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Cost of electricity in Australia – How are we doing in 2020?

We’re only five months into 2020 but we don’t think it’s premature to say that it hasn’t been the easiest year for Australians. From 2019 until early this year, the country was ravaged by bushfires. Our “Black Summer” caused damage to infrastructure, a considerable impact on business, and tragic loss of lives. And of course, Australia and the rest of the world have been trying to beat the COVID-19 pandemic. These events have impacted electricity markets in Australia, significantly resulting in both risk and opportunity for businesses in the country. 

We can observe these effects through the cost of electricity in Australia for 2020. 

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Electricity prices in Australia for 2020 have gone down

Wholesale electricity prices in the NEM have been falling since October 2019. This is good news for Australian electricity consumers as wholesale rate reductions pass through to end users by energy retailers.

In one of our articles from 2017, we reported that Australia was top-ranked for the most expensive electricity prices in the world. But as of September 2019, Australia had 23rd place locked in, as you may see in the table below  – a solid feat, all things considered.

Top 30 Countries with the Most Expensive Electricity
as of September 2019 (in AUD per kWh)
CountryHousehold RateCommercial RateAverage Rate
Switzerland$0.32 /kWh$0.24 /kWh$0.28 /kWh
Sweden$0.28 /kWhNA$0.28 /kWh
Panama$0.26 /kWh$0.3 /kWh$0.28 /kWh
Spain$0.35 /kWh$0.22 /kWh$0.285 /kWh
Netherlands$0.37 /kWh$0.2 /kWh$0.285 /kWh
Mali$0.33 /kWh$0.24 /kWh$0.285 /kWh
Austria$0.34 /kWh$0.24 /kWh$0.29 /kWh
Australia$0.33 /kWh$0.25 /kWh$0.29 /kWh
Costa Rica$0.26 /kWh$0.33 /kWh$0.295 /kWh
Liechtenstein$0.38 /kWh$0.24 /kWh$0.31 /kWh
Guatemala$0.37 /kWh$0.25 /kWh$0.31 /kWh
Belize$0.35 /kWh$0.27 /kWh$0.31 /kWh
Gabon$0.31 /kWhNA$0.31 /kWh
Kenya$0.34 /kWh$0.28 /kWh$0.31 /kWh
United Kingdom$0.35 /kWh$0.29 /kWh$0.32 /kWh
New Zealand$0.32 /kWhNA$0.32 /kWh
El Salvador$0.37 /kWh$0.29 /kWh$0.33 /kWh
Belgium$0.46 /kWh$0.2 /kWh$0.33 /kWh
Honduras$0.33 /kWh$0.33 /kWh$0.33 /kWh
Nicaragua$0.32 /kWh$0.36 /kWh$0.34 /kWh
Italy$0.40 /kWh$0.33 /kWh$0.365 /kWh
Japan$0.42 /kWh$0.32 /kWh$0.37 /kWh
Aruba$0.31 /kWh$0.45 /kWh$0.38 /kWh
Jamaica$0.44 /kWh$0.35 /kWh$0.395 /kWh
Ireland$0.41 /kWhNA$0.41 /kWh
Germany$0.53 /kWh$0.32 /kWh$0.425 /kWh
Barbados$0.43 /kWh$0.43 /kWh$0.43 /kWh
Denmark$0.47 /kWh$0.41 /kWh$0.44 /kWh
Portugal$0.44 /kWhNA$0.44 /kWh
Bermuda$0.63 /kWh$0.39 /kWh$0.51 /kWh

Arranged from least to most expensive.
Household and Business Rates from Global Petrol Prices


Note: Average electricity rates calculated by adding Household Rate and Business Rate and dividing by 2.

That said, for 2020, all states are enjoying lower electricity prices for both household and business consumption. By March of this year, the cost of electricity in Australia averaged $0.3025 per kWh.

To put it into better detail, here is a report on how much electricity was in the commercial and industrial sectors for the first quarter of the year.

Average Electricity Prices in Australia (as of Q1 2020)
Consumer TypeRate ($ per kWh)
Average$0.3025 / kWh
Households$0.338 / kWh
Small Business – Up to 30,000 kWh PA$0.224 / kWh
Small Business – 30,000 to 150,000 kWh PA$0.342 / kWh
Medium Business – 150,000 kWh to 1,000,000 kWh PA$0.314 / kWh
Large Business – 100,000,000 to 7,500,000 kWh PA$0.305 / kWh
Extra Large Business > 7,500,000 kWh PA$0.292 / kWh
Source: Global Petrol Prices.com (March 2020)

Meanwhile, in the table below are the average electricity prices from various countries for the first quarter of the year compared with Australia’s 2020 electricity prices for the same period. 

Average Commercial Electricity Price in AUD per kWh
 Small FirmMedium FirmLarge FirmExtra Large Firm
Canada$0.1943$0.1887$0.1318$0.1262
China$0.1544$0.1544$0.1449$0.1469
Germany$0.4038$0.3986$0.3293$0.2842
Japan$0.3810$0.3448$0.3313$0.3314
Philippines$0.2048$0.1832$0.1768$0.1780
United Kingdom$0.4220$0.3703$0.3424$0.3205
USA$0.2178$0.2041$0.1599$0.1569
Australia$0.3420$0.3140$0.3050$0.2920
Source: Global Petrol Prices.com (March 2020)

COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the Australian economy with productivity in many industries grinding to halt. As such, this has affected electricity spot and futures markets in Australia as wholesale market participants grapple to forecast future demand and supply.  

At the time of writing, electricity prices across the NEM are at historic lows. This has created a good opportunity to secure lower electricity rates up to 60 months into the future. 

It’s time to consider energy cost reduction measures for your business. We can help with that.

The ongoing pandemic has resulted in uncertainty for businesses across the board. One way companies can regain a modicum of stability is by reducing energy costs to manage short-term cash.

Leading Edge Energy helps companies control their energy spend quickly and simply. We do this by identifying the best deals for commercial and industrial electricity and gas. And best of all? It’s an obligation-free service. 

Does that sound good to you?

Learn how we can help you begin reducing your energy bills here, or contact our Energy Experts so they can get you started.

Speak to an Energy Expert

Ben Walllington
0412 676 114
Madonna Ghajar
0412 046 022
Ewen Beard
0481 345 181
Lauren Ainscough
0439 587 582