Utilities in South Australia - Electricity

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2 November, 2020

The way we generate and use electricity is changing!

“The state once known for not having enough power has become the first major jurisdiction in the world to be powered entirely by solar energy.” - https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-10-25/all-sa-power-from-solar-for-first-time/12810366

What does it mean for you as we transition to renewable energy? Will electricity get cheaper?

The short answer is yes, over time. There are also steps you can take right now to decrease the amount you are paying for power.

As a customer, you have rights and responsibilities determined by law to help protect you in your dealings with energy retailers and distributors.

Choosing a Provider

Energy Made Easy is a free Australian Government energy price comparison service for households and small businesses, that can be used to find and compare electricity and gas plans.

You can choose your energy retailer and contract type and can compare the range of energy offers available using the Energy Made Easy price comparison service or by calling 1300 585 165.


There are many energy plans available. When you're considering which one to choose, think about price, but don’t forget things like:

  • how long you have to sign up for
  • fees
  • discounts
  • other special deals (these might be called 'incentives' or 'benefits').

There are other things that may impact your energy plan, for example, did you know that when you use energy might affect how much you pay for it?

Some plans may also depend on whether you:

  • have a smart meter
  •  want your energy to be good for the environment (these might be called GreenPower plans)
  • have a solar energy system
  • live in the city or a regional area.


The less energy you use, the less you pay for

Do a home energy audit to see how you are using energy in your home and try some easy energy saving tips to cut down on your energy use. Calculate your appliance running costs to see how different appliances in your home contribute to your energy bills.

Living Areas

  • In summer, keep cool by closing windows, doors, curtains and blinds.
  • In summer, try to use fans instead of air conditioners, and if you use your air conditioner, set it to 26°C.
  • In winter, reduce draughts by closing windows, doors and curtains.
  • Set central heating to 18°C.
  • Put in LED lights and turn them off when not needed.
  • Switch off appliances at the wall – some appliances keep using energy if you don’t do this.


  • Make sure there is plenty of space around your fridge.
  • Check that the fridge seals keep the doors firmly closed.
  • Make sure the fridge isn’t too full.
  • Cover pots and pans to reduce cooking time.
  • Wait until the dishwasher is full, then put it on.

Bathroom & Laundry

  • Use cold water for washing.
  • If you prefer to use hot water, set it to 60°C.
  • Wait until the washing machine is full, then put it on.
  • Use a clothes line instead of the dryer.
  • Put in low-flow shower heads – ask at your hardware store.
  • Have shorter showers that are no more than four minutes.

Useful sites to help you understand your energy use:

Help paying energy bills

You may also be able to access either temporary or ongoing financial help with your energy bills.


If you are overwhelmed and need to discuss your options, the Affordable SA helpline can help point you in the right direction:

  • Call the Affordable SA Helpline on 1800 025 539

Utilities Program Listings

There are a number of 'Utilities' programs listed on our site that may be of interest also:


More From 'News Articles'

12 days of Christmas with Affordable SA

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...

An emu up a gum tree?!

Merry Christmas!

It feels like the Christmas season starts earlier every year, with shops, online stores and businesses putting up decorations and holding promotions in the months leading up to Christmas day. But, did you know that the Christmas season and the 12 days of Christmas actually begin on Christmas Day itself?

The 12 days of Christmas is the period in Christian theology that marks the span between the birth of Christ and the coming of the Magi, the three wise men. It begins on December 25 (Christmas) and runs through January 6 (the Epiphany, sometimes also called Three Kings’ Day).

The 12 Days of Christmas song that most of us are familiar with comes from an English composer named Frederic Austin. In 1909, he set the melody and lyrics (including changing 'colly' to 'calling') and added as his own flourish, the drawn-out cadence of 'five go-old rings'. The earliest known version first appeared in a 1780 children's book called 'Mirth With-out Mischief'.

Learn more about the history of the '12 days of Christmas' in this interesting article: https://www.vox.com/21796404/12-days-of-christmas-explained

Australian lyrics of the 12 Days of Christmas: https://www.thechristmastreefarm.com.au/australian-12-days-of-christmas-lyrics/

Christmas Day

It’s Christmas Day – time to spend time with family and friends. To be honest, I’m not even sure why you are reading this? Go, get off your phone or computer and enjoy Christmas.

If you're alone this Christmas for any reason, take a moment to pick up a phone and connect with a friend or family member.

If you don't have access to a phone or wi-fi, all Telstra pay phones are free to use over Christmas till New Years Day: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-12-23/telstra-payphones-made-free-for-christmas/13009548 - This includes Telstra Air wi-fi access points.

Here's some tips from the ABC if you're in isolation or alone on Christmas Day: https://www.abc.net.au/everyday/tips-for-spending-christmas-alone/100004504

Lifeline provides a 24/7 helpline for crisis support and suicide prevention on 13 11 14.


From all of us at Affordable SA, we wish you a safe and very merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and prosperous new year for 2021


Only a Week till Christmas

Where does the time go? Only 7 Days until Christmas!

Time to pick-up last-minute gifts and prepare for celebrations with family and friends. There’s presents to wrap, food to make and lots and lots of little jobs that can make it a very busy time.

Christmas Finances

The tricky thing about the festive season is that life doesn’t stop. Your real estate agent will still direct debit your rental payment, your electricity company will still want your quarterly bill paid and your telco company will still demand your BPay payment on a set day of the month.

With the added expense of Christmas, the end of the year can put a lot of pressure on people’s financial situation and unfortunately here on the Affordable SA helpline we tend to see the aftermath at the start of the new year.

Being part of the billion-dollar Christmas debt hangover is no way to start the New Year. If you are struggling with your expenses call the Affordable SA Helpline on 1800 025 539 to speak to a Financial Counsellor.

You can also find a range of programs that can help here:


Food for Christmas

Have you got enough food for you and your family this Christmas?

There's still time to access food pantries and emergency relief, but be quick as services may be closed, providing limited service or have different hours during the Christmas and New Year period.

A food pantry offers free or low cost food and groceries to the community. Find a local Food Pantry here:


You can find local, emergency relief here:


You can also call the Affordable SA helpline to be connected to services near you that can help. Call the helpline on 1800 025 539

A Christmas Together

It's also an important time to check in on people you know who may be experiencing loneliness or hardship.

Spare a thought for your elderly neighbour who lives alone, your friend who is experiencing financial hardship, your relative who is going through a separation or your co-worker who is struggling with depression.

If you know someone who finds this time of year especially difficult, consider reaching out to them to show that you are thinking of them.

If you or someone you know finds this time of year especially difficult, services such as Lifeline are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week to take your call on 13 11 14


Have a Merry Christmas South Australia

From everyone at Affordable SA, we wish you a very merry Christmas and all the best for 2021!


Salvos Christmas Cheer

Christmas is meant to be a time of celebration and joy, but if times are tough it can be challenging and isolating.

If you are unsure if you have enough food for Christmas, or you don’t know how you will afford presents for your kids, please contact your local Salvation Army. COVID-19 and other challenging circumstances may have you facing unexpected financial difficulties. The Salvos are committed to giving you non-judgemental and confidential support to help you through this season.

Christmas Cheer

Every year, local Salvation Army centers and churches give hope to individuals and families in need by providing food hampers and gift assistance. Christmas hampers are prepared with care using donated goods and shared with those in the community who have fallen on tough times and during the Christmas season.

Accessing Support

Registrations for Christmas Cheer close soon!

Each Salvos Centre and Corp organises 'Christmas Cheer' slightly differently, but the overall practice is much the same. You contact your local Salvos to register for Christmas Cheer. You would normally then go to the Centre for a brief interview and fill out some forms. You will be given a timeslot to attend to collect the hamper/vouchers and toys.

This year things are being done differently due to COVID-19. Contact your local Salvos or the Salvos Assistance Line on 1300 371 288

More information is available on the Salvation Army website: https://www.salvationarmy.org.au/christmas/need-help-this-christmas/food-hamper-and-gift-assistance/