The Big three dominate Australian Electricity Market

Highlights

  • Temporary shutdown of businesses due to COVID-19 in 2020 significantly impacted the energy demand
  • The average annual price hit prices last seen in 2015
  • The big three- Energy Australia, AGL, and Origin Energy cater to the bulk of the electricity market

The overall energy demand in Australia tumbled in 2020 due to significant drop in commercial load associated with the temporary shutdown of businesses due to COVID-19. On the brighter side, the country's energy market is seeing a transition from a fossil fuel-driven source towards renewable power.

Solar Cells & Wind Turbines Generating Electricity, Alternative Renewable Energy

Image Source; © Airubon | Megapixl.com

In 2020, more than 3,700MW of mega-scale wind and solar generation capacity have entered the National Energy Market (NEM), majorly in NSW and Victoria contributing more than 19% of the country's total electricity generation. At the same time, fossil fuel-driven electricity has contributed more than 70% of the total electricity generation in the country.

Electricity prices tumbled by around 23-58% in all the regions of the country in 2020, relative to 2019 average levels. The average annual price was below AU$70 per MWh in all regions of the country, the lowest since 2015. However, prices increased significantly in the first half of 2021 with numerous plants running offline due to maintenance and reduced availability of coal-fired power plants amid country's goal to attain carbon neutrality in coming decades.

The Big three dominate Australian Electricity Market

 

The electricity demand has also increased due to the rise in demand associated with winter heating and a significant fall in the output of renewable energy amid bad weather conditions in the country.

Largest electricity retailers in Australia

Energy Australia, AGL, and Origin Energy are the leading energy producers, known as “big three.” These three players have significant market share in residential electricity segment in NSW, Victoria, Queensland, and South Australia markets.

Let’s have a look at the top five electricity providers in NSW, VIC, QLD, and SA.

Name

Features

Owner

Carbon Neutral Option

For more details

Energy Australia

Awarded  No.1 Digital Customer Experience 2020 by Global Reviews

        Powering more than 1.7 million Australian customers

      Customers can manage accounts online 24x7.

Foreign owner

Available

https://www.energyaustralia.com.au/

AGL Energy

AGL offers no lock-in contract.

The company offers flexible billing options.

The solar feed program offers customers to sell excess electricity generated from their solar panels.

Partly Australian-owned

Available

https://www.agl.com.au/

Origin Energy

Origin offers rewards in the form of Paypal cash, gift vouchers.

The company is investing heavily in renewables to become a sustainable energy provider.

Partly Australian-owned

Available

https://www.originenergy.com.au/

Energy Locals

Energy Locals offers 100% carbon neutral power to its customers with no additional charges.       

Provides hassle-free power with simple, transparent prices and no lock-in contracts or exit fees.

The company also supports local charities and communities.

Australian-owned

Available

https://energylocals.com.au/

Power Direct

Power Direct offers competitive prices.

The company is primarily dedicated to business electricity.

The company offers numerous options for bill payments like mail, post, phone, debit, etc.

Partly Australian-owned

Available

https://www.powerdirect.com.au/

Bottom Line

There are many electricity providers in Australia that offer several plans in different cities of NSW, VIC, QLD, and SA. Various companies are offering ethically sourced energy while few of them also provide this as an option to the customers to choose from.

As per the Australian Energy Regulator Retail Energy Market Performance Update for Quarter 2, 2020-21, “big three” have a 79.1% market share in NSW, 54% in VIC, 49.8% in QLD, and 72% in South Australia.

Big three are legacy players in this field with a lot of exposure and experience. However, several new players have now entered the market and offering electricity at competitive prices.

Kalkine Media certifies that it has no commercial or business relationship with the entities mentioned above and has not been offered any incentive from them to write this articleele

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