There are more than 20 different energy providers operating in Australia, but two of them have more market share than the rest combined. They are AGL and Origin, and in this review we compare their electricity plans across the country to find out which offers the best terms and the cheapest prices when you live.
We won’t bore you with a history lesson about each of these big companies because, quite frankly, who cares? Instead, let’s just focus on the important stuff – what AGL and Origin offer their customers, and where you can find the best deal. To do this, we’ll focus on each state separately.
While the electricity plans you will see often have the same names across Australia, it’s important to read the specifics because the details can vary considerably between states. Also keep in mind that the energy providers tend to change their discounts quite frequently, so the below details are subject to change.
Both AGL and Origin offer a good variety of electricity plans to their Victorian customers, with significant discounts reflecting the competitiveness of the local market. AGL offers households in Melbourne and the rest of the state three electricity options to choose from over 12 or 24 month periods – all coming with $50 online sign-up credit.
- AGL Powercombo Savers: This plan comes with a 28% discount off electricity usage charges when you pay your bills on time, as well as an extra 4% off when you also purchase your gas through AGL. This is a variable rate contract with a 12 month benefit.
- AGL Savers: Similar to the above plan, this contract is for 12 months and comes with a slightly larger discount of 30% off usage charges when you pay your bills on time. It also comes with a variable rate, but gives flexible billing options. You can also get an additional 2% discount by signing up for gas with AGL, too.
- AGL Fixed: This is AGL’s fixed rate plan. It does not come with any discounts, but has the advantage of no rate changes for two years, unlike the above plans with variable rates. It has flexible billing options. It is a two-year contract.
Origin offers four different electricity plans in Victoria, on no fixed term or 12 and 24 month contracts.
- Origin Maximiser: This 12 month variable rate plan comes with a 28% discount off usage charges when you pay by direct debit. It comes with email billing and no exit fees.
- Origin Saver: This variable rate plan offers 26% off usage charges when you pay your bills on time and also comes with a benefit period of 12 months. There are no exit fees.
- Origin Supply: With no specific plan length, this is Origin’s basic variable rate energy agreement for electricity.
- Origin Rate Freeze: This is Origin’s fixed rate electricity plan for 24 months. With it you are protected against any rate or supply charge increases for the term. There are no exit fees.
Who’s cheapest in Victoria?
To help you make the most informed decision possible, we’ve crunched the numbers on the two highest discounted offers from AGL and Origin to show, based on average energy consumption figures (i.e. the amount of electricity the average five person household uses), which plan is cheapest if you live on the Citipower network in Victoria.
Prices based on average energy consumption figures from AER for five person household on the Citipower network in Melbourne.
Origin works out to be cheaper, but only just. The difference between AGL and Origin in our example is less than $2 per quarter. You can see how AGL and Origin compare to other providers in the state with our Victoria Electricity Cost Comparison report.
New South Wales
Households with AGL or Origin in New South Wales have similar plan options as those in Victoria, but with some subtle differences on discounts. AGL offers the same three electricity plans to customers in Sydney and the rest of the state, over 12 or 24 months, and all with $50 online sign up credit.
- AGL Powercombo Savers: This is a variable rate plan with a benefit period of 12 months. During this period, customers receive an 18% discount off usage charges when they pay their bills on time. Customers can also receive an additional 3% ‘double-up’ discount if they also buy gas through AGL.
- AGL Savers: This plan comes with a slightly higher 19% pay on time discount off usage charges. Like the Powercombo offer, the AGL Saver is a variable rate plan with a benefit period of 12 months.
- AGL Fixed: AGL’s fixed rate plan is also available in NSW, although the energy giant does have a habit of removing it from time to time. This is a two-year contact with no usage or supply rate changes for the term.
Origin also offers the same suite of plans to its customers in New South Wales as it does those in Victoria.
- Origin Maximiser: This variable rate plan has a 15% discount off usage charges when you pay by direct debit. It comes with a 12 month benefit period, no exit fees, and you receive all of your bills and other correspondence via email.
- Origin Saver: Another variable rate plan, this offer comes with a discount of 13% off usage charges when you pay on time, with a benefit period of 12 months and no exit fees.
- Origin Supply: This basic variable rate energy contract from Origin has no specific fixed term and does not come with the discounts off the provider’s previously mentioned plans.
- Origin Rate Freeze: Origin also offers a fixed electricity rate plan in NSW. This means you will be charged the same amount for supply and usage at the start of the term as you are two years later. It is a 24 month plan with no exit fees.
Who’s cheapest in NSW?
In New South Wales, AGL’s largest discount is notably larger than Origin’s, but is bigger always better? We will again compare prices across the two retailers using average energy consumption figures.
Prices based on average energy consumption figures from AER for five person household on the Ausgrid network in Sydney.
The bigger discount wins out on this occasion, with AGL’s Savers plan racking up a notably smaller quarterly bill. You can see how AGL and Origin compare to other providers in our NSW Electricity Cost Comparison report.
Electricity customers with AGL in South Australia have just two plans to choose from, while those with Origin have the same four offers to consider. The two AGL plans available in Adelaide and the rest of the state are both 12 month contracts and do not provide an online sign up credit, unlike with the other states.
- AGL Set and Forget: In South Australia, AGL’s variable rate Set and Forget electricity plan comes with a 12% discount off usage charges when you pay by direct debit. It comes with monthly email billing and no exit fees over 12 months. The 2% ‘double up’ discount also applies in South Australia, meaning you can save when you also get gas with AGL.
- AGL Savers: Similar to the other states, the AGL Savers plan comes with a slightly reduced discount to the Set and Forget plan – this time 11% off usage charges when you pay your bills on time. This variable rate offer also has a benefit period of 12 months and no exit fees, but with flexible billing options and the same double up discount.
Origin brings the same four electricity plans to South Australia as it provides in New South Wales and Victoria, but with increased headline discounts.
- Origin Maximiser: In South Australia, Origin’s flagship electricity plan offers a discount of 16% off usage charges when you pay by direct debit. A variable rate contract, it has a 12 month benefit period with no exit fees, and you will receive all emails and other correspondence via email.
- Origin Saver: This variable rate plan comes with a discount of 14% off usage charges when you pay your bills on time. This offer is available for 12 months and also has no exit fees. It does not include email billing.
- Origin Supply: This basic electricity contract presents the same details as the equivalent offer in the other states. It comes with a variable rate and no specific plan length.
- Origin Rate Freeze: Origin also offers its fixed charge plan in South Australia. Over a 24 month period, customers will not see any changes to the rates they pay for electricity usage or supply.
Who’s cheapest in South Australia?
Its AGL’s Set and Forget plan going up against Origin’s Maximiser deal as the two highest discounted offers from these providers in South Australia. This time, it’s Origin that offers the greater discount, but which works out cheapest?
|SA||AGL||Set and Forget||12%||$619.63|
Prices based on average energy consumption figures from AER for five person household on the SA Power Networks network in Adelaide.
Origin works out over $25 cheaper per quarter for the average Adelaide household. That said, both prices don’t make pretty reading for South Australians. See how AGL and Origin compare to other energy providers in the state with our SA Electricity Cost Comparison report.
AGL keeps its range of electricity products consistent with New South Wales and Victoria, offering the same three plans, albeit with smaller discounts. Prospective AGL customers in South East Queensland also only receive a $25 online sign-up credit, instead of the $50 offered in other states.
- AGL Powercombo Savers: This plan has a maximum discount of 12% on usage charges, composed of an 11% pay on time discount, as well as a bonus 1% discount by opting to receive bills by email. This is once again a variable rate contract and has a 12 month benefit period.
- AGL Savers: This plan brings an 11% discount off usage charges when you pay your bills on time. It’s a variable rate plan with flexible billing options and a benefit period lasting 12 months.
- AGL Fixed: This is AGL’s fixed rate plan for Queenslanders. It does not come with any discounts, but means you will get no rate changes for two years, unlike the above plans with variable rates.
Origin customers in south-east Queensland have three options to choose from, but with significantly reduced discounts available compared to other states.
- Origin Maximiser: For Queensland households, this Origin plan has a discount of just 10% off usage charges when you pay your bills by direct debit. A variable rate offer, it has a benefit period of 12 months and no exit fees. You will receive bills and communications via email.
- Origin Saver: This plan offers an 8% pay on time discount off usage charges. It is also a variable rate plan with a 12 month benefit period and no exit fees.
- Origin Supply: Origin does not offer a fixed charge plan in Queensland, but it does still provide its basic electricity agreement with no specific contract length.
Who’s cheapest in Queensland?
AGL once again has the higher discount between the two retailers, so is AGL the cheaper option? We compare the Powercombo Savers deal to Origin’s Maximiser to find out.
Prices based on average energy consumption figures from AER for five person household on the Energex network in Brisbane.
AGL comes out cheaper by just a few dollars. Find out how these costs compare to other providers in the state with our QLD Electricity Costs report.
So what have we learned here? Well, based on these comparisons, Origin is the cheaper option for households in South Australia and Victoria, while AGL takes the chocolates in Queensland and New South Wales. While there is often little difference between their average costs per quarter, no one wants to pay more for power than they need to – and those small differences can add up over time.
The message would be that it’s worth paying attention to the discounts offered with electricity plans, because not only will they help to reduce your costs, the percentage often directly relates to which plans work out cheapest. Not always, but quite often. This will make selecting a new plan a little easier, but probably shouldn’t dictate your final decision because there are other things to consider when searching for a new energy deal.
AGL and Origin both offer other incentives in a bid to secure your custom. AGL’s big selling point is its partnership with shopping rewards program flybuys, with one point available for every $1 you spend on energy. If you switch to AGL online, you will also net 10,000 bonus points.
Meanwhile Origin Energy has been attracting attention for its new fixed cost Predictable Plan. Based on previous energy consumption data, Origin will quote a fixed cost on electricity or gas for an entire year, to be paid monthly or quarterly. The idea is to take the potential shock out of energy bills, with one set price to pay every billing period.
Both AGL and Origin also promote online account management tools to help you closely monitor your energy usage. This is important because, while the energy plan you’re on will dictate how much you plan, so will the amount of power you actually use.
AGL and Origin both additionally offer GreenPower-accredited plans to customers throughout Australia. For AGL, this takes the form of its Green Choice product which can be added to plans for an additional amount on usage costs. Customers can choose between 10, 20 or 100% GreenPower. Origin customers can select 25, 50 or 100% GreenPower on top of any plan.
If you’re close to making a decision about whether AGL or Origin are the best bet for your household, we suggest a look at our customer satisfaction ratings to see how other consumers rate both providers.