Aurora Energy vs 1st Energy: Price and Service Comparison

POSTED ON February 21, 2019 BY

Aurora vs 1st Energy

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Aurora Energy and 1st Energy are currently the only two retailers in the residential energy scene of Tasmania.

Despite Tasmanian markets being open for competition since mid-2014, the presence of regulated electricity prices has kept competition away for far too long!

A recent report from the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) said that 86% of Tasmanian homes felt they did not have enough choice!

Not anymore, however, as Victorian-based 1st Energy comes roaring into the Tasmanian energy scene, eager to have their presence felt across the state.

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The Battle for Tasmania

Tasmania Government-owned Aurora Energy was the only option Tasmanian residents had to get their homes connected.

Not anymore! With 1st Energy entering the market with some attractive offers, the command Aurora Energy has enjoyed for too long, could end.

Aurora Energy’s monopoly in Tasmania has given them a stronghold in the state.

Altogether, they serve electricity to over 240,000 homes and over 35,000 small businesses in Tasmania!

Tasmanians typically use a lot more energy than other Australian states1 because gas is not easily available to a lot of customers.

As the electricity usage is so high, it is vital to ensure you are on a cost-effective power plan!

Tasmanians are helped by a yearly concession of $550 made available from the state government, the highest energy concession in Australia!

Worryingly for Tasmanians, however, about 91% of customers1 are still on a standing offer!

Market offers are typically much more attractive than standing offers as they usually have better power usage and supply rates on top of discounts.

Take an in-depth look into how much a 4-person home pays on average a year, on the top plans from Aurora Energy and 1st Energy.

Average Bill Tasmania

Residential Light and Power (Tariff 31)

Residential Time of Use (Tariff 93)

In Tasmania, going on the ‘Residential Light and Power’ plan with 1st Energy could give you an electricity bill that is about $120 cheaper a year, than Aurora Energy’s ‘Residential Light and Power’ plan.

If you had a time-of-use compatible meter and would like a time-of-use plan with different power rates for peak and off-peak hours, you should probably look at 1st Energy.

Tasmanian homes could pay about $120 less a year on 1st Energy’s ‘Residential Time of Use’ plan.

Retailer Rates Tasmania

Residential Light and Power (Tariff 31)

Residential Time of Use (Tariff 93)

Heating & Hot Water (Tariff 41)

Controlled Load with Afternoon Boost (Tariff 61)

Controlled Load – Night Only (Tariff 62)

The Deal Breakers

When comparing Aurora Energy vs 1st Energy, it’s a good idea to consider factors other than the costs.

Pointing to some glaring inefficiencies from Aurora Energy, a recent report from the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) claimed that Tasmanian residents made the most complaints in Australia!

6.4% of customers1 under Aurora Energy were posting complaints, which was twice the national average!

Support from customer service is something a lot of Australians desire.

It is heartening to know that 1st Energy has focussed on keeping their customer service centres within Australia to better serve their customers.

Both Aurora Energy and 1st Energy provide an option to adopt monthly billing in order to reduce bill shocks from quarterly bills.

Similarly, both retailers allow you to monitor your power usage in real time and make payments through an online portal.

Beyond all of this, Aurora Energy also has a novel payment plan in place.

Aurora calls the payment plan “PAY AS YOU GO” and it allows you to pay for your electricity in advance by purchasing credits.

Aurora Energy claims that by doing so, homes in Tasmania can simplify their household budgeting.

Credits may range from $5 – $200 and are available for purchase at Aurora PAYG agencies.

The PAYG plan does cause one difficulty, however, as you have to get a PAYG-compatible meter. Homes with this meter cannot switch to any other plan.

Have you got solar panels on your roof? 1st Energy offers Tasmanian homes a standard feed-in tariff (FIT) rate of 13.541 cents/kWh for the power they export back to the grid.

That FIT rate is 5 cents more per kWh than what Aurora Energy would pay you!

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What’s My Best Move?

With the rise in competition in Tasmania, the power of choosing a retailer for your home finally rests within your hands.

Shopping around for more cost-effective rates and efficient customer service makes sense.

As Aurora Energy and 1st Energy attempt to solidify their market share in Tasmania, both retailers will showcase their best in order to provide Tasmanian customers with the choice they deserve!

Tasmanian residents and businesses know just how important it is to stay on top of electricity prices today in Australia, as prices rise uncontrollably.

* We do not compare all energy providers

 

Disclaimer:

This publication looks at how much a 4-person household pays a year, on average, on plans from Aurora Energy and 1st Energy in Tasmania. The information being made available in this document cannot substitute for legally sound advice. No financial decisions should be made based on information from this publication. Individual usage, circumstances and brands could cause usage figures to vary.

Important points to note are:

  • We do not guarantee that the information provided applies to every household in Tasmania.
  • Significantly, all dollar figures are including GST.
  • The comparison is between a market offer that Aurora Energy and 1st Energy has in a state.
  • The plans chosen for comparison may not necessarily reflect the most competitive plans offered by Aurora Energy or 1st Energy.
  • Specifically, standard plan comparisons are on the peak rates in single rate plans from retailers, plus their daily electricity supply charges.
  • Additionally, time of use plans has been calculated based on consumption being split into 70% Peak rates and 30% TOU rates.
  • Electricity rates used for calculation were taken from the websites of electricity retailers. We have verified the accuracy of the depictions in retailer websites.
  • Chiefly, electricity benchmarks used for the average energy usage of households are from the AER website.
  • For Tasmania, we have taken the TasNetworks distributor across all electricity retailers.

1 AER submission dated Dec 2018 “Annual report on compliance and performance of the retail energy market 2017-18.”

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* We do not compare all energy providers