Department of Energy and Water Supply

Electricity tariffs and charges explained

In South East Queensland (SEQ), there are many retailer businesses who sell electricity. Customers can choose to be supplied on a market contract (often at a discount) or remain on a standard retail contract with their retailer. Customers are encouraged to shop around and compare offers to find the best electricity deal for them. SEQ customers can use our electricity consumer education campaign to start electricity shopping and start saving now.

For customers outside SEQ, the Queensland Competition Authority (QCA) reviews the regulated electricity tariffs each year and determines new prices based on a number of factors. These regulated tariffs or prices are also referred to as 'notified prices'. The QCA has released its final determination for regulated retail electricity prices for 2017–18.

Read the current regulated prices for regional Queensland

In regional Queensland, retail competition is not as strong as SEQ, meaning most customers are on a standard retail contract with Ergon Energy.

What are the charges on my electricity bill?

Each residential electricity bill is made up of different charges but generally you're charged for having access to electricity (a daily supply charge) and for how much you use (a usage charge). Some retail offers or tariffs also include a charge for how fast you use electricity (a demand charge), and usually have a lower price for usage.

Daily supply charge

  • Also known as a service charge, fixed charge, service fee, or service to property charge.
  • Charged regardless of the amount of electricity used by customers.
  • Charged in cents per day or dollars per billing period.
  • Covers costs that do not depend on actual energy usage (e.g. those associated with maintaining poles and wires, and customer administration). 
  • Some retailers include metering charges in the service fee and some have a separate metering charge. Information on metering charges can be found below.

Usage charge

  • Also known as a consumption charge, variable charge or energy use charge.
  • Is charged for the amount of electricity you use.
  • Charged in cents per kilowatt-hour (c/kWh).

Demand charge

  • A new type of charge for households and small businesses in Queensland.
  • Is the average rate of use of electricity over a 30 minute period.
  • Is based on how much power a customer draws from the network at a particular time.
  • Is charged in dollars per kilowatt of maximum demand per month.
  • Only apply to specific tariffs.

What tariffs are available?

The tariffs listed below are those determined by the QCA. Regulated tariffs are only available to customers in regional Queensland.

Electricity retailers in SEQ will generally offer similar tariffs, but may call them something different. You should contact your retailer to discuss the right tariff for you.

Tariff 11: standard residential tariff

  • The standard residential retail electricity tariff for general domestic/residential electricity supply. The majority of Queensland customers are on this tariff.
  • Customers pay the same price for each unit of electricity used, whatever the time of day, plus a daily supply charge.

Tariff 12A: time of use

  • This tariff has high prices that apply during peak times on weekdays in the summer months only, with lower prices the rest of the time, plus a daily supply charge.
  • Customers that can reduce their usage in peak times or shift their use to off-peak times may benefit from this type of tariff.

Tariff 14: Demand

  • A new type of tariff for residential customers, Tariff 14 incorporates demand charges during peak periods in summer, but has lower daily supply and usage charges.

Tariffs 31 and 33: economy or controlled load tariffs, or limited guaranteed supply

  • Tariffs 31 and 33 are cheaper than Tariff 11 and may be used for hardwired appliances such as hot water systems and pool pumps.
  • Unlike time-of-use tariffs, you do not need to change usage behaviour in order to benefit from these prices. The cheaper prices are offered because electricity may not be available all the time on these tariffs.  
    • Tariff 31 guarantees supply for 8 hours per day. 
    • Tariff 33 guarantees supply for 18 hours per day.
  • Residential customers in regional Queensland must be on Tariff 11 (or one of the time-of-use tariffs) before being able to access Tariffs 31 or 33.

Find more tariff information for farmers and irrigators.

Metering charges

Since 1 July 2015, electricity metering costs have not been included in electricity prices set by the QCA. Retailers are responsible for incorporating metering charges into your bill.

This is not a new cost because metering charges were previously included in network charges.

  • Tariff 11's metering charge is 9.189 cents per day (GST incl.) 
  • Tariff 31 and Tariff 33's charge is 2.757 cents per day (GST incl.).

These charges pay for the costs associated with providing meter services, such as:

  • purchasing the metering equipment
  • the onsite connection of a meter
  • works to inspect, test, maintain, repair and replace meters
  • quarterly or other regular reading of the meter
  • processing, storage, delivery and management of metering data.

Visit Ergon Energy Retail's metering services charge webpage for more information, or contact your electricity retailer.

Find out more

Visit Ergon Energy Retail's metering services charge webpage for more information, or contact your electricity retailer.

Read about choosing or changing your electricity retailers, or your rights.

Last updated:
7 July 2017
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