Compare Energy and Gas in Hobart, Tasmania
Want to compare energy plans, prices and providers in Hobart or anywhere across Tasmania? We can help you compare both residential and business energy prices and providers to pinpoint a suitable deal.
In Tasmania, the energy retail market has been historically tightly regulated. However, that has changed thanks to the Full Retail Competition that the Tasmania government introduced in 2014, which has allowed new competitors to be introduced to the market. Despite this, the pool of energy retailers in Tasmania remains relatively small due to its lower population compared to other Australian states and territories, and its geographical isolation.
Energy Generators, Distributors and Retailers in Tasmania
In Tasmania, as with all Australian states and territories, there are three tiers that make up the electricity market. Knowing these tiers can help you to understand how energy in Tasmania works:
- Generators – Responsible for the production and generation of electricity. In Tasmania, the main source of electricity is from Hydro Tasmania.
- Distributors – Responsible for delivering electricity to properties. The electricity distributor in Tasmania is TasNetorks.
- Retailers – Responsible for the billing of energy consumption and customer service.
Regulation of the Energy Industry in Tasmania
In 2014, the Tasmanian Government introduced full retail competition to the Tasmanian electricity market, deregulating competition in the electricity sector. Prior to this deregulation, Aurora Energy was the only retailer servicing homes in Tasmania. However, despite deregulation in 2014, it wasn’t until 2019 that a new competitor entered the local market; 1st Energy. Since then, Catch Energy and Future X Power have also joined the Tasmanian electricity market.
One reason that few electricity retailers have ventured into the Tasmanian energy market is because prices still remain regulated. However, this is generally a good thing for Tasmanian residents as it means that any new competition that enters the market will likely offer lower prices in an attempt to convert customers.
Energy Retailers in Tasmania
There are currently only four energy retailers that provide services in Tasmania. However, one of those choices, Catch Energy, works with 1st Energy, which effectively means that there are only three energy retailers in Tasmania.
Additionally, it should be noted that in Tasmania peak and off-peak periods are as follows:
- Peak – Monday to Friday: 7:00am to 10:00am and 4:00pm to 9:00pm
- Off-Peak – Monday to Friday: 10:00am to 4:00pm and 9:00pm to 7:00am; all weekends
Aurora Energy was, until recently, the only electricity retailer that serviced Tasmanian residents. It is owned by the Tasmanian Government and was founded in 1988 when the Tasmanian Hydroelectric Commission was broken up into several divisions. These divisions included generation, transmission, distribution and retail, with Aurora Energy becoming responsible for the retail aspect and Hydro Tasmania taking over the generation role.
Aurora Energy offers:
- Residential Flat Rate Tariffs – The rate you pay for your energy consumption stays consistent throughout the day, no matter whether you’re using electricity during peak or off-peak hours.
- Residential Peak and Off-Peak Tariffs – You pay a different rate for your energy consumption based on the time of day you are using it; you pay a higher rate during peak period and a lower rate during off-peak periods.
Additionally, Aurora Energy offers a green option for customers who wish to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
Aurora Energy also offers solar products. Customers with solar power systems are able to use the energy they generate, use power they didn’t generate (in the case that they use more power than their solar system generates), and can receive a feed-in tariff for additional energy that their household doesn’t use.
1st Energy was first founded in 2014 but was introduced to the Tasmanian electricity market in early 2019, becoming the first competitor against Aurora Energy. As a company that is focused on providing excellent customer service, they promise quick solutions with a personalised touch so that their customers can have the confidence and peace of mind that they are being cared for.
1st Energy guarantees that the initial benefits they provide will last beyond their contract term, meaning that their customers won’t suddenly be hit with increased rates. Additionally, another perk 1st Energy is able to offer its customers is that, unlike many other electricity retailers, they do not charge a fee for customers who use their credit card to pay their bills.
Similar to Aurora Energy, 1st Energy offers several types of tariffs:
- Residential Flat Rate Tariffs
- Residential Peak and Off-Peak Tariffs
- Solar Feed-In Tariffs
Catch Energy works a little differently to other energy retailers in that they have a partnership with 1st Energy. This means that when you sign up with Catch Energy, you are essentially signing up with 1st Energy, though the benefits may vary slightly. This is true across all states in which Catch Energy is available, not just Tasmania.
Catch Energy’s partnership with 1st Energy means that Catch has more responsibility when it comes to marketing but that customers will still deal with the same 1st Energy customer service team.
One of the things that separates signing up through Catch Energy as opposed to 1st Energy is that it offers the option of ‘bill smoothing’. Bill smoothing can allow you to pay the same monthly fee for your energy consumption and is calculated based on your estimated yearly energy use, which is then divided into 12. At the end of the year, you will settle any discrepancies between what was paid and what was used, which may mean that you are able to receive money back if you used less energy than what was predicted.
Future X Power
Future X Power is the most recent introduction to the Tasmanian electricity retail market. Future X Power, which is Australian owned and operated, and has existed since 2014 but only started servicing residents in Tasmania in late 2019.
Future X Power focuses on delivering just a single market plan to both residential and business customers that offers simplicity and transparency. With the help of their engaging team of experts, Future X Power is committed to providing its customers with committed customer service as well as innovative energy products and services.
To Tasmanian residents, Future X Power is able to offer their Flexi Saver Plan. Within this plan, customers are able to choose different tariff types:
- Single Rate Tariff – Similar to the aforementioned flat rate tariff, single rate tariffs charge the same cost for energy consumption, no matter what time it is used.
- Controlled Load Tariff – Controlled load tariffs are a dedicated tariff for high energy use appliances which are metered separately from the other appliances and energy usages on your property. Controlled load tariffs enable you to take advantage of a lower rate, but generally mean that your use of the nominated appliance is limited to off-peak periods.
- Feed-in tariff – For homes with solar panels, you can receive credit for the excess power your panels feed into the grid
Other features of Future X Power’s Flexi Saver Plan include:
- No credit card fees
- No exit fee
- No fees for paper bills
However, it should be noted that move in fees apply and that plan prices are not fixed and are therefore subject to change.
Smart Meters in Tasmania
As of 2017, all new electricity meters that are installed in Tasmania are smart. Smart meters can offer several benefits, particularly in regard to informing consumers of their energy usage, which can help them to choose the tariff which best suits their needs.
Smart meters work by collecting your energy usage data every 30 minutes and sending this information to your energy retailer. Customers are then able to access this information through their retailer.
Smart meters are also necessary for solar panel systems in order to enable feed-in tariffs. Additionally, smart meters can help distribution networks to detect faults early on and improve their network’s performance.
Energy Concessions in Tasmania
The Tasmanian Government offers its residents a number of energy concessions, including:
- Annual Electricity Concession – Available for eligible concession card holders, this concession provides a daily discount at a cents per day rate. Currently, this rate is 140.74 cents per day.
- Heating Allowance – Eligible pensioners are able to receive an annual allowance of $56 for heating their properties.
- Life Support Concession – This concession is for eligible customers who require the use of an approved life support system, or who lives with someone who uses such a system in their primary place of residence. This concession is provided at a cents per day rate, and is variable depending on the required devices.
- Medical Cooling or Heating Concession – This concession is designed for people who have, or who live with a person who has, a medical condition that requires heating or cooling, in order to prevent the worsening of their condition. Currently, this concession is 42.155 cents per day.
Renewable Energy in Tasmania
Historically, Tasmania has been predominantly powered by hydroelectricity.
Hydro Tasmania, which is over 100 years old, is the largest generator of clean, renewable energy in Australia, producing approximately 9,000 gigawatt hours of electricity per hour, which is enough to power more than 900,000 homes. Because of this, Tasmania is a leading state in Australia regarding sustainable energy use and generation.
As well as generating power for Tasmania, since 2006 Hydro Tasmania has been exporting power to some of Australia’s eastern region. This is thanks to the development of the Basslink, which enabled the connection of Tasmania to the National Electricity Market (NEM).
As well as hydroelectricity, Tasmania offers a range of other renewable energy opportunities in the form of wind, biomass and geothermal activity. Interest in these other forms of renewable energy grew due to the limitations that drought impose on the generation of hydroelectricity.
For example, Tasmania’s high wind levels makes it the ideal location for sustainable wind farms. Additionally, Tasmania has the resources to produce up to 3.3 million green tonnes of woody biomass, which is the equivalent of 33 petajoules of energy. This could be sourced from private plantation estates. In regard to geothermal energy, Tasmania’s granite basement rocks offer the ideal environment for developing an engineered geothermal system.
As such, while hydroelectricity is currently the dominant form of renewable energy in Tasmania, there exist further opportunities for Tasmania to produce sustainable energy, which could also be used to help power the rest of Australia.
TasNetworks is responsible for the distribution of electricity in Tasmania. It is owned by the Tasmanian Government and is responsible for the infrastructure required to provide power, including power poles and wires. Additionally, they are also in charge of maintaining and checking electricity meters.
If you live in Tasmania and are thinking about installing a solar power system, you will first need to gain approval from TasNetworks. They will assess whether your chosen solar power system meets their technical requirements and whether the network is able to accommodate your solar system. Upon approval and installation of your solar power system, TasNetworks will install a digital import-export meter which enables you to receive a feed-in tariff.