Department of Energy and Water Supply

Electricity tariffs and charges explained

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 sometimes referred to as 'notified prices'.

Read the current regulated prices

There are many retailer businesses who sell electricity in South East Queensland, so you may pay a different price than that set by the QCA. Some customers are sold electricity on a market contract (often at a discount) rather than a standard retail contract.

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 service fee) and for how much you use (a consumption charge and/or a demand charge).

Service fee

  • Also known as service charge, fixed charge, daily supply charge, 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, for 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.

Consumption charge

  • Also known as a usage 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 in Queensland; based on how much electricity a household draws from the network at a particular time.
  • Charged in dollars per kilowatt of maximum demand per month.
  • It's only applicable to specific tariffs.

What tariffs are available?

The tariffs listed below are those determined by the QCA.  Electricity retailers generally offer these tariffs, but may call them something different.

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 rate for unit of electricity consumed, whatever the time of day.

Tariffs 12 and 12A: time of use

  • These tariffs have a higher rate for electricity used during peak periods and cheaper rates for electricity used at other times.
  • Customers that can reduce their consumption in peak times or shift their consumption to off-peak times may benefit from these tariffs.
  • Tariff 12 is available to customers in the Energex network area in South East Queensland, while Tariff 12A is available to customers in the Ergon Energy network area in regional Queensland.
  • Tariff 12A has high prices that apply during peak times on weekdays in the summer months only, with lower prices the rest of the time.

Tariff 14: Demand

  • A new type of tariff for residential customers, Tariff 14 has expensive demand charges during peak periods in summer, but cheaper fixed and consumption charges.
  • Tariff 14 is available to customers in the Ergon Energy network area in regional Queensland.

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 rates. The cheaper rates 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 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

From 1 July 2015, electricity metering costs will not be included in electricity prices set by the QCA. Retailers will be responsible for incorporating metering charges into your bill in 2015–16.

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

  • Tariff 11's metering charge is 9.67 cents per day
  • Tariff 31 and Tariff 33's charge is 2.89 cents per day.

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.

Find out more

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

Last updated:
23 November 2015