On mainland Tasmania, large customers are business customers who consume at least 150 MWh of electricity per annum. These customers fall within the definition of 'large customers' under the National Energy Customer Framework (NECF).
Few of the consumer protections contained in the NECF extend to large customers. The NECF recognises that large customers have significant bargaining power with retailers in a competitive market and additional protections would come with an additional cost, which impacts the financial interests of large customers.
Large customers may purchase their electricity:
- by entering into a negotiated retail contract with an authorised retailer; or
- from the electricity wholesale market (see Fact Sheet 2, Purchasing electricity from the wholesale marketplace).
The terms and conditions of a large customer's negotiated retail contract are not regulated under the NECF.
TasNetworks, in its capacity as a licensed distributor, is responsible for physically distributing or delivering electricity from the high voltage transmission grid to the sites of most customers. TasNetworks (as a licensed distributor) is responsible for the “poles and wires" no matter which retailer you choose, unless the site is directly connected to the high voltage transmission network. For further information see Fact Sheet 7, Distribution of your electricity.
A large customer's electricity supply decisions are commercial decisions, based on its business energy needs and the availability of energy at a suitable price.
You will find some information regarding which authorised retailers have informed the Regulator that they are operating in Tasmania and offering contracts to large customers on the Useful Contacts page. There are also details for energy consultants on that page, should you require professional assistance with your decision.
Fact Sheet 6, Choosing an electricity retailer, may help with the decision making process.
The Tasmanian Energy Ombudsman provides a free, fair and independent dispute-resolution service for electricity consumers who have been unable to resolve a complaint with their retailer or distributor.