What’s the average electricity bill in Australia?

Average Electricity bill

If you’ve ever found yourself wondering how your electricity bills stack up against the average, you’re not the only one – everyone wants to know if they’re getting a good deal, and comparing their costs to the average is a good way to find out.

Lucky for us, the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) published their Residential Electricity Price Trends 2021 report, which gives a little insight into average usage and cost of households on the National Electricity Market (NEM). We’ve used their data in this blog to give you a sense of how your usage compares.


Electricity usage by state

Electricity usage varies quite a lot from state to state, where different climates, property types and heating/cooling appliances affect how much electricity we use. That’s why it’s best to look at the average usage in your state to compare your electricity costs, rather than a national average. In 2020-2021, consumption around the country looked like this:

State

Most common house type

2021 annual consumption (kWh)

QLD (Energex network)

2-3 person household, no mains gas, no solar PV, no swimming pool, controlled load and on a market offer

5,650

NSW

2-3 person household, mains gas, air conditioning, no controlled load, no swimming pool and on a market offer

4,362

ACT

2-3 person household, mains gas, electricity water heating, electric water heating and on the regulated standing offer

7,545

VIC

2-3 person household, mains gas, no controlled load, no swimming pool, electric space heating and on market offer

4,727

SA

2 person household, mains gas and on a market offer

5,000

TAS

2 person household, no mains gas, electric space, electric water heating and on the regulated standing offer

7,666


Average electricity bill in Australia

To calculate the average bill, the AEMC used the lowest offer from each power company to calculate the average price (the more customers a company had, the more their price counted towards the average). Then, they multiplied that by the average household usage to get an annual cost.

Based on the household types in the table above, these are the average electricity bills for a 2 person household (SA, TAS) or 2-3 person household (QLD, NSW, ACT, VIC).

State

Average ¢ per kWh

Annual cost

Average electricity bill in QLD (Energex network)

21.69

$1226

Average electricity bill in NSW

28.72

$1253

Average electricity bill in ACT

26.56

$2004

Average electricity bill in VIC

27.29

$1290

Average electricity bill in SA

34.84

$1742

Average electricity bill in TAS

26.67

$2044

Note: The average per kWh price above reflects the variable and fixed costs associated with electricity usage. Normally we see these separately on our energy bills: a usage charge (based on the amount of energy used) and a supply charge (a fixed, daily charge).


Average monthly electricity bill in Australia

Prefer a monthly figure to an annual one? The average monthly electric bill (based on the numbers in the report) is below. Keep in mind that electricity bills are rarely a consistent amount – they vary with the seasons as our needs for heating, cooling and lighting change – so the amount below is just an indication.

Average monthly electricity bill in Australia by State

If you like the idea of paying a similar amount each time for your energy, some power companies let you do just that with a payment smoothing tool, like SmoothPay.

State

Annual cost based on most common household type

Average monthly cost

QLD (Energex network)

$1226

$102.16

NSW

$1253

$104.41

ACT

$2004

$167

VIC

$1290

$107.50

SA

$1742

$145.67

TAS

$2044

$170.33


How to nab the best deal

When you sign up to a power plan, you’re getting the rates that your power company has set in response to the changing cost of providing you with electricity, including changes and trends on the wholesale electricity market, and charges from the distribution networks for maintaining electricity infrastructure.

Because these costs change, power companies often change their electricity prices accordingly. That means you can check in with your power company every so often to see if a better deal is available, and sign up to that offer if it suits you better.


Hold up, aren’t you missing a few states?

Thanks for noticing. The AEMC pricing report we used here covers areas in the National Electricity Market (NEM), which excludes WA, the NT, and parts of QLD. In WA, electricity pricing is regulated by the State Government and recent changes to the Darwin-Katherine Interconnected System in the NT, means that accurate pricing data couldn’t be sourced for the report.

This blog was written in January 2022 and information may have changed since.

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