It’s official: Australians pay Top Dollar for electricity

rate of return

Australian households pay energy companies more for their electricity than any other country in the OECD – a group of 35 countries that includes the US, the UK and Canada.

The report, from energy economists Carbon Market Economics, finds:

  • Australia has the world’s most overpriced electricity before tax.
  • Victoria, South Australia, New South Wales and Queensland are the most expensive states for electricity in Australia.
  • All Australian states and territories are in the Top 10 OECD countries for electricity prices.

Electricity prices rose on July 1 by more than $200 for average households in some states, and have now increased by 120 per cent in a decade around Australia.

SA and NSW recorded double-digit increases in July, while QLD has seen the biggest increase in the past 10 years at 150 per cent, based on ABS data.

The analysis was commissioned by the Big Energy Switch campaign, launched to encourage group-discounted energy offers.

Campaign director Joel Gibson said the report confirms what Australian billpayers already suspect, that they are paying top dollar.

“Only higher government taxes make final electricity prices more expensive in some nations, such as Portugal, Germany and Denmark,” Mr Gibson said.

“Australian Governments of every stripe have failed to control power prices, so it’s time to see what a national People Power campaign can achieve.”

The Big Energy Switch campaign is seeking 40,000 Australian households to help unlock group-discounted energy offers to fight the high cost of power. In states where switching is still not possible, the campaign will petition state governments to stop stalling the introduction of choice and competition.

State by state

VICTORIA: VIC has the OECD’s highest pre-tax electricity prices, with both standing offers and discounted market offers out in front of other countries.

QUEENSLAND: QLD has seen the biggest increase in power prices in the past decade, with the ABS electricity price index rising by 151 per cent since 2006.

NEW SOUTH WALES: NSW standing offers (those with no discounts) are higher than any OECD country, and market (discounted) offers are only behind UK and Ireland.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA: Based on June data, SA had the OECD’s second-highest pre-tax electricity prices, with both standing offers and discounted offers out in front. SA has since seen an average price rise of about 12 per cent, likely putting it on top of the OECD.

WESTERN AUSTRALIA: WA is behind only Portugal, Japan, Ireland and the UK, and has seen electricity prices almost double since 2006. Consumers have no choice of retailers.

TASMANIA: Tasmania has recently been through power supply crisis, with dams at record lows and a broken submarine cable. Consumers have no choice of retailers.