Is there competition in the Tasmanian electricity market?
Yes. Since 2006 the state government has gradually introduced competition into the Tasmanian electricity retail market, starting with the largest business customers and progressing to smaller businesses.
Who decides which customers are open to competition?
The Tasmanian government decides which electricity customers are open to competition.
Which customers are open to competition?
The table below shows the timeline of competition introduction to groups of business customers (known as 'tranches') according to electricity consumption per site in a 12 month assessment period.
The State government has not yet made a decision about extending retail competition to small businesses and households consuming less than 50 MWh per year.
|Contestable Customer Type||Tranche||Annual consumption |
at one site*
|Approximate annual |
spend at one site
|Small Contestable Customers||Tranche 5a||≥ 50 MWh per year||over $10,000 per year||1 July 2011|
|Large Customers||Tranche 4||≥ 150 MWh per year||over $30,000 per year||1 July 2009|
|Tranche 3||≥ 750 MWh per year||over $80,000 per year||1 July 2008|
|Tranche 2||≥ 4,000 MWh per year||over $400,000 per year||1 July 2007|
|Tranche 1||≥ 20,000 MWh per year||over $2 million per year||1 July 2006|
* 1MWh is equal to 1,000KWh.
What does 'contestability' mean?
The introduction of competition into the electricity market is called ‘contestability' and gives certain customers the opportunity to choose their retailer and enter into an electricity contract with them. These are called ‘contestable' customers because different retailers can ‘contest' for their business by offering them contracts.
How does a customer become contestable?
A customer becomes contestable when their business uses a certain amount of electricity at one site over a 12 month period. As of 1 July 2011, customers with annual electricity consumption over 50 MWh per site per year will be contestable. Aurora's Network Division reviews customers' consumption over a 12 month assessment period and informs them if they have used the required amount to become contestable.
How does a customer know if it is contestable?
Customers will know they are contestable if they receive a letter from Aurora's Network Division advising them of this. If they are unsure they can also call Aurora's Retail Division on 1300 13 2045.
What if a customer does not agree that it is contestable?
If a customer has been notified by Aurora that it is contestable and disagrees with this, they can apply to the Regulator to become non-contestable.
What if a customer is not contestable?
They will continue to access their electricity under a regulated tariff from Aurora Energy as they presently do. If they believe their business should be contestable, they can apply to the Regulator for a contestability determination.
Do all contestable customers have the same options?
No. Tranche 1 to Tranche 4 customers are classed as Large Customers, while Tranche 5a customers are called Small Contestable Customers (SCC).
The two groups have slightly different regulations applied to them. The main differences are that large customers must enter into an electricity contract and need an interval meter, while SCC customers have the option to remain on their tariff and do not need an interval meter. More information can be found at www.power.tas.gov.au (external link).