Roy Morgan Research
July 12, 2022

Customer satisfaction with electricity providers is down; and more customers are switching electricity providers

Topic: Press Release
Finding No: 9001
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New Roy Morgan data shows customer satisfaction with electricity providers dropped by 4.7% points to 69.6% from March 2022 to May 2022 as concerns about the reliability of the electricity grid and soaring electricity prices increased. Customer satisfaction has declined in all four of the larger States New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia.

The drop in customer satisfaction is having a direct impact on people changing electricity provider, with 1.82 million households (18.8% of those connected to the electricity grid) in May 2022 saying they switched electricity providers in the last 12 months, up from 1.41 million (14.6%) in March 2022 – an increase of 410,000 (+4.2% points) in only two months.

These are some of the latest findings collected from Roy Morgan’s Single Source survey, Australia’s most comprehensive consumer survey, which is derived from in-depth interviews with over 60,000 Australians each year and includes over 5,000 electricity customers each month.

Customer Satisfaction with electricity providers down in NSW, Victoria, Queensland and WA

Customer Satisfaction with electricity providers is down in all four of the big States over the two months to May 2022 with those in Queensland showing the sharpest decline, down 9.2% points to 64.6%.

Western Australians are the least satisfied with only 58.5% now satisfied with their electricity provider, down 6.8% points in only two months.

There have also been notable drops in customer satisfaction with electricity providers in both NSW, down 3.9% points to 71.2% and Victoria, down 5.9% points to 72.8% in the two months to May 2022.

Customer Satisfaction with Electricity Providers by State: March 2022 vs. May 2022

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), March 2022, n = 5,389; May 20228, n = 5,152. Base: Australians 14+ with electricity connected.

Over one-in-five households in NSW and Queensland have switched electricity providers

As customer satisfaction drops, increasing numbers of Australians are opting to switch their electricity provider with over one-in-five households in Queensland 20.5% (up 6.4% points since March 2022) and NSW 20.5% (up 3.6% points) switching providers in the last 12 months.

There has also been a significant increase in Victorian households switching providers to nearly one-in-five, 19.5% (up 5.1% points). The rate of those actively switching is lower in Western Australia, at 14.3% of households, but this still represents an increase of 0.9% points from two months ago.

Actively Switched Electricity Provider in the last 12 Months by State: March 2022 vs. May 2022

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), March 2022, n = 5,389; May 20228, n = 5,152. Base: Australian households with electricity connected.

Michele Levine, Chief Executive Officer, Roy Morgan, says the challenges facing the electricity grid in recent months have caused a sharp drop in customer satisfaction and an immediate rise in customers switching their electricity providers:

Block Quote

“The troubles facing the Australian energy market in recent months have been highlighted extensively in the media as soaring prices of commodities such as oil, gas and coal have led to shortages and provided perverse incentives for electricity providers.

“An example of this is what happened during the last few months as the key inputs such as gas and coal rose in price some electricity providers decided that taking their electricity out of the grid would prove financially beneficial as it would force prices even higher.

“These decisions, which were quickly labeled as ‘market manipulation’ by many commentators, were certainly not taken with the best interests of customers in mind. Unsurprisingly the latest Roy Morgan data shows customer satisfaction with electricity providers plunging between March 2022 (74.3%) and May 2022 (69.6%, down 4.7% points in two months).

“The dive in customer satisfaction has a ‘real world’ impact on the bottom line of Australia’s electricity providers – as satisfaction declines, the data shows that more customers are switching their electricity provider – and this is exactly what we have seen over the last few months.

“In May 2022 a rising share of nearly one-in-five households (18.8%, up 4.2% points in two months) have switched electricity providers in the last 12 months. This increase in customers switching their providers has been seen in all four of the key markets of New South Wales (20.5%, up 3.6% points), Victoria (19.5%, up 5.1% points), Queensland (20.5%, up 6.4% points) and Western Australia (14.3%, up 0.9% points).

“The decision by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) to suspend the spot market in mid-June has stabilised the east-coast market in recent weeks. However, as long as the prices for oil, gas and coal remain elevated, there is an ongoing risk that electricity prices will continue to increase, and the reliability of electricity supply will remain in question.

“The key for electricity providers to ensure high and rising customer satisfaction is to reliably supply their customers at the lowest price possible. In a market in which key input prices are rising, and sometimes falling, rapidly because of various market fluctuations, the ability to navigate these challenging conditions and deliver a high degree of satisfaction to customers becomes more important than ever.

“The latest Roy Morgan data into the customer satisfaction levels of electricity customers shows that when these requirements and benchmarks aren’t met, people are quick to consider the many alternatives available in the market.”

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Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size Percentage Estimate
40% – 60% 25% or 75% 10% or 90% 5% or 95%
1,000 ±3.0 ±2.7 ±1.9 ±1.3
5,000 ±1.4 ±1.2 ±0.8 ±0.6
7,500 ±1.1 ±1.0 ±0.7 ±0.5
10,000 ±1.0 ±0.9 ±0.6 ±0.4
20,000 ±0.7 ±0.6 ±0.4 ±0.3
50,000 ±0.4 ±0.4 ±0.3 ±0.2

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