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Feb 03 2022

International electricity price comparisons

Australian retail household electricity prices in the National Electricity Market are the lowest they have been for eight years and are the 10th lowest of the 38 OECD countries, according to analysis undertaken by the Australian Energy Council.

The AEC’s Chief Executive, Sarah McNamara, said: “This assessment of how much Australian homes and businesses pay shows our electricity supply is internationally competitive, and that retailers are passing savings on to customers.

“Consumers have been benefitting from lower wholesale prices which have been flowing through to household bills.

“The competitive retail market is also helping keep electricity costs down with market offers offering better value than the regulated default offers set by government,” said Ms McNamara.

Australian prices are based on the average cost per unit of electricity of 27 cents per kilowatt-hour reported by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) in its most recent National Electricity Market review.

When compared against other OECD countries, based on an equivalent purchasing power index for prices, Australian average prices per kilowatt-hour are equivalent to 17.6 US cents (c/kWh), well below the OECD average cost of 24.2 US c/kWh and less than many European countries on a Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) basis.

PPP is used to adjust the data to exchange rate differences and ensures a like-for-like comparison when buying an equivalent good or service across borders.  A PPP can therefore provide a good indication of affordability by country.

The highest household cost of electricity on this basis is in Germany, the Czech Republic, and Poland, while the cheapest residential electricity rates are seen in Canada, Iceland, and Norway.

Without the PPP adjustment, Australian residential electricity prices are at 19.21 US c/kWh, just below the OECD average (19.8 US c/kWh).

“Whilst this is encouraging news for all Australian consumers, it’s still a good idea to speak to your retailer or look on the government-run comparator sites (Energy Made Easy and Victorian Energy Compare) and to make sure your retail deal is the best value for your circumstances,” Ms McNamara said.

More details of the analysis can be found here.

Household electricity prices - PPP adjusted (USD) *view larger image here

Source: AEC analysis of OECD data. Green line represents OECD average. Note: The Australian price is based on the ACCC’s average residential price of 27c/kWh.


About the Australian Energy Council

The Council represents 20 major electricity and downstream natural gas businesses operating in the competitive wholesale and retail energy markets. These businesses collectively generate the overwhelming majority of electricity in Australia, sell gas and electricity to over 10 million homes and businesses, and are major investors in renewable energy generation.   

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