The Energy and Water Ombudsman Queensland (EWOQ) is a free, fair and independent dispute resolution service for unresolved complaints with your electricity, gas or water supplier. Before you contact EWOQ with your complaint, you must first try to resolve the problem with your electricty, gas or water company.
Free call 1800 662 837 Complaints  |   Resources  |   Scheme Participants  |   Embedded Networks

Choosing a contract

Contracts in South East Queensland

Retail electricity prices were deregulated in South East Queensland on 1 July 2016. In simple terms, deregulation of electricity prices in South East Queensland means that electricity retailers will now have complete freedom to compete on power prices in the region.

All South East Queensland customers enter into an agreement with their electricity retailer. These contracts outline all the terms and conditions that have been negotiated, including things like price, service standards, fees and charges, billing and payment arrangements and penalties for early termination/cancellation. Your retailer must give you a Customer Charter that clearly outlines the minimum terms and conditions of your contract. While all Queensland customers are entitled to enter a contract with a retailer of their choice, it is up to the electricity retailers to decide which customers they will offer their market contracts to. You can always shop around to see if an electricity retailer wants your business.


Contracts in regional Queensland

Before full retail competition (FRC), Ergon Energy was the only retailer in regional Queensland. FRC was introduced into the electricity market in 2007 and alternative electricity retailers have entered the market in regional Queensland. Regardless of your retailer, the QCA reviews and sets the regulated electricity tariffs for regional Queensland each year. Alternative retailers must charge the regulated tariff, but can offer discounts such as pay-on-time or for electronic billing. In regional Queensland, retailer competition is not as strong as South East Queensland, meaning most customers are still on a standard electricity customer contract with Ergon Energy. The terms and conditions of standard electricity customer contracts are set out in the National Energy Retail Rules and cannot be altered by retailers.


Comparing contracts

When shopping around for an electricity contract, you can ask retailers to make you an obligation-free offer. It's important to read all offers carefully and make sure you are comparing like for like. There are a number of separate elements that can be included in electricity pricing, such as the price for electricity used, network charges and service charges. If you are comparing prices, make sure you check what has been included and what is excluded from your offer.

The electricity you use is measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh) or megawatt-hours (MWh). A unit price is the price per kWh or MWh. This is how you will be able to compare prices from different retailers. Check your recent bills to see how much electricity you usually consume - and don't forget you may use more or less electricity in summer or winter. The Australian Energy Regulator has developed a price comparator on the website Energy Made Easy so you can compare electricity prices offered by Queensland electricity retailers.