Australian Business Energy Savings for 2021

Woman comparing business electricity prices

By Julia Watts | Content Manager | Updated: 30 April 2021

We explore the importance of comparing energy suppliers, the current average business energy rates in Australia, and the easiest ways to find the right supplier for your business…


No matter what kind of business you run, keeping the workspace well-lit, the equipment up and running, and the temperature comfortable is fundamentally important. We don’t need to wax lyrical about this – you already know that electricity and gas are crucial for any premises-based company.

But some business owners are so eager to get their business energy supply up and running that they don’t dedicate any time to shopping around. And then, once they’ve signed up with a supplier, they stick with that company forever for convenience – even if they’re not getting the best deal, and could save a few all-important dollars if they went elsewhere.

It’s not at all surprising, of course, that so many business owners don’t stop to shop around – with over 10 years of serving businesses under our belts, we completely understand just how busy you are.

And that’s why we want to lend a helping hand. On this page, we explain the benefits of thoroughly comparing energy suppliers, and discuss the current average business energy rates across Australia. Perhaps most importantly, we also give you an excellent way to find the best business energy deal, using our free quote-finding service – which, on average, saves Expert Market customers $1,837 per year on their energy bills.


The benefits of comparing energy for business

We recommend that established businesses investigate switching gas and electricity suppliers every single time their contracts run out and are up for renewal. To brand new businesses, we recommend comparing different suppliers as thoroughly as possible before settling on one.

But what, exactly, are the benefits of doing this? Here are the key reasons to shop around:

You’ll save money on your bills

This may go without saying, but seeking out the business energy supplier with the best rates for your business will, of course, mean paying cheaper bills than you would if you chose the first supplier you laid eyes on, or stick by your current supplier endlessly.

When comparing rates from different suppliers, you’ll need to look out for two figures:

  • The unit rate: how much the supplier charges per kWh of electricity or gas that your business uses. The unit rate for electricity will be different to the rate charged for gas – for this reason, you might choose to get electricity and gas from two different suppliers.
  • The standing charge: the fee that every supplier charges to maintain your connection to the power supply. This will be a fixed number, and it’ll usually be charged on a daily or monthly basis.

Shopping around is also an opportunity to find the kind of tariff that’ll be most likely to save you money. Perhaps you’ve been on a variable tariff (where the unit rate can increase and decrease), and struggled when unit rates went up mid-way through your contract. Or maybe you’ve been on a fixed tariff (where the unit rate never changes) and missed out on savings when variable rates dropped.

Whatever your experiences, comparing and switching energy suppliers is an opportunity to try a different kind of tariff, if you’re interested in doing so.

Did You Know?

According to research from Make It Cheaper, 80% of Australian businesses are likely to be overpaying on their gas and electricity bills.

It’s a chance to seek out better customer service

Energy suppliers don’t traditionally go hand-in-hand with wonderful customer service. But that doesn’t mean you should settle for an unresponsive, difficult-to-reach company that takes eons to address your queries and problems.

When comparing energy suppliers, you can check out online customer reviews on sites like Trustpilot, to see how other business owners have found working with the company. You can even do a little research yourself; giving each potential supplier a ring and timing how long it takes them to answer the phone, and seeing how friendly and assistive they are when they do so (just make sure you have actual questions to ask!).

You could also compare the customer support options each supplier provides – do they have live chat agents who you can message to get fast solutions to your problems? Do they have a 24/7 helpline you can call?

You can improve your eco-friendliness

Many Australian business energy suppliers are now committed to providing the option of green energy, from sources including wind, solar, hydro, and biomass. But some suppliers are better at it than others: some supply 100% renewable energy as standard, while others offer specialist tariffs on which a particular percentage of the supply is renewable.

Our hats go off to business owners that choose totally renewable energy, but we appreciate that doesn’t always align with the cheapest rates for you (though sometimes it does, so it’s worth investigating!).

Whatever your priorities, comparing and switching business energy suppliers is an opportunity to find the company that can supply you with the highest percentage of renewable energy for the best price possible.

You can take advantage of sign-up offers and discounts

Energy suppliers operate in a saturated market – they’re all vying to supply the same product to as many customers as possible. So, it makes sense that many of them try to entice customers with sign up incentives. These can take the form of anything from discounts on your unit rates, to free movie tickets.

Now, by their nature, sign-up incentives are temporary. Any discount you’re given is not going to last for the duration of your contract – whether it’s just for the first month of service or the first year, at some point you’ll find yourself paying full price, and that could sting. For that reason, we advise that you don’t base your decision on the sign-up rewards you’ll get – they just aren’t a true representation of what you’ll end up paying.

That said, there’s nothing wrong with taking advantage of these incentives if the right supplier for you offers them. Temporary discounts can help you to bank that little bit more on top of what you’ve already saved by switching.

It’s not as difficult as you think

We understand – just reading about all this shopping, investigating, and comparing is enough to make you feel stressed (or else sleepy). Fortunately, though, it doesn’t have to be arduous or time-consuming at all.

That’s because we’re here to help! You can use our free quote-matching service: simply answer a few questions about your business and its energy needs, and our trusted broker will match you up with the best and cheapest supplier for you, getting you a personalised quote. You’ll be armed with all the information you need to make a good choice.

Did You Know?

Lots of Australian business owners choose to never switch energy suppliers because they’re afraid their supply will be interrupted – after all, the last thing you want is an office full of people who can’t use their computers, or a shop full of retail assistants who are too hot to function, and can’t get the card machines to work anyway.

However, we’re here to tell you that you don’t need to worry. The process of switching works in such a way that your power will stay up and running throughout. Even after your current supplier is notified of the switch by your new one, they’ll continue to supply your premises until the moment the new supplier takes over – you’ll then simply pay your old supplier what you owe them for that period, and start fresh with the new company.


Average business energy rates in Australia

In Q1 2020 (that’s January to March of last year), GlobalPetrolPrices.com recorded the following average electricity prices for different business sizes:

Business sizeAnnual energy consumptionAverage rate (per kWh)
Small businessUp to 30,000 kWh$0.224
Small to medium business30,000 – 150,000 kWh$0.342
Medium business150,000 kWh – 1 million kWh$0.314
Large business1 million – 7.5 million kWh$0.305
Extra large businessMore than 7.5 million kWh$0.292

Of course, retail energy rates vary from state to state, and they’re ever-changing. According to data from Energy Consumers Australia, the average SME electricity bill shrunk by 3% during 2020, with South Australia, ACT, Queensland, New South Wales, and Tasmania all seeing decreases in average electricity prices.

Meanwhile, though, WA and Victoria saw increases in average electricity prices for small and medium businesses. That said, businesses in Victoria are expected to benefit from dropping energy prices as 2021 progresses.


Get business energy quotes

Of course, the figures in the section above are averages. They’re not a true representation of what you’ll be paying – that’ll depend on factors like your gas and electricity usage, your location, and the supplier you choose.

The best way to find accurate energy rates is to request tailored quotes from the best suppliers for you. And there’s a quick and easy way to do this: with our free quote-finding service. It works like this:

  1. We’ll ask you a handful of questions about your business and its energy usage
  2. Our trusted broker will seek out the very best energy deal they can find for your business
  3. They'll then be in touch with you to provide you with your personalised, no-obligation quote, and answer any questions you have

It doesn’t cost a dollar, and it’s the fastest and easiest way to find the best, cheapest energy supplier for your company. On average, this service saves Expert Market customers $1,837 per year on their business energy bills – give it a go yourself to access some fantastic savings.

Julia Watts Content Manager

Specializing in the complex realms of telephone systems, business energy, vehicle tracking, asset tracking, and fuel cards, Julia writes content that cuts through the noise to help you find the right solutions and technologies for your business. Having spent five years working across the dynamic world of entrepreneurship, she loves helping exciting ventures – big or small – to flourish.

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