Where can you find the cheapest electricity in Australia?
Now that many Australian states have opened up full retail competition, electricity prices may drop throughout the country.
However, you might be curious to find how your state or territory compares to others Down Under.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), there is very little difference between the states and territories when it comes to average expenditure on electricity and gas prices.
The proportion of income that Australians spend on energy has remained around 2.6 per cent since 2009, with the average household in 2012 spending around $39 a week on this cost.
However, ABS figures from September 2013 state those in ACT spent the most on their energy bills, racking up $49 on average per week. Those in Victoria weren't far behind at $45 and Tasmania was a close third at $44.
The state with the lowest electricity and gas prices according to the ABS was Queensland, where residents spent an average of $30 on their household energy bills.
The ABS report also went into further detail, working out what these prices were as a percentage of gross household income.
In ACT, the cost of energy, including the cost of fuel for vehicles, worked out to be 4.5 per cent of gross total income - the lowest percentage in the country. This means ACT residents have the cheapest electricity in Australia.
On the other hand, Tasmanian households spend an average of 6.9 per cent of their earnings on energy, which means they're spending the largest proportion of their salary on their energy bills.
No matter where you live in the country, you can do an electricity comparison to find the best deal for your individual needs.
Another way to ensure you have lower gas and electricity prices is to install a renewable energy source and benefit from the advantages of a feed-in tariff.
Instead of paying money to your electricity suppliers you can generate your own electricity by harnessing the power of the sun.
Demand for these units has increased, and ABS data indicates that in 2001, 118 of these units were installed, while in 2011 this rose to 639,803.
Another way to see a drop in your power prices is to increase efficiency in your home by switching items off at the wall, purchasing efficient household appliances and installing insulation.
These measures reduce the amount of electricity your household will use, which in turn will lower your energy prices.
Posted by Tim Wolfenden.