Essential Energy, Ausgrid, and Endeavour are the network providers in NSW. The prices they charge retailers are just for transporting electricity over the grid (the poles and wires). These network costs make up less than half of the total costs of supplying electricity.
The other major cost is the wholesale cost of the electricity, which is not captured in the network providers charges.
The approximate share of each cost component of the supplying electricity is below:
- Network costs - 40%
- Wholesale costs - 45%
- Environmental costs – 5%
- Retail costs – 10%
These cost shares vary by network area. The most up to date information on the different cost components of supplying electricity can be found in the Australian Energy Regulator’s report on the “default market offer” or DMO for this year. The DMO is the maximum price that retailers can change for their “standing offers” based on the costs of supplying electricity.
Under Rule 46(4C) of the National Energy Rules, you can be assigned to a new network tariff as a result of a meter change, and retailers are not required to give advance notice of the change. The Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) is responsible for the National Energy Rules.
In IPART’s view, retailers should also be required to give customers notice of any changes to their tariffs in all circumstances. We have provided our views to the AEMC in a submission to their smart metering review.
Retailers in NSW set their own prices, therefore you should contact your energy company if you have concerns about the prices you are paying. Your energy company's phone number will be on your bill.
Under the National Energy Retail Law retailers must assist customers that are having payment difficulties.
If you have a problem or dispute with your retailer about billing or another matter, you can contact the NSW Energy and Water Ombudsman (EWON) for help in resolving your dispute.
However, EWON has no role or authority in setting prices. This means it is not able to investigate complaints about price increases. But it can review whether the relevant charges and prices have been correctly applied to your account.
If you are unhappy with your retailer, you can shop around for a better deal on the Australian Government website Energy Made Easy.
Many of the costs incurred in supplying small retail customers are fixed. This means that they do not vary with the amount of electricity used by the customer. For example, these include the costs of:
- operating a 24-hour-a-day control centre
- providing an emergency and technical response team
- operating billing and accounting systems
- providing access to the network infrastructure.
The service availability charge or “fixed component” on your electricity bill recovers these fixed costs. This charge ensures that all customers make a reasonable contribution to the overall cost of making the supply of electricity available.
The service availability charge is not the same as network charges. The network charges include both fixed and variable costs components, so they are incorporated into both the service availability charge and the consumption charges you pay your retailer.
Retailers are able to set their own tariffs to recover their costs. There are some costs that do not vary with amount of energy supplied, called fixed costs.
The key fixed cost which is increasing is the daily supply charge retailers pay to network owners for the use of their distribution and transmission systems. For example, in the Essential Energy network area, Essential Energy has increased its daily supply charge to retailers from 91 cents in 2022-23 to $1.04 in 2023-24. The network tariffs are approved by the Australian Energy Regulator each year. See also, Ausgrid and Endeavour network prices.
You should speak to your retailer to understand how they have set their tariffs. Other retailers may be offering lower daily supply charges. You can shop around on the Australian Government Energy Made Easy website.
See the answers to questions that are asked often about the Energy Savings Scheme.
See the answers to questions that are asked often about solar feed-in tariffs.
IPART publishes a solar feed-in tariff benchmark each year. However, retailers are not required to offer feed-in tariffs in line with our benchmarks.
We have observed that there are fewer retailers offering feed-in tariffs above our guide than there were in the past, and some retailers are offering feed-in tariffs that are lower than our guide.
Environmental benefits of using solar is recognised under the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme by the Australian Government. Under this scheme, eligible household that install solar panels receive a benefit which recognises the amount of energy from non-renewable energy sources that it has replaced. A 6.6kW system installed in 2022 in Sydney would receive around a $3000 saving off the cost of the system.