When determining whether we can help a business, we consider:

  • number of staff employed and the annual turnover
  • if they consume more or less than 100 MWh electricity or 1000Gj gas per year
  • the capacity of the business to seek redress without our assistance.

Business that meet the criteria of small energy customers have similar protections as residential customers. Read more about some of the issues we can help small businesses with:

Choosing a retailer and energy offer

You can buy electricity and gas from the standard retailer in your area, or you can take up a market contract with any other licensed retailer. With a market contract, a retailer may offer you a special deal or discount if you agree to switch to them. Learn more about these offers and use our contract checklist to compare retailers and offers.

Shop around to find an offer that suits your business operations and budget. The energy market is competitive and retailers want your business. Use this to your advantage and negotiate to get the best offer you can. Consider contract length, payment options and billing frequency as well as price in assessing which offer best suits your business.

Be aware that some discounted offers for fixed terms include an early termination fee if the account is closed before the end of the contract term. These fees can vary greatly between contracts and during the course of the contract, so read the terms and conditions carefully. Business customers may also be required to pay a security deposit at the start of the contract or any time during it.

Tenant issues

Your lease should clearly state who is responsible for paying energy and water accounts. Providers can only discuss an account with the account holder or an authorised representative. If you have a problem and are not authorised, contact the account holder to raise the matter.

If you have any dispute regarding who's responsible or are unable to get the assistance you need from the account holder, contact the NSW Small Business Commissioner. If your premises are separately metered for water and/or energy, make a note of the meter reading when moving in or out.

Reduce your energy consumption

  • Refrigeration: reduce the work fridges do to keep cool by turning off internal lights and anti-sweat heaters, maintaining seals and keeping fridges level. Keep fridges at least 60% full and freezers at least 75% full. Use containers of water if stocks are low. An energy efficient refrigerator can save you hundreds of dollars on your power bills every year. You may qualify for a NSW government upgrade for a new one.
  • Lighting: replace incandescent globes with energy efficient globes and only switch on when and where needed.
  • Business equipment: switch off appliances when not in use and use timer settings to automate the process. Invest in high-star rated equipment and educate employees about energy efficient practices.
  • Motors: energy efficient motors can deliver savings that offset their higher purchase price by reducing operating costs. Servicing motors regularly, ensuring adequate ventilation and using variable speed drives are all ways your business can reduce energy consumption.
  • Hot water: by switching to gas or off-peak rates, your business could make significant savings.
  • Heating, ventilation and air-conditioning: this can account for up to half your energy bill. Adjusting the temperature by just one degree can save up to 10% in energy costs. Use a thermostat to manage consumption.
  • Water: providers such as Sydney Water and Hunter Water offer saving advice. Refer to their website or contact your provider for water saving tips.

Supply interruptions

Distributors must give four business days’ notice of a scheduled supply interruption. It is your responsibility to arrange a generator if your business requires power during an interruption. You may also want to investigate back-up energy systems or insurance options to cover for damage or losses caused by unscheduled interruptions.

It is recommended that businesses install surge protection devices on sensitive and/or business critical appliances to prevent damage in the case of surges and outages.


If you are having difficulties meeting payments, call your provider as soon as you can to discuss the situation. While retailers’ affordability programs do not extend to business customers, the earlier you contact the provider, the more likely you are to get assistance. If you dispute a bill, pay an amount towards the account you consider reasonable while the matter is being resolved. This will help prevent large arrears building up and shows good faith.

National Energy Bill Relief 

Eligible small businesses using less than 100 megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity per year will receive a one-off $650 bill relief payment towards their electricity bill.

Energy Rating Calculator

If your business runs fridges, air-con, dishwashers and other appliances, use the Energy Rating Calculator to compare running costs before you buy.

Managing energy

Visit the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water to see how you can improve energy efficiency and reduce waste within your workplace.

Local programs

Some local councils have additional options or incentives for businesses to reduce energy consumption. Check your local council's website. 

Energy Savings Scheme

This scheme offers incentives to install energy efficient equipment and appliances in NSW households and businesses.