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Are you ready to explore and compare energy plans in the Northern Territory? With the recent increases in the cost of power, it's now more important than ever to find the right energy plan for your needs.
Here at Savvy we'd like to make the process of comparing energy plans in the NT simple and hassle-free. Our 100% free comparison service allows you to easily compare the different offers available, considering factors such as pricing, contract terms, renewable energy options, and additional customer benefits. By taking advantage of our free service, you can make an informed decision and potentially save money on your energy bills. Let Savvy be your guide as you navigate the available options and find the best energy plan to power your life in the Northern Territory.
What should I know about energy plans in the Northern Territory?
Since 2010 the Northern Territory energy market has been open to competition between retailers. However, in reality there is not a lot of competition between retailers. The reasons for this are varied, including strict state government price regulation, and the vast distances and sparce population of the Territory.
The single distributor for energy in the NT is the State Government’s Power and Water Corporation. They own and maintain all the infrastructure required for power distribution, and also handle all meter readings, which may then be passed onto retailers to bill customers.
The Power and Water Corporation operates three electricity networks in the NT:
- Northern network grid – which services 150,000 people and extends from Darwin to the south of Katherine, including Batchelor, Adelaide River, Pine Creek, Mataranka and Larrimah
- The Tennant Creek network grid – which services about 7,000 people in and around Tennant Creek
- The southern electrical grid – services the Alice Springs and surrounding area, which is home to about 28,000 people.
However, in some remote communities in the NT (such as Jabiru, Alyangula or Nhulunbuy) the Power and Water Corporation also acts as the energy retailer, with customers buying their electricity directly from the corporation.
Natural gas is not available to households in the Northern Territory. Unlike other states and territories in Australia, the NT does not have an extensive natural gas network for residential use, therefore residents rely on LPG gas for cooking and heating in their homes. This LPG gas is typically delivered to households in 90-litre gas cylinders by a variety of gas retailers including:
- Kleenheat Gas
- Origin Energy
The Retail Electricity Pricing Order
The maximum price that can be charged for electricity in the NT is determined by the NT State Government. The Retail Electricity Pricing Order, which is issued annually by the NT Government, sets a maximum price for those consuming less than 750 MWh per year, which basically includes all households and smaller businesses.
Partly as a result of this price capping, competition between electricity retailers is relatively low, and only residents in major town centres like Darwin, Katherine, Tennant Creek, and Alice Springs have a choice of their electricity provider.
Which retailers offer electricity plans in the NT?
The NT Government’s electricity retailer is Jacana Energy, which provides electricity to over 95% of Territorians. However, there are other electricity retailers who may be able to offer you an energy plan, particularly if you live in a main residential area in Darwin, Alice Springs, Katherine or Tennant Creek.
- Next Business Energy (for business customers only)
- Rimfire Energy (offering solar feed-in tariff plans)
How do I choose between electricity plans in the NT?
If you are lucky enough to have a choice about your electricity retailer in the NT, here’s a few factors to consider when choosing an energy plan:
- Contract terms: Take note of whether the plan offers a fixed term or is an ongoing plan without an end date.
- Tariff types: Compare the different tariff options available, such as standard flat rate tariff, time of use tariff, a pre-paid plan or a multipurpose plan (which is designed for those who also run a business.) Consider your household's energy usage patterns and the type of heating and cooling systems you have to determine which tariff suits your needs best.
- Smart meter compatibility: Check if your electricity meter is a smart meter, and ensure that the plan you're considering is compatible with smart meter usage.
- Solar feed-in tariff rate: If you have a solar system, compare the feed-in tariff rate offered by different plans for any excess electricity your system generates.
- Green energy options: For environmentally conscious consumers, compare the green energy options which may be available, or check if the retailer offers a carbon-neutral plan.
- Fees and charges: Compare the various fees associated with each plan, including the basic supply charge, late payment fees, paper bill fees, credit card usage fees, and early exit fees. These fees can differ significantly between energy retailers, so understanding them is crucial when assessing the overall cost of the plan.
By using Savvy's free comparison service, you can confidently choose between different electricity plans in the NT, allowing you to choose a plan that aligns with your budget and usage patterns.
* All information is current as of June 2023, but subject to change.
What plans are offered by Jacana Energy to residents in the NT?
Jacana offers five electricity plans to cater for different energy needs of NT residents. These are:
Everyday Home Plan
The default plan for Territorians, offering a fixed usage rate and a fixed supply charge
Switch to Six Plan
This time of use plan is for those who use power mainly in the evenings and weekends. It offers a cheaper tariff for electricity use after 6pm and through the night until 6am. A higher rate is charged for electricity use between 6am and 6pm.
Designed for those who operate a business from their home. The standard residential tariff is offered for the first 45 kWh per day of electricity used, and after this amount of usage a lower rate is charged. A fixed daily charge also applies.
Pre-paid plan – also known as a ‘pay as you use’ plan
This plan is available only to those who have a pre-paid meter installed, and allows residents to pay for the power they use in advance, rather than receiving a regular electricity bill. These pre-paid meters can be topped up through an online app or by making a payment in-store using your swipe card.
Solar feed-in plan
For those who have a solar system installed on their home or business. The solar feed-in rate is determined by the NT Government.
What assistance is offered by the NT Government to assist with energy bills?
The NT Government provides several rebates and concessions to eligible customers:
NT Concession Scheme
The NT Concession Scheme provides assistance to low-income earners and pensioners across a range of government services, including council rates, electricity costs, water and sewerage charges, vehicle registration costs and more. Part of the scheme is the electricity concession.
This aspect of the scheme is partly funded by the Federal Government, and pays up to $1,200 per year to assist eligible residents with their power bills.
Eligibility for the NT Concession Scheme
To be eligible for the NT Concession Scheme residents will need to show documents that prove their identity and residency in the NT. These documents need to provide 100 points of ID combined. Accepted documents to contribute towards this process include:
- Birth certificate, Australian passport or citizenship certificate
- An international passport
- An immigration card (ImmiCard)
- Certificate of Aboriginality
- approved Aboriginal corporations ID – with your name, date of birth and photo
NT Seniors Recognition Scheme
If you are a Northern Territory resident aged 65 or over, you may be eligible for the NT Seniors Recognition Scheme. This will provide you with a $500 pre-paid card which you can use to spend on a range of government fees and charges, including being used to help with the cost of electricity or gas bills.
To apply for the NT Seniors Recognition Scheme you will need to apply to the NT Government and provide relevant identity documents which prove your age and address.
* All information is current as of June 2023, but subject to change.
Types of energy plan
Every home needs an electricity connection. From powering your fridge to your television, it's important to know the differences between electricity plans before you buy.
Who doesn't love a warm, cozy bedroom in winter or a hot shower on a cold morning? Natural gas helps heat things up in your home, so getting the right gas plan is crucial.
Solar panels are becoming increasingly common as Australians make a sustainable switch. Your connection to the grid is still important for when the sun isn't out, though.
Energy providers are now providing plans to Australians who want to make use of more environmentally friendly sources. These are often known as green energy plans.
Why compare energy plans with Savvy?
More of your frequently asked questions about comparing energy plans in the NT
Helpful energy guides
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.