost to run?

To calculate the cost of running different appliances, you can follow these steps:

Find the appliance's power rating: Check the wattage or power consumption information on the appliance or in the user manual. It is usually given in watts (W) or kilowatts (kW).

Convert to kilowatts: If the power rating is in watts, divide it by 1000 to convert it to kilowatts. For instance, if an appliance has a power rating of 1500 watts, it is equal to 1.5 kilowatts.

Estimate usage time: Determine the number of hours per day that you typically use the appliance.

Check your electricity rate: Refer to your electricity bill or contact your energy provider to find out the rate you are charged for electricity. The rate may vary depending on the time of day or specific tariff plan.

Calculate energy consumption: Multiply the power rating of the appliance (in kilowatts) by the number of hours it is used per day. Then, multiply this result by the electricity rate per kilowatt-hour (kWh) to calculate the cost of running the appliance.

For example, let's consider a 1.5 kW appliance used for 6 hours per day, with an electricity rate of $0.30 per kWh. The calculation would be:

1.5 kW x 6 hours = 9 kWh per day.

Then, 9 kWh x $0.30 = $2.70 cost to run this appliance for six hours per day.

By following these steps, you can estimate the energy consumption and cost of running different appliances based on your electricity rate. This information can help you make informed decisions about managing your energy usage and potentially reduce your electricity bill.

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Savvy is partnered with Econnex Comparison (CIMET Sales Pty Ltd, ABN 72 620 395 726) to provide readers with a variety of energy plans to compare. We do not compare all retailers in the market, or all plans offered by all retailers. Savvy earns a commission from Econnex each time a customer buys an energy plan via our website. We don’t arrange for products to be purchased directly, as all purchases are conducted via Econnex.

Any advice presented above is general in nature and doesn’t consider your personal or business objectives, needs or finances. It’s always important to consider whether advice is suitable for you before purchasing an energy plan. For further information on the variety of energy plans compared by Econnex, or how their business works, you can visit their website.