Please can you explain the difference between an energy retailer and a distributor?

Answer:

Retailers are the companies that send the electricity bills.  People can speak to them about:

  • bills
  • getting connected
  • energy offers
  • moving house
  • getting concessions
  • problems or complaints

You can choose your retailer but you cannot change your distributor.

The Distributors are the companies that own the poles and wires that transfer the electricity to your house.  They also are responsible for your smart meter and provide the information from your smart meter to the retailer.

There are five distributors

  • Ausnet
  • Powercor
  • CitiPower
  • Jemena
  • United Energy

Most of your contact with the energy system is usually through the retailers but you should contact your distributor about:

  • power interruptions
  • emergencies
  • meter issues
  • special electricity supply needs (like a life support machine)