Choosing an electricity contract
There are a few factors to consider when choosing an electricity contract. However, depending on whether you are based in South East Queensland or Regional Queensland will have an effect on the contracts available to you.
Contracts in South East Queensland
If you’re a South East Queensland electricity customer, you will enter into a contract with your provider.
It's important to check whether the contract is a standing offer or market contract:
- Standing offer is where the Australian Energy Regulator sets the maximum allowed to be charged for the contract.
- Market offer contract prices are set by each provider and can be lower or higher than the standing offer.
Market offer contracts are popular in South East Queensland as they often have discounts and benefits included in the offer.
Read through the contracts on offer as they will outline all the terms and conditions, including price, service standards, fees and charges, billing and payment arrangements and any penalties for early termination and cancellation.
Your provider must give you a ‘customer charter’ that clearly outlines these terms and conditions.
You can shop around to find out which electricity providers have the best contract for you needs. Also read our article on choosing the best energy company for you.
Contracts in regional Queensland
Ergon Energy used to be the only electricity provider in regional Queensland, but now alternative providers have entered the market.
However, competition in regional Queensland isn’t as strong as South East Queensland, so most people are still on a standard electricity contract with Ergon Energy.
No matter who your provider is, the Queensland Competition Authority sets the regulated electricity tariffs for regional Queensland each year.
Alternative providers must charge the regulated tariff, but they can offer discounts for paying on time.
The National Electricity Rules outline the terms and conditions of standard electricity contracts that providers must follow and can’t change.
Comparing contracts and prices
When you’re shopping around for an electricity contract, you can ask providers to make an obligation-free offer. Read these offers carefully and always compare like for like.
Read more about how to compare electricity prices.
Problems with your contract
EWOQ can investigate certain complaints about contracts, including:
- not being billed according to your contract terms and conditions
- the 10-day cooling off period
- entering into a contract as a minor.
However, we can’t dispute the fairness of the contract’s terms and conditions or negotiate a price that’s different to the one you accepted in the contract.
For these contract disputes, contact the Office of Fair Trading.