FAQ

Full Retail Electricity Contestability in Tasmania - 9 things you should know

Q1. WHEN CAN I CHOOSE MY TASMANIAN ELECTRICITY SUPPLIER?
On the 1st July 2014 Tasmania introduced Full Retail Competition, known in the industry as FRC. Whilst competition for business customers is active, Tasmania is yet to see any alternative residential electricity suppliers. So at this stage (June 2018) our main focus is to help your business to save money and you can do this by downloading a copy of your bill at our Compare page.

Q2. CAN BUSINESSES BAND TOGETHER TO FORM A BUYING GROUP?
Yes. We have run many successful Tasmanian Energy Buying Groups, such as for Agri-Businesses and Private Schools. We can assist you to join an existing energy buying collective or to form a new one. To find out more e-mail us at bestprice@tasenergybrokers.com.au 

Q3. IS THE WHOLE ELECTRICITY BILL CONTESTABLE, OR JUST PART OF IT?
The "contestable" or competitive elements of the electricity bill, include Peak Energy, Off Peak Energy, Mandatory Renewable Energy Certificates and metering services. These components make up around half of the total cost of delivered electricity and it is these cost components which are negotiable.  Tasmanian Energy Brokers exists to help customers make the most of these negotiable opportunities and to avoid the pitfalls. Simply scan the detailed consumption section of your current business electricity account into PDF and submit it online at our Compare page.

Q4. WHAT ABOUT MY RELIABILITY OF SUPPLY, WHO WILL LOOK AFTER THE POLES AND WIRES?
About half of the cost of delivered electricity is made up of "Network Use of System" (NUoS) or transport charges. These energy transport costs remain regulated monopoly costs. Aurora Energy Network has been merged with Transend Networks to form TasNetworks which will continue to operate and maintain the local poles and wires and restore faults, irrespective of which Retailer you choose. 

Q5. IF THE NETWORK COSTS ARE STILL A REGULATED MONOPOLY, IS THERE ANYWAY I CAN SAVE MONEY ON THEM?
Whilst the Network transport charges are regulated, contestable users have a choice of several Network tariffs. These include Flat Rate, Time of Use and new Maximum Demand (MD) tariffs. Some of the Network tariffs may require the installation and possibly additional cost of a different meter or a "Smart Meter". Tasmanian Energy Brokers can help advise you on your choice of Network Tariff options.  Choice of network tariff, particularly for Large Offer Customers (>150MWh pa around $37,000 pa or more) is independent of your choice of Retail energy supplier. Large Offer Customers (LOC's) can elect to change their network tariff irrespective of when their retail energy contract ends.

Q6. WHEN WILL MY NEW CONTRACT START?
New Retail contracts can be negotiated at any time, even before your old contract ends. In fact we reccommend you negotiate your new contract well before your old contract ends, if you have one.  However supply under a new contract cannot commence until exprity of your old contract (if you had one) and your new retailer confirms you have a suitable meter, or they arrange installation of one for you. These days many business sites >$15K pa have had this new meter fitted already, but your new Retailer is responsible for this and they will inform you if they need to upgrade your meter.

Q7. I HEARD SOME BUSINESS CUSTOMERS WERE FORCED ONTO MARKET CONTRACTS? WHAT HAPPENS IF I DON'T WANT TO SIGN ANYTHING?
Small Offer Customers (SOC's who consume less than 150MWh pa, less than ~$37,000 pa) always retain access to the regulated "Standing Offer Contract", which you can stay on indefinitely and may even return to once your market contract ends. Whilst you are free to seek out competitive offers if you want to, there is no obligation for Small Customers to sign up to a new market contract, so don't be bullied into this and report any abuse to The Energy Ombudsman Tasmania. Remember Retailers may not be under any obligation to save you money over the Tariff. We can help your business save money at our Compare page.

Only Large Business Customer sites/NMI's (>150MWh pa ~>$37,000 pa) do not retain access to the Standing Offer Contracts (previously known as Tariffs).

Q8. SO IF I DON'T HAVE TO DO ANYTHING, WHY WOULD I BOTHER AT ALL?
With a Standing Offer Contract available to Small Offer Customers (SOC's), the main reason to enter into a contestable market contract is to make savings over your current Tariff or Standing Offer.  The amount of savings available (if any) through a negotiated contract, will depend on many factors, including the prevailing electricity market conditions, your consumption profile between peak times and off peak times and increasingly your motivation and willingness to make changes to the way you think about and use energy. Tasmanian Energy Brokers are able to help you with these calculations and decisions, but first you need to know you need help, you have to want help and you need about 5 minutes of your time to scan and enter your bill details onto the Compare Tab of our website!

Q9. ISN'T RETAIL CONTESTABILITY ALL ABOUT PRICE?
Finally and most importantly, it's not just about price
.  Energy users should also be aware that the terms and conditions of competitive market contracts are likely to be different to the Standing Offer Contract. Energy users should therefore familiarize themselves with the contracts on offer and how these suit your business circumstances and feel comfortable seeking independent legal advice as you would for any other transaction of this value. Most importantly competition is a two way street. You can choose your retailer but they can also choose how, and sometimes if, they want to deal with you. 

If you have any other questions, please email us at bestprice@tasenergybrokers.com.au  the only reason we are here is to help you!