About ERM Business Energy

Who is ERM Business Energy?

ERM Power Retail Pty Ltd (trading as ERM Business Energy) is ERM Power Limited’s electricity sales business. ERM Business Energy, has been specialising as a business electricity retailer to large commercial and industrial customers and, in 2013, we extended our reach by offering our services to small business.

Are you an Australian business?

ERM Business Energy is proudly Australian owned and operated. We service large business customers all across Australia, including Western Australia, and small business customers in Queensland, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia. We have operations in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart and Perth.

Who is ERM Power?

ERM Power is an Australian energy company that operates electricity generation and electricity sales businesses. Trading as ERM Business Energy and founded in 1980, we have grown to become the 4th largest electricity retailer in Australia with operations in every state and the Australian Capital Territory. We are also licensed to sell electricity in several markets in the United States. We have equity interests in 497 megawatts of low emission, gas fired peaking power stations in Western Australia and Queensland, both of which we operate.

Who do you sell electricity to?

ERM Business Energy sells electricity exclusively to businesses – both large and small – and government entities. By making this our sole focus, we can deliver tailored services and provide Australia’s best customer service, billing accuracy and satisfaction for business customers.

Where does ERM Business Energy operate?

ERM Business Energy is licensed to sell electricity in every state and mainland territory in Australia. Our services are available to large businesses nationally, including Western Australia, and to small business in Queensland, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia.

What’s the difference between a small business and a large business?

Whether you are classified as a small or large electricity customer depends on your usage. As a general guide, we express size in terms of dollars spent per annum. A small business is considered to be one spending up to $30,000 a year on energy per site, while big businesses as those who spend more than $30,000 per year per site. However, this distinction by spend isn’t always reliable.

In specific terms, the distinction varies by state and is determined by usage over and under a threshold of MWh per annum usage. You’re considered small if your annual usage is under the threshold and large, if your usage is over the threshold in the state your site is located.

In Queensland, New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory, small customers are those using less than 100 MWh per year, whereas large customers use over this amount.

In South Australia and Western Australia, the threshold is 160 MWh per year.

In Tasmania the threshold is 150 MWh per year and in Victoria it is only 40 MWh per year.

Do you sell to small businesses in every state?

At this stage, we are only focusing on Queensland, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia as these are the states where we can offer the most competitive prices.

Where does my electricity come from?

The energy delivered to your business originates from power stations that sell power into the National Electricity Market (NEM) or Wholesale Electricity Market (WEM) in Western Australia. ERM Business Energy buys electricity from the NEM or WEM.

A distribution company owns the poles and wires and is responsible for ensuring the supply of power to your premises. We pass on the charges from your distribution company to you on your ERM Business Energy bill.

Who do I contact if I have problems with supply?

In the event of a fault or if you are experiencing problems with your electricity supply, please call your network distributor. You can find the number of your distributor on your bill however you can also search for them on our Customer Support page.

Becoming a customer

Small business (Less than $30K)

Signing up – General

Why do you need my business address to give me a quote?

Our online quoting system searches a national electricity database maintained by AEMO to find the specific information on your address, such as who your distributor is and what type of meter you have. We do this because the price you pay for electricity depends on a number of factors that we take into account when preparing your quote.

The price that applies to your premises depends on:

  • The distribution company (or distributor) that owns and maintains the poles and wires in your local area. Each distributor passes through different costs to us as your provider, which we then incorporate in your rates.
  • The type of meter you have. The sophistication of the electricity meter at your premises determines whether you can be charged different prices for different times of day eg: peak, off-peak and shoulder.
  • The tariff assigned to you by your distributor. The rules for how tariff types are assigned are different for each distributor, and are usually based on your meter type and historical usage.
  • The regulations in your State or Territory relating to price regulation and Government environmental schemes, which also form part of your price.

Will my electricity be turned off at any time when I switch?

No. Unless you are moving premises, your electricity supply is not turned off at any time during the transfer from one provider to another. The process only involves paperwork on the side of the providers you’re switching from and to. Your electricity supply is not affected.

Why does it take so long to transfer to a new provider?

In areas where electricity meters are read manually by someone visiting your premises, transferring providers can take some time. This is because some meters are only read quarterly, and transfers can generally only take place after your meter is read by your distributor so your original providers can issue your final bill. After that final meter read, your new provider can bill any further usage.

Transfers happen faster in areas where smart meters are installed because the final meter read can be done remotely, without the need for a visit to your premises. A special meter read can also be arranged to speed up the transfer process. An additional charge usually applies for this.

How can I sign up with ERM Business Energy?

Our sign up process is easy and takes less than five minutes. Simply click here for a quick quote or to sign up today.

Or if you prefer, call 13 23 76. We can talk you through our offers and help you find an option that best suits your business needs.

Where do I find my NMI?

Your National Metering Identifier (NMI) is a unique identifier that is printed on your electricity bill. Please check your last bill to locate your NMI. The NMI is unique to your site and will not change when you change provider.

How can I tell what rate I am on with my current provider?

You should be able to find your electricity rate on your bill. It is usually expressed in terms of cents per kilowatt hour or c/kWh. If you cannot find your current electricity rate, please call us on 13 23 76 and we can assist.

What if I am on a contract with my previous provider that has not run out yet?

You should check with your current provider as there may be exit fees payable if you terminate the contract early.

What is the process once I accept a quote?

Once you accept a quote from ERM Business Energy you will receive a Welcome Pack containing the details of your offer, together with the Terms & Conditions. The Terms & Conditions are shown if you sign up online and are available for you to download. You can also find them our website by clicking here.

Who tells my existing provider that I am switching?

We will notify your existing provider through the transfer process. You don’t need to notify them of your decision.

What happens when I become a customer?

You will receive a Welcome Pack upon the successful transfer of your electricity supply to ERM Business Energy. Your previous energy provider will also send you a final bill which will need to be paid based on the terms of your agreement with that provider.

What if I want to change my provider in the future?

ERM Business Energy aims to provide outstanding service to our customers so that you will never want to switch. However, when you sign up with us, we offer plans without a fixed term contract and you have the flexibility to change plans or switch providers at any time, free of charge.

What are my rights if I change my mind after accepting a quote?

All electricity offers to small business customers are subject to the regulated cooling off period. The cooling off period is the period of 10 business days from the date you receive all required disclosure information from us. The disclosure information includes the details of your offer, together with the Terms and Conditions.

You can withdraw without penalty within the cooling off period, even after you have agreed to and accepted the contract.  You can withdraw by calling us, by writing to us or by sending us an email. Our contact details are:

Mail – ERM Business Energy, PO Box 18042, Collins St East VIC 8003
Phone13 23 76
Emailservice@ermpower.com.au

What happens after the cooling off period?

At the end of the cooling off period, we will initiate the transfer of your electricity supply to ERM Business Energy. This will usually occur at the next read date for your electricity meter.

You will then receive a Welcome Pack upon the successful transfer of your electricity supply to ERM Business Energy.

I have a small business but work from home. Can I still sign with ERM Business Energy?

ERM Business Energy sells exclusively to businesses. In order to sign up to one of our offers, you must have an ABN and be on a business network tariff. If you operate from home and are on a residential network tariff, you cannot currently sign up to ERM Business Energy.

Signing Up – Online

How do I access the online quote system?

The ERM Business Energy SME online quote system can be found by clicking here.

Can I sign up multiple sites?

The online quoting system can only quote one site at a time so you will need to complete the quote process once for each site. Alternatively, please email our Sales team at smesales@ermpower.com.au or call us on 13 23 76 for a multi-site quote.

What information do I need to sign up?

You will need to have your ABN and it is helpful if you have a copy of your last electricity bill.

The online quote system is not recognising my address, what can I do?

The system uses electricity industry standard definitions of site addresses. If your address cannot be found or is not able to be matched, you have the option of entering your National Metering Identifier (NMI) which should be on your electricity bill. If neither option works, please call us on 13 23 76.

I entered the incorrect details – what can I do?

When entering incorrect details you can either exit and start the quoting process again or use the back button on the bottom left side of each screen to go back and edit the details.

If you have accepted a quote and realise the details are incorrect, please call us on 13 23 76 and our sales team will gladly assist in editing the details of your offer.

How long is my quote valid for?

All quotes from ERM Business Energy are valid for 14 calendar days from when the offer is generated. After this period lapses, you will have to commence the quoting process again and generate a new quote.

I already have a quote number, how can I retrieve it?

If you have already generated a quote online and would like to retrieve it, you can do so using the link in the email sent to you. If you do not have an email, please call 13 23 76. Please note, that quotes are valid for 14 calendar days.

Product/Pricing

Why is my price different to other businesses and what I pay at home?

Electricity prices vary from location to location, sometimes even within suburbs.  Also, small businesses can pay different prices to larger businesses and residential customers.

The prices that small businesses will pay in your specific location depends on:

  • The distribution company (or distributor) that owns and maintains the poles and wires in your local area. Each distributor passes through different costs to us as your provider, which we then incorporate in your rates.
  • The type of meter you have. The sophistication of the electricity meter at your premises determines whether you can be charged different prices for different times of day eg: peak, off-peak and shoulder.
  • The tariff assigned to you by your distributor. The rules for how tariff types are assigned are different for each distributor, and are usually based on your meter type and historical usage.
  • The regulations in your State or Territory relating to price regulation and Government environmental schemes, which also form part of your price.

How often do electricity prices change?

Wholesale electricity prices can vary considerably from time to time. However, your provider generally takes the risk of these fluctuations and smooths out the retail price for you.

The terms of the Market Retail Contract will govern how often, and the circumstances in which your retail price may change. Some providers change retail prices regularly. ERM Business Energy’s adjustable rate offer only varies once per calendar year.

Your retail price may also change if your distributor changes your tariff. Remember, they don’t bill you directly. Providers like us do it for them – so we must also take into account the changes in prices from the distributors.

What does c/kWh mean?

c/kWh means cents per kilowatt hour. It is the unit of measurement for electricity usage costs. Electricity usage is measured in kilowatt hours and you are charged by the kilowatt hour you use. You also pay a Daily Supply Charge which is not linked to your usage.

When can prices change for the Adjustable Rate?

Our Adjustable Rate is reviewed only once per calendar year. The most common reason for price changes are as a result of distributors changing their network charges/daily supply charges.

Distributors review their charges once per year – different distributors do this at different times of the year so we review our Adjustable prices at around the same time. For example, Energex in South East Queensland changes their pricing effective 1 July, so our prices there will be reviewed shortly after. In contrast, Jemena in Victoria revise their pricing structures effective 1 January, so we follow shortly after.

In some circumstances, your distributor might change the structure or nature of your underlying tariff (for example, if you install solar units), which means we would need to change the basis of your price accordingly.

When can prices change for the Fixed Rate?

If you sign up for our Fixed Rate, your price will be not changed by us during the term of your contract. We will contact you with a new price offer prior to the end of the term of your contract.

In rare circumstances, your distributor might change the structure or nature of your underlying tariff (for example, if you install solar units, or change the way you use electricity at your premises), which means we would need to change the basis of your price accordingly.

What energy plans does ERM Business Energy offer Small Businesses?

ERM Business Energy has developed two easy to understand offers that provide clear options based on business needs – Fixed rates and Adjustable rates.

What are the benefits of the Fixed rates?

You can enjoy a high degree of price certainty for the length of your contract. The only reason your rate could change during the fixed term is in very limited circumstances if your network provider changes the nature or structure of your assigned network tariff (for example if you install solar panels or change to a time of use tariff), in which event the price may go up or down.

What are the benefits of the Adjustable rates?

Our Adjustable offer is a flexible with no fixed term. The key advantage of this offer is the competitive rate with no fixed term contract.

The rates are reviewed and may change, but no more than once each calendar year. Your rate may also change if the nature and structure of your assigned network tariff changes which can happen in very limited circumstances, such as where you install solar panels or change to a time of use network tariff.

Is there anything I can do to avoid future rate increases?

At ERM Business Energy we have two products available to small businesses.

Our Fixed rate locks-in your energy rate for the term of the contract. This plan is ideal for your business if you need security and assurance when it comes to your running costs. The only reason your rate could change during the term is if your network provider changes the nature or structure of your assigned network tariff, in which event the price may go up or down. This will only happen in very limited circumstances, such as where you install solar panels or change to a time of use network tariff.

Our Adjustable rate has no fixed term and the rates are reviewed and may change once each calendar year. Rates are influenced by the electricity wholesale market and the charges of network providers. Your rate could also change in very limited circumstances if your network provider changes the nature or structure of your assigned network tariff (for example, if you install solar panels or change to a time of use tariff), in which event the price may go up or down.

How do I know if I am getting the best price?

ERM Business Energy is committed to offering our customers outstanding service at a competitive price. We make our pricing transparent to ensure that our customers fully understand what they are paying.

When comparing offers, it is important that you take into account everything that you will be charged for. With some providers, this may include early termination or exit fees and other charges, all of which may add to the cost of a contract.

Electricity pricing is made up of a number of components, including retail usage charges, distribution network charges, supply charges and GST. If you are comparing prices, you should ensure all pricing components have been included in the offer.

There are also independent websites that can help you to compare prices, including the following Government sites:

Victoria – www.yourchoice.vic.gov.au
Australian Energy Regulator – www.energymadeeasy.gov.au

How long is my contract period with ERM Business Energy?

Whether you choose our Fixed or Adjustable offer, you are not locked in. There are no exit fees, so you can leave at any time without penalty.

Our Adjustable rate contract does not have a fixed term or contract end date so you don’t need to renew at any point. The Fixed rate contract end date is listed on your offer documentation supplied at the time you signed up. Before this date, we will contact you about whether you wish to renew your contract.

If you have misplaced this information, please call our Customer Service team on 13 23 76 and we will be able to assist you.

Are there any early termination fees?

There are no termination fees (exit fees) under our Fixed or Adjustable offers.

What happens when my Fixed Rate Contract term ends?

Before your Fixed Rate Contract term ends, we will contact you to find out what you would like to do. We will provide you with our current pricing and give you the option of renewing on a market contract with us on at that price. If you choose not to take up that offer with us or sign up with another provider, you will revert to our standing offer rates after the end of the term or until your transfer from us has occurred.

Do you offer discounts?

At ERM Business Energy we recognise that conditional discount deals and special offers can be confusing and make your choice of supplier more complicated than it needs to be. So, we are committed to always offering you our best, competitive price every day and being completely transparent about what you will be paying.

Large Business (More than $30K)

Signing up

What energy plans does ERM Business Energy offer Big Businesses?

We provide our customers with tailored energy solutions at a competitive rate. Your quote is specific to your site and takes into account your past usage patterns and demand to provide our best price on the day.

We also offer outstanding customer service, energy solutions such as demand response and can provide site network tariff reviews to identify potential savings. For more information on our offering for big businesses, visit www.ermpower.com.au/bigbusiness.

Pricing

How long is the pricing valid for?

Pricing for our standard offers to C&I customers will expire at 5pm AEST (6pm AEDT) the day after the offer is submitted.

Why is the offer validity period so short?

Providers purchase electricity on behalf of customers from the national electricity market and the wholesale pricing can be very volatile at times. To help manage this price volatility risk, we only provide offers with a short validity period.

Contracting

What term can I contract for?

We offer standard 1, 2 and 3 year terms or you may choose the term of contract that suits your business to help align with other contracts, or financial/calendar year endings.

Who can sign?

An authorised signatory of your company is needed to execute a Retail Electricity Agreement. If you have received an offer and would like to accept it, let us know and we will send you a Retail Electricity Agreement which you need to have signed and returned before the expiry date of the offer.

How do I add a new site that previously has not had power supplied?

You need to contact your account manager so we can organise the relevant paperwork for you.

How do I roll sites into or out of my contract?

Talk to your account manager who will help to organise the required paperwork and check whether you are entitled to do so under your contract.

How can I get interval (half hourly) data for my sites?

You can access the interval data for your sites in the Customer Portal. If you don’t have access to the Customer Portal, you can register for the Customer Portal by calling 13 23 76 and requesting access.

You can also email your account manager or sales@ermpower.com.au with details of the relevant site and period and it will be sent to you.

Please note, that if you are not the contracted party, a letter of authority will need to be supplied. 

Moving

Small business (Less than $30K)

Connection and Disconnection

Is your business moving premises?

We would love to connect your electricity at your new premises, so please mention that you would like to connect your new premises with ERM Business Energy when you are on the phone to avoid any delays.

How do I get my electricity connected?

To arrange for the connection of electricity at your business premises, just call us on 13 23 76.

IMPORTANT: If you are moving premises in the next three business days, call us immediately to avoid connection delays.

How do I disconnect my electricity?

To disconnect the electricity at your existing premises, call us on 13 23 76.

Will I be charged for reconnection or disconnection?

You may be charged a reconnection or disconnection fee. Please refer to your individual Offer Summary or Product Disclosure Statement for more information.

Large Business (More than $30K)

Adding and removing sites

What happens if we are moving out of one site and into another?

Let your account manager know so they can arrange the paperwork to add and remove the applicable sites from your contract (if you are eligible to do so). We will arrange the required account transfers with the relevant providers.

Please note, you are responsible for any usage charges at your old site until a new contract is in place or the site is de-energised.

How do I roll sites into or out of my contract?

Talk to your account manager who will help to organise the required paperwork and check whether you are entitled to do so under your contract.

How do I add a new site that previously has not had power supplied?

You need to contact your account manager so we can organise the relevant paperwork for you.

Billing

My bill says I’m on a Standing Offer? What does that mean?

A standing offer is the contract and rates that providers are obligated to offer. It is generally more expensive than a market contract. If your bill says that you’re on a standing offer, you should review your electricity bills immediately, and consider the benefits of signing up to a Market Retail Contract with a provider. Of course, we’d like that provider to be us.

How often do I get billed?

We know that managing cash flow is important to businesses, so it’s good to know when to expect your bills. Our billing cycle is dependent on the type of meter you have, and how often your distributor reads your meter.

If you have a basic meter which is read manually (i.e. a person comes to your premises to check the meter), we will bill you quarterly.

If you have an MRIM (Manually Read Interval Meter) which can be read monthly, we can bill you monthly, but this is dependent on how often your distributor reads your meter.

If you have a smart meter, your meter can be read remotely at any time, and therefore we can bill you monthly.

Can I have one bill for all of my sites?

We can arrange your billing according to your preferences. You can either receive an individual invoice for each site or a consolidated statement/invoice for all your sites.

If you have multiple small sites, you can elect to receive a monthly consolidated statement, which is a summary of all invoices generated within a given month, along with the individual invoices. You can pay the single total amount from the consolidated statement via EFT, BPAY®, Billpay and Cheque.

If you have multiple large sites, you can elect to receive a consolidated invoice which will include all sites on your contract. You then need to only pay one total amount each period. Alternatively, you can have individual invoices for each site.

What are my payment options?

We accept all major payment methods including:

Direct Debit
Credit Card Payment Online
BPAY®
Credit Card by Phone
Cheque
In Person at Australia Post

Visit Pay My Account for more information.

I have multiple sites but I want all the bills to go to a single address, how can I specify this?

When completing your account details there is the option of specifying a postal address separate to the site address. Any communication from us will then be sent to the specified postal address for all of your sites.

How do I read my bill?

Click here to view our interactive bill explainer.

Can I pay my bill online?

Yes – you can pay online with Amex, Visa, MasterCard or Diners using our secure online bill payment page. Credit/debit cards attract a payment processing fee, which will show up on your next bill.

What is a payment processing fee?

A payment processing fee is charged to customers who choose to pay their bill using a credit/debit card and use a credit/debit card payment facility. We are charged a merchant services fee when you pay by credit/debit card, which is a percentage of the total payment. We pass this charge directly onto you as the payment processing fee. Please refer to your bill for further details.

Why was my bill estimated?

If you have a basic meter, your meter is generally read manually by a visit to your site. If your meter can’t be accessed we may use an estimate for your bill based on your previous usage.

If you have a smart meter, this can usually be read remotely. However, if there are technical problems that hinder retrieving the required data from your smart meter, we may issue an estimated bill from substituted data provided by your Meter Data Provider.

How do I know when the next meter read will occur?

If you have a manually read meter, we include the next scheduled read date on your electricity bill. This does not apply to customers on smart meters which are read remotely on a daily basis.

Where do I send remittance advices?

Please email remittance advices to remittances@ermpower.com.au

Customer portal

How do I register for the Customer Portal?

You can register for the Customer Portal by calling 13 23 76 and requesting access.  

How do I access the Customer Portal?

You can access the Customer Portal from our website, there is a customer login link on every page.

Who can register for the Customer Portal?

All customers of ERM Business Energy can register for the Customer Portal.  It is provided at no cost once you become a customer.

I have forgotten my password, how can I reset it?

Simply click on Forgot your Password or the link on the login page.

I have been locked out of my portal account. What now?

No problem. Call 13 23 76 (8am – 6pm, Monday to Friday) and our Customer Service team will be on hand to help you access your account.