The good news is there are many different alternatives in the market. One of the misconception is that the retailers are responsible for reliability. This is simply not the case. The big retailers do not look after the poles and wires, the network operators do. Thanks to regulations, every energy retailer (big or small) gets the same services from the network operator. This means you can choose any retailer and not worry about reliability of your energy supply.
Choosing your electricity provider
There are many comparison sites advertised which offer energy plan comparisons. However, it is hard to go past the fact that these sites' business model is based on commission. Therefore, the advice they provide may not be driven buy your needs and requirements but their revenue. There is one site which is not driven by commission and that is EnergyMadeEasy. This site is managed by the Australian Government and does not get any commission for its services. Therefore, we find it easier to trust when it comes to comparing energy plans.
Like most things, when it comes to comparing energy plans, the devil is in the details. Knowing your daily energy usage pattern is one of the most important variables. the comparison website assume a fixed energy usage pattern and apply the energy prices to these assumption to produce a result.
Below is an example we produced from EnergyMadeEasy for an average Sydney residence.
If we look deeper at the energy prices for the first choice above, we can see when the the model predicts the peak prices will be paid (see below). Depending on your system design, orientation, shading, and relative size to your consumption, then these results may not be very accurate and impact your anticipated energy bill.
If we look at the option 2, then you can see that the variability and complication of a multi tier price has been removed by providing a flat electricity rate. Furthermore, doubling the solar feed-in rate (the price that the retailer pays you for feeding in the excess electricity back into the grid) provides a bigger incentive for considering their product. Considering most households do not know their daily energy consumptions patterns, then it is wise to consider option 2 as it is much more certain the results shown will be achieved.