The plan search in Energy Made Easy relies on information you provide to find plans that you may be eligible to sign up for, and to show you an estimate of how much each plan might cost for you.

Energy Made Easy gives you an estimate of likely future energy costs, based on your historical energy usage or in some cases, based on typical usage for similar households in your suburb.

Energy Made Easy cannot tell you how much you might save by switching to a new plan. It is very difficult for anyone to tell you how much money you will save – especially if this estimated saving is based on just one bill or for any period less than 12 months. This is because while your historical energy usage is a reasonable indicator of your future energy usage, your energy usage can and will change throughout a year and over time.

You can still compare your existing bills to the information Energy Made Easy shows you, to work out whether you think a new plan is the best deal for you, or if it will save you money in the long run. We will give you as much information as we can, to help you make an informed decision.

On this page you will find information to help you understand:

  • what information you need to provide to us to complete a search
  • why we ask you to provide the information
  • how we use the information to find plans for you
  • how we calculate the estimated costs for each plan
  • how to review your plan search results.

This information is structured to align with the Energy Made Easy search questions and results, to make it easier to follow. You can always skip straight to the section you want to learn more about.

Information you need to provide

Type of energy plan you are looking for

If you select Electricity or Gas we will only show you plans of this type in your search results.

If you select Electricity and Gas we will show you:

  • plans where both electricity and gas are bundled together by a retailer and offered to you as a single plan (often called a 'dual fuel' plan)
  • unbundled electricity and gas plans, so you can compare the individual plan costs against the bundled plan cost, to find the best deal for you.

In many locations there are very few, or no, bundled plans available. For this reason we will always show you the individual electricity and gas plans in your search. You can use the tabs on the search results page to switch between all of the different plan types that we found for you.

Your location

We don't need to know your full address, but we do need you to tell us your suburb and/or postcode. This is because there are a wide range of energy plans available across Australia, and your ability to access them will depend on where you live. We will only show you plans that are available in your location.

Some plans available in your location might only be available to households and small businesses serviced by a particular energy distributor. If we need this information to show you the right plans we may ask you who your distributor is.

Household type

We need you to tell us if you are looking for energy plans for your home, or for a small business.

If you tell us how many people there are in your household, this lets us know that you are a household or 'residential' consumer. We will only show you plans that can be accessed by residential consumers in your search results.

If you tell us that you are a small business, then we will only show you plans that can be accessed by small businesses in your search results.

For households, we ask you how many people typically live in your home because we use this information to get an idea of how much energy you would usually use, if you do not provide any real usage information in the next questions.

How much energy you use

We ask you to tell us how much energy your household or small business uses, so that we can show you personalised estimated costs for each energy plan. We do this by looking at your energy supply and usage in the past, to work out how much energy you are likely to use in the future, and we use that in our estimated cost calculations.

Residential consumers can still complete a search without providing your energy usage information, but the estimated plan costs will be more meaningful and relevant to you if you do.

You can provide your energy usage information to us in a number of ways. For each option we will ask different questions to guide your search. These options include:

There are a range of other questions we may ask to help us find the most relevant plans for you.

Use my meter data (electricity search only)

If you select this option, you will need to agree to us collecting the energy meter data for your household or small business on your behalf. You will need to have lived or operated your business at the same property for 12 months or more to use this option. If you let us collect this data, we will be able to determine how much energy you used over the most recent 12 month period.

If you have a smart meter, we can also determine how your energy usage varies during the day and on different days of the week. This is helpful when we calculate estimated costs for time-of-use electricity plans. If you have solar panels, we can also identify your solar export/feed-in (or 'generation') and calculate estimated solar feed-in credits paid by a retailer where these are available on a plan.

This option will result in the most personalised estimated energy plan costs, as these will be based on precise historical usage for your household or small business. While future energy usage may vary, this historical information gives the best indication of what your typical usage looks like.

Upload PDF bill

If you select this option, you will need to upload one or more electronic bills. An electronic bill or 'e-bill' is typically sent to you by your energy retailer via email and is a PDF document. The PDF document is usually an attachment to the email you receive to let you know that your bill is available. Previous bills can usually be downloaded from an online account you access on your energy retailer's website.

You can upload one or more bills, containing up to 12 months of energy usage.

Bill period of 12 months or more

If you provide us with multiple bills, covering your energy usage for a period of 12 months or more, then we will estimate the yearly, quarterly and monthly energy plan costs based on this historical usage for your household or small business.

Bill period less than 12 months

If you provide us with one or more bills that cover a period less than 12 months, we will use the historical usage for your household or small business to show you the estimated energy plan costs for an equivalent billing period. For example, if you upload one bill for the period 16 April to 14 July then we will show you the estimated energy plan costs for a plan for this same period of time.

In order to show you the yearly, quarterly and monthly estimated energy plan costs, we will use a combination of your historical energy usage for the period you have provided and estimated usage for the remaining period, based on your usage pattern and other factors (go to Continue with no bill or no meter data for more information).

This option allows us to collect your usage information from your bills, so you don’t need to enter this information manually into the search form. If you do not already receive electronic bills from your retailer, you will not be able to use this option. You may be able to request electronic bills from your retailer to use this option in future.

I have a paper bill

If you select this option, you will need to manually enter your energy usage information from one or more recent bills. To provide information from multiple bills, you will need to add up your usage from all of the bills and enter the total value into the relevant fields on the search form.

You will also be able to view a sample energy bill to help you read your bill and find all of the information you are asked to provide.

As we can't see your bill, and don’t have any information about the type of plan and type of energy meter you already have, you will need to answer some additional questions. Your answers to these questions help us determine what fields we need to show you on the search form, so you can enter your usage information correctly.

Like the Upload PDF bill option, we will use your historical energy usage information to calculate the estimated energy plan costs. The way we do this will vary, depending on whether you have provided your energy usage for a period of 12 months or more, or a period less than 12 months.

Continue with no bill or no meter data

This option is only available to households or 'residential' consumers. Small business consumers must select one of the other available options, and provide energy usage information.

If you select this option, we will not know how much energy you typically use. To calculate the estimated energy plan costs, we will need to make some assumptions about what your energy usage might look like. We do this by looking at how much energy a similar household in your suburb/postcode might typically use.

This usage information comes from a historical survey of household energy usage, last conducted by the AER in 2017 and reviewed every 3 years. We refer to this as 'benchmark' usage and this will be similar to the information you see on your bills about how your energy usage compares to others in your area.

Depending on where you live and the type of plan you are looking for, you may be asked questions about the type of heating you have, whether you have mains gas connected, or whether you have a pool. These factors can influence how much energy a home uses. Knowing this information helps us to identify the right benchmark usage we should use for your home, to calculate the estimated energy plan costs for you.

This option will result in the least personalised estimated energy plan costs, as the benchmark usage may differ considerably from the energy you actually use in your home. Unfortunately, as we do not have benchmarks for solar generation, we cannot calculate estimated solar feed-in credits with this option.

Other questions we may ask

Who is your current energy retailer?

We ask this question for different reasons, depending on whether you have chosen to provide your energy usage information and the option you have chosen to do this.

The reasons we might ask this question:

  • For verification when you ask us to collect and use your meter data.
  • To show you a relevant sample bill to help you find and enter your usage information, when you have a paper bill.
  • To assist with filtering plan results by making it easier to filter for alternative plans from your current retailer.

In some cases, you can answer 'None/Not Sure' to this question if you do not know or do not want to tell us.

Do you have solar panels?

We ask this question if you have chosen to provide your energy usage information from a paper bill. If you have solar panels, we will ask you to enter your solar feed-in or 'generation' from your bill, so that we can calculate estimated solar feed-in tariff (or 'FiT') credits for a plan.

We also ask this question if you have chosen not to provide usage information. In this case, we will always show you plans with and without solar feed-in available but include options in the search filters, to allow you to show or hide these plans accordingly.

Do you have a smart meter?

For electricity plans, you must have a smart meter to choose a plan with time-of-use rates and/or demand charges.

We always show you time-of-use plans as well as single rate plans even if you don’t have a smart meter today, as you may be able to ask your retailer for one when signing up to a new plan where it is required.

But we do not show you plans with demand charges by default, so we ask this question to determine whether we need to provide you with the option to include these plans in your search – you can include these plans by using the search refinement filters.

Who is your energy distributor?

Some plans available in your location might only be available to households and small businesses serviced by a particular energy distributor. We ask this question if there is more than one distributor for your suburb/postcode, and if we need this information to determine the right plans to show you.

Questions related to other factors that affect energy usage in your location

Depending on where you live and the type of plan you are looking for, you may be asked questions about:

  • the type of heating you have
  • whether you have mains gas connected
  • whether you have a pool.

These factors can influence how much energy a home uses. Knowing this information helps us to identify the right benchmark usage we should use for your home, to calculate the estimated energy plan costs for you.

How we calculate your estimated plan costs

The way we calculate estimated plan costs will vary, depending on the energy usage information you provide and the search option you choose to provide it.

If you selected Use my meter data

Step 1. Determine your historical usage period

When you ask us to collect the electricity meter data for your household or small business on your behalf, you confirm that you have lived or operated your business at the same property for 12 months or more.

From the data, we will use the meter readings for the most recent 12 month period to determine your historical electricity usage for a full calendar year.

We will calculate the yearly, quarterly and monthly energy plan costs based on this historical usage for your household or small business.

The way we do this differs depending on whether or not you have a smart meter (or an interval meter that is not 'smart' – where meter readings are not sent electronically to your retailer or distributor).

Step 2. Work out your usage profile

Non-interval meters

If you do not have an interval or smart meter, the meter data looks the same as the aggregated usage data on your bills. As this data is aggregated, we need to calculate an average daily usage for each day in each season to determine individual plan costs.

If your meter data includes controlled load usage, then for plans with a controlled load we will use your real usage split to calculate the average daily usage used by your controlled load appliance(s).

In order to calculate costs for time-of-use plans, we will use our benchmark data to make some assumptions about how much of the calculated average daily usage you might use in the different time-of-use periods.

If your meter data includes solar export/feed-in, then for plans with solar feed-in tariffs we will use your actual solar export for the whole period to calculate the estimated solar feed-in credits.

Interval and smart meters

If you have an interval or smart meter, the meter data we receive includes electricity usage recorded every 30 minutes, for every day in the most recent 12 month period. This allows us to use your actual historical usage (including any controlled load usage) for every 30 minutes in the period, to create a usage profile for calculating the plan costs.

If your meter data includes solar export/feed-in, then for plans with solar feed-in tariffs we will use your actual solar export for the whole period to calculate the estimated solar feed-in credits.

Step 3. Calculate daily usage and supply costs

For every plan, we then take the rates that apply to your usage profile on each day in the period to determine a daily usage cost for each plan.

For non-interval meters, we use the average daily usage values we calculated earlier to determine the daily usage cost. We do this for general usage and any controlled load usage. For time-of-use plans, we use our assumed usage for each time-of-use period and the rates that apply during the different time-of-use periods – sometimes these are different on weekdays and weekends.

For interval or smart meters, we use the usage recorded every 30 minutes on each day and map this to the exact plan cost for the same 30 minute period. For time-of-use plans, we calculate a more precise cost based on the time-of-use rate that is applicable at any given time of day and for any day of the week.

For plans with one or more controlled load rates, because we don’t know how many controlled load appliances you have or how these rates will apply to you, we use the cheapest controlled load rate.

We then calculate the fixed daily costs that apply for the period including:

  • the daily supply charge
  • the daily controlled load supply charge (if applicable).

Step 4. Calculate yearly costs

We then add up the calculated usage and supply costs for each day in the period to determine a yearly cost. We always calculate for only 365 days, irrespective of whether the period covers a leap year.

Step 5. Discounts and adjustments

After working out the total usage and supply costs, we add them together - making adjustments for any discounts that apply and GST.

The way we do this depends on the type of discount and when it is applied. For example, some discounts are a fixed amount, while others are calculated as a percentage of your usage charges before GST, or a percentage of your total bill (usage and supply charges).

Step 6. Calculate and add additional fees

After calculating the adjusted cost of a plan, we then calculate and add any other fees that may apply, including:

  • recurring metering costs
  • recurring membership fees
  • any one-off joining or contribution fees.

Step 7. Calculate solar feed-in credits

If your meter data includes solar export/feed-in, we will calculate the estimated retailer solar feed-in credits for a plan that has a retailer solar feed-in tariff. If the retailer has recorded multiple solar feed-in tariffs, we will use the lowest priced tariff for the plan as we do not know how the retailer will determine which tariff is applicable to you.

Note: We do not calculate any government solar feed-in credits. This is because government schemes across the country are many and varied, and have changed over time. It is not possible for us to determine which government feed-in tariffs are applicable to you without asking you many additional questions, and maintaining records for all of these schemes over time – which we do not do.

Step 8. Final estimated costs

On the results page, we always show you the yearly cost by default. You also have the option to view monthly and quarterly costs. As these are estimated costs, we round all values to the nearest $10 to keep things simple.

We calculate the monthly cost by dividing the yearly cost by 12. As this is a simple average, you can expect that this cost will vary month to month.

For the quarterly cost, we instead show you the estimated cost for the current season on the day of your search. So in winter, we will show you the winter quarterly cost, the summer cost in summer and so on. We do this to give you a reasonable representation of the plan cost today or for the upcoming season, given this cost will vary from season to season.

Individual plan pricing

On an individual plan document, we will also show you the yearly cost by default. You have the option to view monthly and quarterly costs.

We will show you the period we considered, together with an average daily usage we calculated for the whole period and an average solar export. We do this to give you an indication of the level of usage found in the meter data that was used in our calculations – this is because we do not show you the meter data.

If you selected I have a paper bill or Upload PDF bill

Step 1. Determine your 'bill period'

If you provided usage data from one or more of your energy bills, we will first need to determine your bill period. The bill period we consider in our calculations will start from the earliest start date, and end on the latest end date, of the bills you provide.

We will always calculate estimated plan costs for this whole bill period, so you can more easily compare these with your actual bills. For example, if you provided 18 months of usage data from your bills, we will show you the equivalent plan costs for an 18 month period.

We will also calculate the yearly, quarterly and monthly energy plan costs based on this historical usage for your household or small business. In the case of gas plans, we will also calculate a 2-monthly cost – common with billing for gas plans.

Step 2. Work out your usage profile

If we have 12 months or more of usage data from your bills, all of our calculations will be based on your actual historical usage.

If we do not have at least 12 months of usage data from your bills, we will use your actual historical usage for the period we do have. For the remaining period we will estimate your usage, using our benchmark data to forecast how your real usage may change between seasons over a 12 month period.

As the data provided from bills is aggregated, we still need to calculate an average daily usage for each day in each season to determine individual plan costs.

If your bill data includes time-of-use usage (peak, off-peak, shoulder), then for time-of-use plans we will use your real usage split to calculate the average daily usage for each usage type.

If your bill data includes controlled load usage, then for plans with a controlled load we will use your real usage split to calculate the average daily usage used by your controlled load appliance(s).

If your bill data does not include time-of-use or controlled load usage, then we will use our benchmark data to make some assumptions about how much of our calculated average daily usage you might use in the different time-of-use periods, or that might be used by any controlled load appliance.

Step 3. Calculate daily usage and supply costs

For every plan, we then take the rates that apply to your assumed level of usage on each day throughout the whole bill period you supplied, and use the average daily usage values we calculated earlier to determine a daily usage cost for each plan. We do this for general usage and any controlled load usage. If the whole bill period is less than 12 months, we will fill in the remaining period with estimated daily usage to calculate the remaining daily usage costs.

For time-of-use plans, we use our assumed usage for each time-of-use period and the rates that apply during the different time-of-use periods – sometimes these are different on weekdays and weekends.

For plans with one or more controlled load rates, because we don’t know how many controlled load appliances you have or how these rates will apply to you, we use the cheapest controlled load rate.

We then calculate the fixed daily costs that apply for the period including:

  • the daily supply charge
  • the daily controlled load supply charge (if applicable).

Step 4. Calculate bill period and yearly costs

We then add up the calculated usage and supply costs for each day in the whole bill period you supplied and for a full calendar year to determine a yearly cost. For the yearly cost, we do this for the same year in which your bill period falls. If it is a leap year, this means we will calculate for a full 366 days. If the whole bill period is exactly one year, these costs will be the same.

Step 5. Discounts and adjustments

After working out the total usage and supply costs, we add them together - making adjustments for any discounts that apply and GST.

The way we do this depends on the type of discount and when it is applied. For example, some discounts are a fixed amount, while others are calculated as a percentage of your usage charges before GST, or a percentage of your total bill (usage and supply charges).

Step 6. Calculate and add additional fees

After calculating the adjusted cost of a plan, we then calculate and add any other fees that may apply, including:

  • recurring metering costs
  • recurring membership fees
  • any one-off joining or contribution fees.

Step 7. Calculate solar feed-in credits (bill period only)

If you told us you have solar panels and you provided your solar export/feed-in for the whole bill period, we will calculate the estimated retailer solar feed-in credits for a plan that has a retailer solar feed-in tariff. If the retailer has recorded multiple solar feed-in tariffs, we will use the lowest priced tariff for the plan as we do not know how the retailer will determine which tariff is applicable to you.

Note: We do not calculate any government solar feed-in credits. This is because government schemes across the country are many and varied, and have changed over time. It is not possible for us to determine which government feed-in tariffs are applicable to you without asking you many additional questions, and maintaining records for all of these schemes over time – which we do not do.

Step 8. Final estimated costs

On the results page, we always show your bill period cost by default, except for an Electricity and Gas search where the default is a yearly cost—this is because the electricity and gas bill periods will not usually be aligned. You also have the option to view yearly, monthly and quarterly costs and in the case of gas plans, a 2-monthly cost. As these are estimated costs, we round all values to the nearest $10 to keep things simple.

We calculate the monthly cost by dividing the yearly cost by 12. As this is a simple average, you can expect that this cost will vary month to month.

For the quarterly cost, we instead show you the estimated cost for the current season on the day of your search. So in winter, we will show you the winter quarterly cost, the summer cost in summer and so on. We do this to give you a reasonable representation of the plan cost today or for the upcoming season, given this cost will vary from season to season.

If you provided solar export/feed-in information, then we will alert you that the bill period cost has taken into account the estimated solar feed-in credits for a plan.

Note: We do not take into account the solar feed-in credits for any period other than the bill period you provided. This is because we have no underlying benchmark data to make assumptions about how your solar export/feed-in varies from season to season over a 12 month period.

Individual plan pricing

On an individual plan document, we will only show you the estimated cost for the whole bill period you supplied. For an Electricity and Gas plan, you can use the tabs to view the estimated cost for the electricity and gas components of the plan, calculated for each of the bill periods you supplied.

We do this so you can directly compare the estimated plan cost to your real bills, and verify the information we used to calculate the estimated plan cost.

We will show you the bill period we considered, together with the total usage and solar export you provided. We will also show you an average daily usage we calculated for the whole period.

If you selected Continue with no bill or no meter data

Step 1. Determine benchmark usage for your location and household

We will determine which benchmark usage value to use in our calculations based on:

  • type of plan (electricity or gas)
  • your suburb/postcode
  • the number of people who typically live in your home
  • your answers to the questions related to other factors that affect energy usage in your location.

Energy usage will typically vary between calendar seasons, depending on where you live. For example, if you live in a cooler part of the country, you may use more energy in winter than you would in summer, to heat your home. Though in some warmer parts of the country, energy usage may also be very high in summer due to the use of air-conditioning. Our benchmark usage takes these seasonal variations into account.

Step 2. Work out your usage profile

First we calculate an estimated average daily usage from the benchmark value, for each day in each calendar season.

For a time-of-use plan that has different rates that apply at different times of day or days of the week, we use our benchmark data to make some assumptions about how much of that average daily usage you might use in the different time-of-use periods.

For plans with a controlled load, we use our benchmark data to make some assumptions about how much of that average daily usage might be used by any controlled load appliance.

Step 3. Calculate daily usage and supply costs

For every plan, we then take the rates that apply to your assumed level of usage on each day throughout a 12 month period, and use the average daily usage values we calculated earlier to determine a daily usage cost for each plan. We do this for general usage and any controlled load usage.

For time-of-use plans, we use our assumed usage for each time-of-use period and the rates that apply during the different time-of-use periods – sometimes these are different on weekdays and weekends.

For plans with one or more controlled load rates, because we don’t know how many controlled load appliances you have or how these rates will apply to you, we use the cheapest controlled load rate.

We then calculate the fixed daily costs that apply for the 12 month period including:

  • the daily supply charge
  • the daily controlled load supply charge (if applicable).

Step 4. Calculate yearly costs

We then add up the calculated usage and supply costs for each day throughout a 12 month period to determine a yearly cost for both. We do this for the year in which you are searching. If it is a leap year, this means we will calculate for a full 366 days.

Step 5. Discounts and adjustments

After working out the yearly usage and supply costs, we add them together - making adjustments for any discounts that apply and GST.

The way we do this depends on the type of discount and when it is applied. For example, some discounts are a fixed amount, while others are calculated as a percentage of your usage charges before GST, or a percentage of your total bill (usage and supply charges).

Step 6. Calculate and add additional fees

After calculating the adjusted cost of a plan, we then calculate and add any other fees that may apply, including:

  • recurring metering costs
  • recurring membership fees
  • any one-off joining or contribution fees.

Step 7. Final estimated costs

On the results page, we always show you the yearly cost by default. You also have the option to view monthly and quarterly costs and in the case of gas plans, a 2-monthly cost. As these are estimated costs, we round all values to the nearest $10 to keep things simple.

We calculate the monthly cost by dividing the yearly cost by 12. As this is a simple average, you can expect that this cost will vary month to month.

For the quarterly cost, we instead show you the estimated cost for the current season on the day of your search. So in winter, we will show you the winter quarterly cost, the summer cost in summer and so on. We do this to give you a reasonable representation of the plan cost today or for the upcoming season, given this cost will vary from season to season.

Individual plan comparison pricing table

On an individual plan document, we will show you the estimated cost for the household type that you selected in the search (this will be highlighted). We also show you the estimated costs for other household types.

We do this to give you an indication of how the cost of this plan changes if the number of people in your home changes, or you simply use more or less energy in future than you currently do. You can think of this as a comparison of low, medium or high usage scenarios.

We will also show you the average daily usage that we used to calculate the estimated plan costs. This is an average over the whole year and is indicative only – the daily usage we use in your calculations varies from season to season as outlined in the preceding steps.

How to review your plan search results

There are a few different ways that you can choose to view the search results, including using filters to refine the results based on your preferences:

Price and Price with discounts

The plan search results are ordered by the estimated cost for each plan, with the cheapest at the top of the list and the most expensive at the bottom of the list. As these are estimated costs, we round all values to the nearest $10 to keep things simple.

The default search result view is Price with discounts. This view shows two estimated plan costs for each plan, for the time period selected:

  • 'with discounts' cost, that takes into account the maximum discount that you could receive if you meet specific requirements, such as paying on time or setting up direct debits
  • guaranteed or 'unconditional' cost, that does not have any special conditions or requirements attached.

Sometimes these two costs will be the same. This will occur when the plan has no discounts or if there are discounts that have no special conditions or requirements that you need to meet to receive them.

If you select the Price option, we will only show you the guaranteed or 'unconditional' estimated cost for each plan.

Lowest price plans from each retailer

This is the default search result view. We will show you the plan with the cheapest estimated cost (yearly or for your bill period) from each retailer.

For all of the plans you see, the retailer has indicated that there are no special conditions you need to meet to sign up to the plan – provided you have answered the search questions correctly, and the plan is available in your location and at your property.

However, there may be restrictions that we do not know about – for instance, the distributor may indicate to the retailer that your property is not eligible for the rates in that plan. The retailer will be able to confirm your eligibility when you contact them about the plan.

Plans with promotional offers

We do not show these plans to you unless you choose to view them. In all of these plans, the retailers have indicated that there are special conditions you need to meet before you are eligible to sign up to the plan.

This can include things like:

  • needing to sign up for the plan through a third party
  • agreeing to direct debit payments and/or electronic billing (no paper bills)
  • being a member of a particular sporting club, airline frequent flyer program, or automotive association.

You may already meet some of these conditions but sometimes there will be conditions that you are just not able or willing to meet. For example, a plan offered by your current retailer that is only available to new customers.

For this reason, even if these plans have the cheapest estimated costs, they are not shown in the lowest price plan results as they are not always available to everyone.

All plans

This search result view shows you every plan that we found for your search. It includes every plan from every retailer that you may be eligible to sign up for - including plans with promotional offers.

Refine your search results

Depending on how many plans we found for your search, the choices available may seem overwhelming.

You can refine your results by applying one or more filters, to narrow down the list of plans based on your preferences.