Electricity retailers and on-sellers

This guide helps you make an informed decision when choosing an electricity retailer. Information is also provided for on-supply customers to help calculate on-selling charges.

Your retailer will bill you directly for the electricity you use. The amount you pay includes the cost of transporting the electricity along your distributor's poles and wires to your property.

Please contact your retailer directly if you have questions about:

  • contracts
  • electricity bills (including payment difficulties)
  • electricity prices
  • payment options
  • green power options
  • disconnection
  • reconnection.

Tips for choosing or changing electricity retailer

How to shop around

Customers in South East Queensland are able to choose their electricity retailer. This means you can shop around for an electricity retail offer that suits your household or small business.

There are many ways to shop around for electricity. Just remember:

  • Click the Australian Government’s free and independent comparison site Energy Made Easy
  • Call your current retailer and ask for a better deal  
  • Ask someone you trust for help to shop around.  

You do have a ten day cooling off period if you change your mind.

Things to remember

Some offers may include a pay on time discount or require you to enter into a direct debit arrangement to receive a greater discount. Other offers may pay you different feed-in-tariffs for rooftop solar. Offers may also include late payment or other fees.

Different conditions apply to different offers so it is important to read the offer conditions before you enter into a new contract.

You can switch retailers if you already have the Solar Bonus Scheme that closed on 10 July 2012 provided you maintain your eligibility.

Electricity retail price deregulation

Retail electricity prices in South East Queensland (SEQ) will be deregulated from 1 July 2016. Over time, electricity retailers are expected to provide customers with a greater range of offers following deregulation. This means that electricity customers in SEQ (i.e. Energex’s network service area) will  increasingly have more choice.

Regional customers outside of SEQ (see below) are not affected by these changes.

The Queensland Government has launched a comprehensive electricity consumer education campaign to help customers shop around for a better electricity deal. Visit qld.gov.au/energysave to see how shopping around is not hard, doesn’t take long and could save you money.

To receive updates, you can also follow the Department of Energy and Water Supply on social media.

And remember to regularly shop around to make sure you are always on the best electricity plan for your circumstances.

For customers outside South East Queensland

Ergon Energy is a government-owned, non-competitive electricity retailer and may only charge its customers the notified prices (i.e. no market contracts, no discounts).

  • Once large or small customers leave Ergon Energy to take up a market contract with another retailer, they cannot return.  
  • Small customers who leave Ergon Energy and take up a market contract with another retailer are entitled to be supplied by that retailer at the government-set regulated prices when their market contract expires.  
  • However, this obligation doesn't extend to other retailers, so customers may have no option but to stay with that retailer.  
  • For small customers the terms and conditions are the same as those for customers supplied by Ergon Energy, but large customers will have to negotiate their own terms and conditions.  
  • Customers should be aware of this and be certain of what they are committing to before they sign a market contract.  
  • If large customers have any doubt or are uncertain about what they are being told by a retailer, they should seek the services of an energy broker.  

Find out more

  • Learn more about electricity contracts.
  • Compare prices of electricity contracts available from retailers.
  • Find out about the classification of electricity customers and your consumer rights.
  • Call the Australian Energy Regulator infoline on 1300 585 165 for more information. 
  • Visit the Energy and Water Ombudsman Queensland or call 1800 662 837 if you have experienced issues with your energy retailer.

  • On-selling electricity

    On-selling electricity refers to an arrangement where the owner, occupier or user of premises supplies and sells electricity to premises occupants (the receivers).

    From 1 July 2015, the National Retail Law and Rules commenced in Queensland.

    The rules set out the exemptions regime for anyone on-selling energy to tenants under the National Electricity Customer Framework (NECF).

    • All on-sellers of electricity will have to apply to the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) as an exempt electricity seller, unless in a deemed class.
    • The national energy retail regulations provide similar protections to small on-supplied customers, as previously provided to small customers (less than 100 megawatt hours electricity consumption per year) through the Electricity Industry Code.

    On-sellers who operate their own private network must also gain an exemption from the requirement to be a registered network service provider.

    Types of on-sellers may include:

    • shopping centre owners
    • caravan park owners
    • owners of manufactured home parks
    • owners of blocks of flats and
    • bodies corporate associated with blocks of residential or commercial units.

    Consumer protections

    An onseller under the national rules must abide by the conditions set by the AER under their exemption class, when selling electricity or gas to tenants. The new legislation will provide greater protections for customer's on-supplied electricity, including;

    Have your say

    Public consultation on a Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS), On-supply customer access to energy rebates and the Energy and Water Ombudsman Queensland (PDF, 443.2KB) has now closed. Further updates will be provided once the department has considered the options.

    Disputes with your onseller

    A small exempt customer who is unable to resolve a billing dispute with their on-seller, can contact the Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA) or the Body Corporate Management Committee (BCCM) for help.

    Contact the RTA on (1300 366 311) if you have previously:

    • lodged a dispute resolution request (Form 16) with the RTA and have an enquiry about your dispute; or
    • sent paperwork to the RTA regarding an alleged offence under the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008, and you have an enquiry about your file.

    Contact the BCCM on 1800 060 119 or email: BCCM@justice.qld.gov.au for information on the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997 and how this Act applies to you.

    Regulation

    The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) regulates the on-supply and selling of electricity in a private network. The AER's Exempt Selling Guidelines sets out the AER's approach to retail exemptions, including a full list of the types of activities which are exempt from the requirement to hold a retailer authorisation.

    Persons, who own, operate or control a privately owned network, will need a Network exemption from the requirement to register with the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) as a network service provider.

    The National Energy Retail Law 2011 contains provisions in the on-selling of electricity to embedded network customers whilst the Electricity Act 1994 contains provisions for the right of a customer to install their own meter.

    The regulator's role includes monitoring and enforcing compliance with obligations in the retail law, rules and regulations.

    Find out more


    Calculating electricity on-supply charges

    Various State legislation specifies what you can charge your residential customers, for example:

    • the Manufactured Homes (Residential Parks) Act 2003 applies to owners/managers of Residential Parks who on-supply electricity to manufactured home owners – contact the Residential Services Unit of the Department of Housing and Public Works for more information;
    • The Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 applies to tenancy agreements for caravans, caravan sites, houseboats and rented manufactured homes – contact the Residential Tenancies Authority Queensland for more information; and
    • The Body Corporate and Community Management Regulation 2008 applies to Bodies Corporate who on-supply electricity to home owners – contact the Office of the Commissioner for Body Corporate and Community Management for more information.
    • For more information on your obligations as an on-seller of energy, refer to the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) website.

    Information for Urth Energy electricity customers

    On Thursday, 2 February 2017, Urth Energy Pty Ltd’s authorisation to trade in the National Electricity Market was revoked, following its entry into administration. This means Urth Energy can no longer supply customers with electricity.

    The National Energy Retail Law protects customers of failed energy retailers. If you are a customer of Urth Energy, you will not be disconnected. Your electricity will continue to be supplied by another retailer without you having to do anything; this is the Retailer of Last Resort scheme. The Australian Energy Regulator is responsible for administering this.

    For further information please visit the Australian Energy Regulator's (AER) website or call the AER Hotline on 1300 055 390.

    Solar feed-in tariff

    For customers who are currently receiving 44 centSolar Bonus Scheme feed-in tariff (noting you may also being receiving an amount in addition to this from your retailer), you will continue to receive the tariff provided ongoing eligibility requirements are met.