3 major influences on the national energy market

3 major influences on the national energy market

Atlassian founder and tech billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes often makes the news for his eye-watering wealth and the huge number of successful start-ups he’s funded. But in February, he hit the headlines for a totally different reason, when he made a surprise $8bn bid to take over AGL Energy.

It wasn’t a solo mission: Cannon-Brookes joined forces with Canadian asset management company Brookfield to form Grok Ventures, in an effort to broker the deal. The extraordinary takeover bid was ultimately rejected by the energy giant, who claimed the bid “materially undervalued the company” and said a premium of at least 30% on its share price would be needed for the bid to potentially succeed. 

For those wondering why Cannon-Brookes is suddenly keen to get involved in the energy sector, it’s all about the environment. Grok aims to bring forward AGL’s exit from coal-fired power by 2030. If successful, the new owners would also halt a planned demerger that would see the company’s fossil fuel assets broken off into a separate entity, Accel Energy.

That’s not the only major event playing out across the national electricity market as 2022 progresses. Origin Energy also made a major announcement in February, sharing that they have brought forward plans to close their coal-fired power plant – Australia’s largest one – seven years early.

Origin Energy confirmed that it aims to retire Eraring Power Station, north of Sydney in the Hunter region, in 2025. Previously, it had set a retirement target of 2032. The company intends to repurpose the Eraring site to install large-scale battery storage of up to 700 megawatts on the site, in alignment with their move into renewable energy. 

Around 230 employees and 200 contractors will be impacted by the closure, with Origin to consult with employees and unions about redeployment and retraining opportunities. While this move aligns with the growth in renewable energy as the cheapest form of electricity generation right now, without clear government policy and oversight, we’re at risk of future closures that could have significant impacts on electricity prices, and on regional economies that depend on coal.

Lastly, with Putin’s invasion into the Ukraine in late February, it remains unclear just how much of a trickle down impact the Russia-Ukraine war will have on the global economy and energy markets. 

The conflict has already caused stock market turmoil and has sent oil prices higher, despite the International Energy Agency’s members’ decision to release 60 million barrels of oil from emergency stockpiles. Normally, this flood of supply would help to slow price growth, but this time, it didn’t stop Brent crude (the international benchmark for oil prices) from hitting record highs. 

With the potential for ongoing shortages of oil from Russia and greater uncertainty ahead, there are many moving parts that could impact supply and energy prices globally in the months ahead. 

Get ahead of potential price changes by locking in a competitive energy contract for your business today.

The benefits of an energy review

The benefits of an energy review

As a recurrent expense, your energy costs can add up fast. In deregulated regions with many providers, you can reduce your energy expenses. You only need to switch to a cheaper provider.

Often, this starts with comparing rates between different providers. Once you identify a cheaper provider, you can start the paperwork. You need to cancel with your current supplier and sign a new contract to secure these rates.

How Does Comparing Electricity Plans Help Your Business?

Comparing electricity plans can find you a competitive provider in your state or territory. If you do it alone, this is not a straight forward process. To compare energy plans, you must understand what goes into your bill.

Who Is the Cheapest Electricity Provider in Australia?

There is no specific answer to this question. Every supplier will base their charges on several components.

Finding the cheapest suppliers will require actual calculations. You need to compare each component against other energy providers. You then calculate the totals to find the cheapest rate including if there are discounts and the time of day you use most of your energy.

While looking to save on your energy usage, you need to look beyond the headline discounts. The actual tariff rates might differ. A huge discount or welcome credits rarely translates to the largest long term energy savings for your business.

The quickest way to find savings with a free comprehensive comparison, is by providing Make it Cheaper with a recent bill so they can give you an accurate assessment of the offers in market.

Understanding Energy Comparison: Electricity Plans, Tariffs and Discounts

In Australia, your business energy plan will fall in a regulated or deregulated market. Typically if you are a business in a deregulated market you can switch between suppliers to enjoy better rates.

Deregulated states and territories include:

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

In regulated regions, you have fewer choices for market comparison. Most of the rates fall under government regulation.

If you are in a deregulated region, you need to compare energy plans from different providers. Make it Cheaper does the comparison for you for free. But first, it is helpful you need to understand what determines the rates you pay.

Understanding Tariffs and Discounts from Energy Providers

The amount you pay in your energy plan comes from a variable usage charge and a fixed daily supply charge. The structure of the variable usage charge will vary based on your business energy plan:

  • Single rate SME electricity tariffs – This is a standard kWh rate. It stays the same at all times throughout the year.
  • Time of use SME electricity tariffs – Here, different kWh rates apply. The rate will change depending on the time of day you consume energy. There are different rates for ‘peak’ and ‘off-peak’ hours. You’ll also have ‘shoulder rates’ for hours between the peak and off-peak times. The definitions of these times will vary by provider.
  • Controlled load tariffs – This is a special tariff for metered appliances. It applies to appliances that only run at off-peak hours such as an electric hot water heater.

Understanding these tariffs and the impact they will have on your electricity and gas bills will save you money.

You should audit and identify business patterns and energy consumption habits. This will help you determine the best energy provider for you in your region.

In addition to tariffs, you can also take advantage of discounts.  You will find varied discounts from different energy providers.

Most energy companies offer two major types of discount plans: 

  • Conditional discounts – You can only enjoy these discounts if you meet certain conditions. A simple example is ‘the pay on time discount’. You will only enjoy this discount if you make all your payments on time.
  • Guaranteed discounts – These apply automatically throughout the contract term. They do not depend on a special set of conditions. Remember once your contract term expires often your discounts can too- so it is important to get an energy comparison when ever your contract expires.

These discounts will vary by retailer. Nonetheless, you can use them to maximise on your energy savings.

Saving on Electricity: Compare Different Plans and Make the Switch

While running a business in Australia, your electricity and gas bills can add up fast. Make it Cheaper can help you compare electricity plans and switch freely between different providers.

Benefits of Switching Your Electricity Plan

You will enjoy several benefits, such as:

Reducing Your Energy Bills

“We have used Make It Cheaper for several years now, with great results. Each time we have received great service and achieved excellent savings. Most recently Lucy Block worked with the retailer to reset our demand charges, reducing our fixed charges by over $150K – a fantastic result! Would definitely recommend Lucy and the team at Make It Cheaper!”

Most Australian businesses pay more than they have to on their electricity, gas and utility plans.

Your energy-saving plan begins with:

  • Understanding your energy usage and what goes into your plan.
  • Comparing plans from different energy companies.
  • Using the information to switch to the provider with the cheapest plan.

Discovering Eco-Friendly Options

Some electricity/gas companies now offer renewable and sustainable energy options. There are more energy companies using wind, hydro, solar and biomass. These renewable sources benefit the environment. 

While switching, you can ask for a cleaner and greener energy provider, often these are more expensive than other plans, however you can ask your energy expert for their advice.

Eco-friendly plans helps improve your sustainability practices. You can even use this information to appeal to the environmentally-conscious customer. 

Bundling Up Services

The energy plans comparison process will often combine your gas and electricity bills. By combining the two, you can use the information to streamline your consumption. mMake It Cheaper will use information from your business to create a custom bundle deal. This plan will offer you big savings on your energy bills. It will also give you access to heavily discounted bundle rates.

Improving Your Service

While making the switch, you can choose:

  • A competitive service provider
  • An energy company with better customer service

If you are not happy with your service provider, consider making the switch today. You can weigh available information to find the energy provider with the best service for you. 

The Cost of Switching

It is easy for your business to compare and switch their electricity and gas providers by using a free energy comparison service like Make it Cheaper. While comparing your energy plans, you only need a recent electricity and or gas bill.

You can upload the bill to Make it Cheaper and start the energy comparison process.

At Make It Cheaper we use the actual readings on your bill and compare them to different energy providers. We will then recommend the best and cheapest energy provider available on our panel.

If you choose to make the switch, we will take charge of the entire process. We will handle all the paperwork and calls from the energy company. The best part is, this service is free. This saves you time and money.

Finding a Better Electricity Deal for Your Business

Your bottom line will appreciate the cost-saving benefits of comparing energy plans and switching to a cheaper provider.

Make It Cheaper makes it easy for you to switch by providing you with all the information you need to make a decision.

Our team of energy savings experts will help you:

  • Assess your bill to understand your current energy plan. 
  • Compare different energy retailers to find a competitive plan for you.
  • Make a recommendation to help you make a decision.
  • Handle all the calls and paperwork from the energy retailers needed to make the switch.

If your business is ready to enjoy energy savings, contact Make It Cheaper today. You can call us at 1300-957-721 or contact us online now for free.

Looking to save on your business energy bill?

We find savings for 4 out of 5 businesses. See how much your business could save.

What is a Network Tariff Review?

What is a Network Tariff Review?

There is no doubt that energy is a complex category and when it comes to commercial energy and MultiSites it can be even more confusing.  MIC Energy Brokers is here to help demystify commercial energy jargon and to help secure competitive energy rates for your business, that will help save you time and your business money. 

Network Tariff Reviews or NTR’s 

You may have seen Network Tariff charges on your energy bill, so what exactly are they? 

Network Tariffs have been a regulated charge set by the network distributor and approved by the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) since 2014. 

These charges cover the creation and maintenance of the poles and wires that deliver electricity to your business. 

For large market or commercial customers, these tariffs are “passed-through” from the distributor and will appear as a separate line item on your energy bill from your retailer. 

Tariffs can change by your network distributor, usually at the start of the Australian financial year for most states or in Victoria on January 1st. 

However, it is unlikely that your retailer will proactively review these charges and, in some circumstances, a one-off event that increases your demand/load could increase your Network Tariff charges, resulting in you ending up on the wrong tariff and end up that you may be overpaying, this is due to your network tariff being unique to the energy requirements of your business. As tariffs are unique to each site, if you have multisites this further complicates the energy landscape,  

How often should I get a tariff review? 

Network tariffs can be changed once a year. MIC Energy Brokers believe that reviewing your network tariff annually is beneficial as although routine price changes only occur once a year, your business’s energy profile may have changed which could impact what you pay for your network tariff charges.  

If you are in Victoria, we recommend that we review your charges in February, or in other states in August, this is so that we have a recent bill with any annual price changes that have been made by the network distributor. 

Secure your free Energy Tariff Review 

Whether or not you are a customer of MIC Energy Brokers, we are happy to provide you a complementary network tariff review. To get in touch email call our commercial team on 1300 957 721.

Business electricity explained

Business electricity explained

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.

Business Energy Saving Tips

Business Energy Saving Tips

Using Make it Cheaper’s expert service to find a better deal for your business energy is one way to help cut the cost you pay for gas and electricity and add welcome dollars to your bottom line, but you should also look to reduce your energy usage wherever possible.

By following our energy saving tips, businesses can significantly cut the cost of their utility bills with little effort or expense. Not only will you reduce the cost of powering your business but you’ll also improve your green credentials and reduce your carbon footprint.

Air conditioning

It’s important to choose an air-conditioning system suitable for the size of space you are trying to cool. The power of air-conditioning systems are measured in Kilowatts, it’s recommended that you use 125 Watts per square meter of floor area to be cooled (in living/work areas).

When purchasing large electrical items ensure you pay attention to the energy rating labels found on all air-conditioners, fridges, freezers, dishwashers, clothes washers and clothes dryers. These labels use a star system to grade efficiency. They also estimate how much power the appliance is likely to consume in a year. This should give you an idea of the running costs.

Energy saving recommendations

  • Use the Recycle function on the air conditioner. Cooling air from inside uses less power that cooling hot air from outside
  • Service the unit. Clean the filters and vents, ensuring there’s no build-up of dust and debris, this will ensure the system runs efficiently.

Air-conditioning alternatives

There are several alternatives to traditional air-conditioning which can be viable options.

  • Evaporative air-conditioners cost 80% less to run than conventional a/c units and cost half as much to purchase. They work by passing the warm air from outside through a series of wetted filter pads which cool the air via evaporation before passing it into the room to be cooled. As well as cooling, these types of units increase the humidity in the air, which is useful in drier climates. Capital cities where they work well include Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Canberra and Hobart, central Australia is also very suitable.
  • Reverse cycle units – As well as being able to cool during summer months, reverse cycle air conditioning units can warm a premises during the winter months. They do this by extracting heat from the outside air (even on mild winter nights) and passing it through a condenser. The heat is extracted and used to warm the insides of the house. Reverse cycle units are very economical when it comes to warming a room.
  • Ceiling fans are very cost effective solutions. Ceiling fans run at a fraction of the price (2 to 3 cents per hour) of air conditioners and can provide a welcome relief on a hot day. Sometimes however a fan just isn’t enough, so a way to save money is to run your air-conditioning unit at the same time as the fan but raise the thermostat 10 degrees. The room will remain cool and your air-conditioning appliance will use less power.


There are many ways you can save money when lighting your office or home business. With the introduction of new energy efficient light bulbs it’s possible to reduce the amount of energy used by up to 80%

Ideas for saving money on lighting

  • Install motion sensors to turn lights on and off depending on whether someone is in the room.
  • Where appropriate, install light sensitive sensors to turn lights on at dusk and off at dawn.
  • Incandescent lighting uses 80% more power when compared to Compact Fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs which also last 8 times longer.
  • Fit energy saving light bulbs. They last 10 times longer than ordinary light bulbs and can save $80 over the lifetime of the bulb.
  • Review the space you’re trying to light. Fluorescent lighting might be more suitable for large spaces.
  • Clean the light fittings, this produces a brighter light and increases the life of the bulb.
  • Where appropriate fit skylights, a free and natural way to light a room.


When purchasing a fridge or freezer you need to ensure you buy one suitable for it’s purpose. Over filling or under filling a fridge / freezer leads to inefficiencies and greater energy consumption.

When choosing a fridge or freezer, look for ones with high energy efficiency ratings, the more stars the better.

Fridge freezer checks and quick wins

  • Position freezers and fridges out of direct light.
  • Ensure there is suitable air flow (at least 80mm round all sides) around the appliance.
  • Regularly clean Motors, fans, hinges, condenser coils.
  • Check the seals on doors and closing mechanisms are all in good condition.
  • Defrost the freezer regularly to avoid the build up of ice.
  • Ensure fan belts aren’t perished and the motor is aligned.
  • Where necessary provide exit pipes or vents for hot air exhaust.
  • Fit air curtains in walk-in cold rooms to reduce the transfer of air.
  • Don’t re-stock during the hottest part of the day.
  • Keep the appliance well stocked. Fill any large spaces with empty cardboard boxes (reduces the loss of cold air when opening the door).

Climate Control

Controlling the room temperature is key to saving money on your energy bill. For optimal energy savings it is recommended you cool your environment to 25ºC in summer and heat it to 20ºC in winter.

Every 1 degree increase in thermostat setting in winter will use 15% more energy. Every 1 degree decrease in summer will use 10% more energy.

Climate control quick wins

  • Restrict who can adjust the thermostat.
  • Locate the thermostat away from drafts, direct sunlight and mechanical equipment (photocopiers, computers etc).
  • Only cool or heat areas that are being used frequently. There’s no point heating or cooling an area that’s rarely used (storage rooms, cleaning rooms etc).
  • Windows – Fit reflective film, external shutters and internal blinds to reduce the amount of sunlight entering the building.
  • Double glazing – if you’re building a new property look to incorporate suitable glazing.
  • Fit draft excluders and auto door shutters. Sealed doors are better for cooling in the summer and keeping heat in during the winter.
  • Ceiling insulation is an essential part to cooling your property in the summer and keeping it warm in the winter. Correctly installed loft insulation can keep indoors up to 10 degrees cooler during summer months.
  • Consider fitting suitable roof tiles to reflect the sun’s rays or have the roof painted with heat reflective paint. This will reduce the amount of heat absorbed into the building during summer months.

Office Equipment

An average home business can save up to $200 by addressing appliances that are left on standby when not in use. Obviously the savings are even greater for small businesses with more employees and commercial premises.

LCD screens, air conditioners, photocopiers, computers, scanners, dishwashers, dvd players, TV’s are examples of appliances that tend to be left on standby. Getting into a habit of fully powering off these devices when not in use is a great way to save money on your bills.

Office equipment saving ideas

  • Modern computers have the ability to hibernate or standby, use these settings from control panel to save power during inactivity
  • Turn off PC’s and LCD screens at the end of the day
  • Turn off printers and copiers at the end of the day
  • When available utilise the sleep or power save options on photocopiers and printers
  • Print on both sides of the paper.
  • Have your employees ask themselves “Do I really need to print this document?”
  • Turn lamps and lights off at the end of the day
  • Use laptops instead of desktop PC’s, they use 80% less energy
  • Ink jet printers use 90% less energy than laser printers

Solar Power

Once setup, solar systems can provide your business with free electricity. You save money straight away on your bills and in some states you’ll be paid for any excess energy you generate and feed into the national grid.

Solar can be used to heat water as well as generate electricity for the rest of your business.

Solar water heaters

Heating water can be one of the biggest energy users in a home and also a small business, solar water heaters can significantly reduce this cost.

The government provides substantial incentives for installing solar systems, these include;

  • 50% tax reduction off the cost of a solar system purchase (30% for businesses with turnover greater than $2mm). This is achieved using the governments small businesses general tax break
  • Renewable Energy Certificates (REC’S) which accompany solar system purchases and are tradeable.
  • Solar credit program for installing grid connected systems.
  • Feed in tariffs – In some states it’s possible to connect your solar system to the grid and be paid for feeding electricity in.

Other benefits include:

  • Solar can save you 50 to 80% of your water heating energy consumption (based on Government approved TRNSYS modelling).
  • Reduce your home business greenhouse gas emissions by 3-3.5 tonnes per year.

Solar energy generation

As well as using solar to heat water, solar can be used to generate your business electricity. Businesses that choose to install these solar units will benefit from free electricity.

In certain states you have the ability to feed any excess electricity into the grid. You will receive renewable energy certificates as part of the feed-In scheme that you can then sell.


There are many ways you can save water and reduce the size of your bills in your business and home business.

Heating water uses the most electricity in a household and can also be a significant cost to businesses. Recent studies show that nearly a third of the average households energy use goes on heating water.

Commercial and small business water saving suggestions

  • Have your boiler and heating system regularly serviced.
  • Set the thermostat so it’s not too hot, the recommended setting is 60°C/140°F
  • Ensure there is suitable insulation around the boiler and along the pipe work to keep the heat in.
  • Where appropriate install an “On-demand” boiler. These heat the water when it’s required. These are suitable for both offices and homes.
  • Choose the right size system according to the premises.
  • Fit flow controllers, regulators and aerators to taps to limit the supply flow.
  • Fit flow sensors to taps so they only run when objects / hands are placed under the sensor.
  • Toilets can use up to 12 liters of water per flush, fitting dual flush cisterns or restricting the amount of water in the cistern will help.
  • Where possible fit urinals as opposed this uses much less water.
  • Maintenance check for leaking water pipes and dripping taps (a leaking tap can waste more that 2,000 liters of water each month.
  • Check your water meter regularly and compare usage to other companies in your industry.
  • Ask employees for their ideas on how best to save water in the business. Run incentives and publicise internally about the need to save water. This will raise awareness throughout the company of the need to save water.

Water saving measures for home businesses

  • Where appropriate install an “On-demand” boiler. These heat the water when it’s required. These are suitable for both offices and homes.
  • Have your boiler and heating system regularly serviced.
  • Set the thermostat so it’s not too hot, the recommended setting is 60°C/140°F
  • Ensure there is suitable insulation around the boiler and along the pipe work to keep the heat in.
  • Install a water butt for the garden.
  • Use greywater solutions.