Choosing an energy supplier
In New South Wales you are free to choose your electricity and gas supplier.
As a retail customer, you have three options:
- A standard supply contract - offered by one of the three standard retailers. Under a standard contract the terms and conditions are regulated by the government and the prices are regulated by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal.
- Ask for a better deal - all licensed energy retailers can offer you a negotiated contract. Even a standard retailer can offer the alternative of a negotiated contract. Ask your present energy retailer about competitive deals they may be offering to keep you as a customer under a negotiated contract.
- Shop around for a new deal - find out what other energy retailers are offering.
A range of suppliers offer negotiated contracts to customers with different prices (tariffs), fees, benefits and conditions. If you choose to shop around, you might find a deal that is more attractive.
Information on electricity and gas retailers operating in NSW is available through the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal website:
Choosing a contract
Since 2002, all electricity and gas customers in NSW may choose where they buy their energy. You may be approached in person, through the post or by phone to enter into an energy contract. There are a range of electricity suppliers and gas suppliers you can contact to find a contract that is most suitable for you.
Before deciding to change, get as much information as you can from the retailer. Retailers and their marketers are required to comply with the NSW Energy Marketing Code of Conduct. Under the Code, retailers and their marketers are required to provide you with adequate information to ensure you can make an informed choice. Read any proposed contract carefully and if in doubt ask for clarification.
By entering into a contract, you are only changing retailers. The network (the poles, wires, pipes, substations) is still owned by the network operator.
Before you sign
Energy contracts are legally enforceable so make sure you understand the terms and conditions. If you don't understand something, ask your energy supplier or get independent advice on what it means.
Be aware that fees may be imposed if you move or end your contract early.
- Electricity suppliers have programs to assist customers in financial difficulty to manage their bills more effectively. Speak to your supplier for information on financial assistance programs.
- In addition, the NSW Government provides energy rebates to eligible pensioners and electricity account holders who require certain types of life support equipment. The NSW Government also provides assistance to customers experiencing financial difficulty through the Energy Accounts Payment Assistance (EAPA) Scheme. See our Help with Bills page for more information.
- Firstly, you should try to sort out any electricity complaint with your supplier. Before contacting your electricity supplier, have a look at some tips for dealing with your supplier.
- However, if you have a complaint about your energy supplier or their marketer (including door-to-door salespeople), the NSW Government has approved the Energy & Water Ombudsman (EWON) as an independent body to assist you.