Moving to Canberra? Find and Compare Energy in the ACT.

If you are planning a move to the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), this guide will help you understand your energy options and find a cheap electricity and gas plan for your new home.

This page will cover:

  • Guide to energy costs in the ACT
  • Electricity retailers in the ACT
  • Next steps

Costs of energy in the ACT

Residents and business owners in the ACT enjoy a reliable and relatively cheap energy supply, thanks in part to becoming the first state to be powered by 100% renewable sources.

When you move your home electricity to the ACT, you can expect the breakdown of your bill to be as follows:

  • 32% – Networks costs
  • 30% – Wholesale costs
  • 15% – Retail and other costs (including metering and energy losses)
  • 16% – ACT Government schemes (including costs to meet the state RET plus taxes and levies)
  • 7% – National green scheme (the cost of the national RET)

Source: ICRC’s final decision on 2022–23 prices.

Each of these costs is discussed in more detail below.

Costs of energy in the ACT

Network costs – Electricity and Gas Distributors

Making up the largest portion of your bill, network costs are the expenses incurred by the distributors to transport energy from the generator to your home or business. Energy companies pay this on your behalf and pass on the cost in your bill. You will see this as a supply charge, network charge or daily fee.

Distributors own and maintain the electricity and gas networks that connect all the states and territories to power, including the pipes, poles and cables. They also install and upgrade meters, connect and disconnect properties and respond to faults and emergencies.

Your distributor is determined by the area you live in and each distributor charges a different amount for their services. In the Canberra region, there is only one distributor for electricity and gas. Their details are in the table below.

Distributor Type Contact Connection/ Disconnection* Special Meter Read*
Evoenergy Electricity 131 093 (Faults and emergencies)

132 386 (General)

$40.73 $94.15
Gas 131 909 (Faults and emergencies)

132 386 (General)

$11.59 n/a

*Prices correct at August 2022

Wholesale costs

The second biggest cost on your energy bill is the wholesale costs. This is the amount that the retailer pays to buy energy from the generator.

The wholesale price of electricity can be volatile. In recent times, prices have spiked due to national and global issues. The widespread flooding in Australia in 2022 put a strain on the supply chain which caused wholesale prices to rise. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine caused global issues with the supply of coal which further impacted prices.

There are two ways a retailer can buy wholesale energy. Larger retailers tend to use a hedging strategy, where they buy 6 or 12 months of electricity at a time for their customers. This means the wholesale cost on your bill is protected from a sudden increase. Smaller retailers usually buy electricity on the spot market, where they buy electricity in real-time in response to demand from their customers. When wholesale prices rise, the impact is felt immediately and these retailers often have no choice but to pass on the cost to customers.

To protect yourself from a bill shock, you can look for a fixed rate plan. Although they are usually slightly more expensive than the variable rate, your price is guaranteed for 12 months, even if wholesale costs skyrocket. Speak to a CheapBills expert to discuss switching electricity and gas to the best plan for you.

Retail costs and the reference price

The Independent Competition and Regulatory Commission (ICRC) regulates the price of electricity contracts in the ACT to ensure that everyone has access to fairly priced power.

Each year the ICRC sets a reference price for residential and small business plans. This reference price is the maximum that a retailer should charge for electricity. Retailers are also required to show their rates as a percentage of this price to allow customers to easily compare plans and avoid misleading marketing messages.

Retailers set their energy rates based on a combination of the reference price, the price they pay for network and wholesale costs plus their own operating expenses such as account maintenance and customer service.

Rebates and concessions

Residents in the ACT can apply for government assistance to help cover their cost of living. This includes the ActewAGL Staying Connected program for electricity and water, the Home Energy Support Rebate for Homeowners and the Energy Efficiency Improvement Scheme.

To find out more about rebates and concessions and see if you are eligible, visit the ACT Government’s assistance website.

Renewable energy

ACT residents pay a surcharge on their energy bill for renewable energy. You will see two charges on your bill – one for the federal renewable energy scheme and one for the ACT state government’s renewable energy schemes.

These costs cover the expenses incurred in reaching the renewable energy targets, and the good news is, it’s working! The ACT is the first Australian state to be 100% powered by renewable energy and is on track to reach its next target of zero net emissions by 2045.

Renewable energy

Electricity Retailers in the ACT

Now that you know where the costs on your bill come from, you are ready to find the perfect plan! Below is a snapshot of some of our favourite plans available in the ACT for residents and small business owners. To find the cheap electricity to suit your needs, call a CheapBills expert on 1300 786 045.

Compare electricity plans

Provider Plan Cost per month* Features
ActewAGL Simple Saver Plan $182 14% less than electricity reference price

A great rate on your gas bill

8c/kWh solar feed-in rate

Variable rates

1 year benefit period

Flexible payment options

No exit fee

EVolve Plan $186 Free EV charging equal to 4000km per year (equivalent to 5% less the electricity price for your total usage)

12% off gas usage charges

8c/kWh solar feed-in rate

Time-of-use billing rates

Free meter upgrade if required

Variable rates

1 year benefit period

Flexible payment options

No exit fee

EnergyAustralia Flexi Plan $153 11% off total electricity bill

18% off total gas bill

7.6c/kWh solar feed-in rate

$25 online sign-up credit

100% carbon neutral at no extra cost for your home energy when you opt-in.

Variable rates

Solar Max and Flexi Plan $162 10c/kWh solar feed-in rate

18% off total gas bill

$25 online sign-up credit

100% carbon neutral at no extra cost for your home energy when you opt-in.

Variable rates

Red Energy Red BCNA Saver $151 11% less than electricity reference price

Up to $120 annual contribution to Breast Cancer Network Australia ($60 for electricity and $60 for gas)

No exit fees

Renewable matching promise – for every unit of electricity you buy from Red Energy, Snowy Hydro Limited will match it by generating one unit of electricity from a renewable source.

Flexible payment options

Red EV Saver $151 11% less than electricity reference price

Free electricity between 12 pm and 2 pm on weekend for electric vehicle charging

No exit fees

Renewable matching promise (see above)

Flexible payment options

$500 Power on Promise – receive a $500 one-off credit if you are not connected on time (T&Cs apply)

*Based on retailers’ ‘low’ usage (1-2 people) on the Evoenergy network.

Rewards and incentives

As well as finding the cheap energy rates, many retailers offer rewards and incentives that you should take into consideration when you compare plans. This might include rewards points, such as Red Energy’s Qantas Red Plan, sign-up incentives such as bill credits or discounted rates for the first 6 months or loyalty rewards for long-serving customers.

Next steps

If you are moving house to the ACT, or if you are an existing customer looking for a better deal, it’s as easy as picking up the phone. Call CheapBills on 1300 786 045 or enter your details online and our 100% free comparison service will find you the cheap energy in the ACT and connect your electricity and gas ready for the day you move. All you need to do is sit back and enjoy the savings!

Related post: Are Electricity Prices Going Up in 2023

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