Which Australian States Have The Cheapest Electricity?

It’s Power Week here at Gizmodo Australia, where we’ll look at the basics of the juice that runs all our highly prized gadgets, how you can maximise it and what the future holds. First up: You can’t have power week without the basics of power, but pricing remains a highly contentious issue.

There’s a lot of posturing regarding how much we pay for power, but how much is it on a state by state basis?

This used to be a rather fixed price monopoly situation, with most users simply using their region-based provider’s power because that’s all there was; with deregulation of the market it’s a rather more complex situation, especially depending on your usage scenario. Still, there’s no doubt that power is costly stuff, and it’s not something that’s likely to get cheaper any time soon.

Some providers offer a combination of power and gas. Most offer green alternatives, but most of them charge more for the privilege. Switch providers and you may get a month or two of reduced rates. Virtually nobody lists a flat “price” for power anywhere, making it an absolute minefield for consumers to wade through.

So for the purposes of comparison, I’ve used a number of different comparison websites to draw up a rough table; this isn’t intended to be a complete definitive list, but more of a guide to expectations; nor is it an endorsement of any particular site or electricity provider. For each state, I’ve chosen the most basic postcode and a home environment of three bedrooms and five occupants, and taken the “average” yearly estimate from each site, both high and low.

SwitchWise: $2585-$3975
iSelect: $1658-$2162
Shoparound: $2634.44-$3637.44

New South Wales
SwitchWise: $2597-$4731
iSelect: $1693-$2305
ShopAround: $2748.97-$4364.49

SwitchWise: $1889-$2816
iSelect: $1753-$2217
Shoparound: $2424.23-$3037.43

South Australia
SwitchWise: $2803-$4374
iSelect: $2224-$2438
Shoparound: $2996.71-$3956.58

SwitchWise: $3989-$4872
iSelect: Not listed
Shoparound: Not listed

Western Australia
SwitchWise: $2828-$3576
iSelect: Not listed
Shoparound: Not listed

Northern Territory
SwitchWise: No products available with those specifications (site lists estimate of $2826 – $2950)
iSelect: Not listed
Shoparound: Not listed

SwitchWise: $2022-$3935
iSelect: Not listed
Shoparound: Not listed

One obvious observation here is that iSelect either knows of much cheaper plans, or presumes on a much lower usage rate than SwitchWise or Shoparound; for what it’s worth, iSelect’s energy carrier list appears to be much smaller than that used by SwitchWise, even in those states where they compete head to head.

However, there does seem to be broad agreement in the figures; if you want cheap power, move to Victoria. I’m not based there, though — how do those figures match up with Victorian reality?

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