Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions in Energy

Energy

Electricity - How does the removal of retail electricity price regulation affect me?

The NSW Government has provided information, including a list of frequently asked questions (opens in a new window)  , on the removal of retail electricity price regulation

Electricity - I'm not happy about electricity price increases. What can I do?

WAYS TO SAVE MONEY

CONSIDER MAKING SOME CHANGES

Swimming pools are the biggest single contributor to high energy bills, adding an average of $620 or more than 33% to the household energy bill.

Reducing the operating times for pumps and filters can save energy and money, and simply changing operating times can save you money if you have a time of use meter or if you can connect your pump and filter to an off peak electricity supply.

Second fridges can add an average of $300 to annual electricity bills, closely followed by spas.

Using your clothes dryer once a week will cost you $77 over a year. If you use it everyday that's $539.

GET SOME HELP

There is a plenty of advice and assistance to help you reduce energy consumption and save money.

REDUCE ENERGY CONSUMPTION

 HELP PAYING BILLS

  • Department of Trade & Investment's Energy Assistance Guide
  • See your energy retailer for payment plans and options.

GETTING THE BEST PRICE

The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) maintains Energy Made Easy a website to compare different energy offers

APPLIANCE EFFICIENCY

Energy Rating Website E3 Equipment Energy Efficiency

 

Electricity - Can I complain to someone about prices?

If you have a problem or dispute with your retailer about billing or another matter, you can contact EWON (opens in a new window)  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.

Electricity - Why is there a service availability charge? Is this the network charge?

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 the service availability charge and the consumption charges you pay your retailer.

Electricity - Where can I find information about historical prices?

Each regulated suppliers’ historical prices are available below:

 EnergyAustralia   Integral Energy  Country Energy
2013              2013  2013
2012   2012  2012
2011   2011  2011
2010  2010  2010
2009  2009  2009
2008  2008  2008
2007  2007  2007
2006  2006  2006
2005  2005  
2004  2004  
2003  2003  
2002  2002  
   2001  

A time series of regulated retail electricity prices in NSW is also provided here. These prices are a weighted average across NSW.  The link contains a price index from 1992/93, and indicative customer bills based on regulated prices from 1999/00.

 

Electricity - What are the maximum prices and charges for electricity in residential parks in NSW?
Electricity - Are there any government assistance measures available to help households with their energy costs?

HAVING TROUBLE PAYING YOUR BILL

If you are having trouble paying your gas or electricity bill, the first step is to speak to your energy company. 

All energy retailers in NSW have programs to help customers with financial difficulties to pay their energy bills. 

Your energy company's phone number will be on your bill.

ENERGY ACCOUNTS PAYMENT ASSISTANCE SCHEME (EAPA)

You may also be eligible for financial help through the NSW Government's Energy Accounts Payment Assistance Scheme (EAPA).  This scheme funds the provision of EAPA vouchers to people having trouble paying their energy bills as the result of an emergency or crisis situation.  The vouchers are provided to participating community welfare organisations - including St Vincent de Paul, the Salvation Army, Anglicare, the Smith Family, Lifeline and some Indigenous, migrant, neighbourhood and community centres.  The $30 vouchers can only be used to pay natural gas or electricity bills.  Customers need to apply to one of these organisations which will consider their circumstances and, if appropriate, provide assistance. The organisation assesses the customer's situation and determines each case based on individual circumstances.

Here is further information on the EAPA scheme (including a list of participating community welfare organisations), or phone the Energy Information Line on 1300 136 888.

PAYMENT PLANS

Energy retailers must develop, implement and publish detailed Customer Hardship Charters. 

The Charters should include flexible payment options and appropriate financial counselling services.

If you are having trouble paying your bill, contact your energy retailer and ask them about the most suitable payment plan option for your circumstances.

Here is information on ways to save money

Can you provide more details about the Energy Savings Scheme?

See the answers to questions that are asked often about the Energy Savings Scheme.

Solar - Where can I find information about PV systems and the Solar Bonus Scheme?

Here is general information on solar PV units.

The NSW Department of Trade & Investment, Regional Infrastructure & Services has developed some frequently asked questions about solar PV systems and the Solar Bonus Scheme. This includes information about Solar Bonus Scheme eligibility, tariff payments and metering arrangements. Here are the  frequently asked questions (opens in a new window)  .

IPART also has a fact sheet which explains the characteristics of PV systems in NSW and some key messages for those thinking of installing a system.

Here is further information on solar feed-in tariffs.

Solar - Where can I find information on feed-in tariffs being offered by retailers?

The AER's Energy Made Easy (opens in a new window)  website provides information on feed-in tariffs available in your area.

For general information about solar feed-in tariffs.

IPART also has a fact sheet which explains the characteristics of PV systems in NSW and some key messages for those thinking of installing a system.

Solar - Why doesn't my electricity retailer pay me the full retail price (ie: '1 for 1') for electricity I export to the grid from my solar PV system?

Retailers would lose money if they were required to offer a feed-in tariff that is equal to the retail price. Retailers would then receive the retail price for the electricity they sell that is generated by PV customers, but they would incur substantial cost in doing so. Once the PV energy passes through the customer’s meter to the grid and on to other customers, retailers will incur immediate costs for use of the network and for green schemes. The value of electricity generated by PV units is considerably less than the retail price. A 1 for 1 feed-in tariff would require the retailers to subsidise these customers. The cost of a subsidy would need to be recovered either through higher electricity prices or the NSW budget.

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