Who sets electricity and gas prices?
Retailers in NSW set their own retail prices. They set prices to cover the costs of providing energy services, which include wholesale costs, the costs of transporting energy through the networks, their retail costs and margin, and any environmental costs.
In NSW, you can choose the retailer and the electricity and gas plans you sign up to. See more information about managing your electricity account.
Competition should keep energy prices as low as possible because if retailers increase their price above their costs, they will lose customers to other suppliers. Over the longer term, this competitive pressure provides an incentive for retailers to find more efficient ways of supplying electricity.
What is the role of the Australian Energy Regulator (AER)?
If you have not entered into a plan or “market offer” for electricity, then there is a limit on how much your retailer can charge (for a given level of consumption). This is called the “default market offer” or “DMO” and is set by the Australian Energy Regulator (AER). The DMO applies to around 10% of customers in NSW.
The DMO increased on 1 July by around 20%. However, we expect that there will be offers in the market that remain 10% to 20% lower than the DMO.
To help you compare prices, retailers must compare their market offers to the default market offer. The is no DMO for gas.
See information about why electricity prices are increasing.
What can I do if I am unhappy about price increases?
To ensure you are receiving the best deal possible, you should shop around on the Australian Government price comparison website Energy Made Easy. You may find cheaper prices than you are currently paying.
You should contact your retailer for help if have trouble paying your energy bills due to hardship. Retailers are required to have hardship policies for their residential customers.
We also encourage you find out if you are eligible and apply for rebates, grants and schemes. The types of assistance include:
- Bill relief payment through the National Energy Bill Relief website for payment available in financial year 2023-24 for households and small businesses.
- Rebates through the Find an energy rebate website. You can book an appointment with a specialist to check if you are eligible for assistance.
- A one-off payment through the Energy Accounts Payments Assistance scheme website.
The NSW Government also provides advice on small changes you can make to help reduce your energy consumption.
Does IPART have a role?
IPART does not set energy prices, but we do have several roles related to energy prices:
- We monitor the prices and competition in the electricity and gas markets. We will report on the price changes in market offers and the default standing offer in our November 2023 market monitoring report which will be submitted to the Minister for Energy.
- Each year we publish a “solar feed-in tariff” guide each year about what you can expect your retailer to pay you for your solar energy
- We have been asked by the NSW Government to review price protections for energy customers in embedded networks
- We review the Renewable Energy Sector Board Plan to make sure it protects the financial interests of consumers.
Please see the answers to our frequently asked questions.