Saving on expenses such as your electricity bill is a major priority for many Australian SME’s, but finding competitive energy rates can be both time-consuming and challenging. Many businesses may find themselves wondering how exactly their rates are calculated, how they stack up against residential prices, what energy retailers are available in their area and most importantly, how can they get a great deal for their business. Since we believe the process of finding cheaper business energy should be easy and quick, we’ve answered all these questions for you below.

Business vs residential electricity charges

Just like your home electricity account, Australian businesses with metered premises located in the following states and territories, are able to shop between energy suppliers energy retailers to take advantage of cheaper electricity rates, higher discounts and other more favourable contract terms.

  • New South Wales
  • Victoria
  • South East Queensland (including Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Ipswich)
  • Australian Capital Territory
  • South Australia

Business energy users located in Western Australia, Tasmania, parts of regional Queensland and the Northern Territory have less retailer choice and electricity rates continue to be set within a government regulated market.

Most retailers offer separate business electricity plans business plans with different terms from residential electricity offers. Whether you’re looking to invest your savings back into growing your business, or lock in rates and an attractive discount for a set period to provide certainty over your business costs, Make It Cheaper’s business energy experts can guide you through the process of finding a better business energy deal for you.

Is electricity cheaper for businesses?

In the same way a residential electricity rate is calculated, your business electricity rate will depend on a number of factors, such as your energy usage by kW/h, business electricity supplier you choose to go with, and the actual retailers available to you base on where you located in Australia. Rates for business energy are determined by different variables (see Understanding your business electricity rates below) and there are a number of discounts available to businesses to help them find additional savings (see Business electricity rate discounts below).

To ensure you get the best energy rate for your business, speak to any of our Make It Cheaper business energy experts who’ll compare electricity prices on your behalf.

Where to find business electricity rates from energy suppliers

All Australian retailers in deregulated markets (listed above) are required to clearly set out business electricity rates in an Energy Price Fact Sheet.

Learn more about Australian energy retailer pricing requirements.

Make It Cheaper Australia compare business electricity rates and plans across a panel of leading energy retailers. You can find out more information about retailers on our energy retailers page:

Detailed comparison of business electricity rates can be a time consuming process – while all rates are publicly accessible online, differences in components of pricing such as supply charge, discounting, peak/off-peak and shoulder timing create additional complexity that can significantly affect your final bill.

Online comparison services such as Make It Cheaper do the hard work for Australian businesses looking to find the cheapest electricity rates.

Understanding business electricity rates

The total cost of your business electricity is divided between a fixed daily ‘supply’ charge and a variable usage charge.

Variable usage charges can be structured in several different ways depending on your business energy plan:

  • Single rate business electricity tariffs – one standard kW/h rate that is the same at all times of the day and and all days of the year
  • Time of use business electricity tariffs – different kW/h rates apply based on the time of day the energy is consumed. Typically, a ‘peak hour’ rate for periods of highest demand, an ‘off peak’ rate and ‘shoulder’ rates that sit between peak and off-peak times. Different providers and electricity plans can also define these times at different hours of the day and days the week so it is important to understand the patterns of your business electricity usage to properly compare time of use tariffs.
  • Controlled load tariffs – a special rate that typically applies to separately metered appliances such as a timed electric hot water heater that will only run during off-peak hours.

For most businesses, selecting a business electricity plan and choosing between single rate tariffs or taking advantage of lower off peak rates under a time of use plan can have significant cost implications to your overall bill. Consider how your business operates, and whether there are regular patterns to your overall electricity consumption. A business energy specialist at Make It Cheaper can help you select a better electricity plan for your account.

Business electricity rate discounts

In addition to the supply and kW/h usage rates applicable for a particular business energy plan, retailers will often offer two types of discounts on top of usage rates:

  • Conditional discounts which will only be applied if certain conditions are met. For example, a pay on time discount applied as long as the bill payment is not made past the due date
  • Guaranteed discounts which will be applied throughout the contract term and are not contingent on any special conditions

The discounts offered by an energy retailer will differ from retailer to retailer, but are great opportunities for you to maximise savings for your business that can be spent better elsewhere.

Which electricity supplier has the most competitive rates?

Because of the different component charges – supply costs, usage tariffs, peak/off-peak rates and discounts – working out if a new electricity provider or plan will actually save you money requires accurately calculating all of these variables against your existing and rates. It’s not enough to simply compare the size of discounts offered by retailers as their actual tariff rates can differ: a large overall headline discount does not necessarily mean the largest saving.

Comparing business electricity prices

The cost of your business electricity can vary significantly between different energy providers and be the difference between thousands to tens of thousands in annual savings depending on your level of usage. Just imagine how much further you could grow your business by freeing up unnecessary costs, such as in your energy bill.

If you have a recent bill, a business energy expert at Make It Cheaper Australia can do the hard work for you and compare multiple offers from our panel of up 10 Australian retailers and perform the switching for you.

With our innovative DiFY (Do it For You) product, we can ensure you’ll automatically be searching for a more competitive deal every time your contract comes up for renewal, and we’ll even switch for you without having go through a comparison phone call again. Learn more about DiFY.

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