AGL vs Origin: How do they compare?

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.

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 see will have the same names across Australia, it’s important to read the specifics because the details can vary considerably. Also keep in mind that the energy providers tend to change their discounts quite frequently, so the below details are subject to change.

Victoria

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 Set and Forget: This plan comes on a 12 month contract and offers a 28% discount off usage charges when you pay by direct debit. It comes with a variable rate and monthly email billing. You can also get an additional 2% ‘double up’ discount if you also get your gas with AGL.
  • AGL Savers: Similar to the above plan, this contract is for 12 months and comes with a slightly lower discount of 25% 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 number 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 in Victoria.

State Provider Plan Discount Quarterly cost
Victoria AGL Set and Forget 28% $396.86
Victoria Origin Maximiser 28% $398.96

Prices based on average energy consumption figures from AER for five person household on the Citipower network in Melbourne.

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 Set and Forget: Over 12 months, this plan comes with a 20% discount off usage charges when you pay by direct debit. It is a variable rate plan with monthly billing via email. You can get an additional 2% ‘double up’ discount when you also get gas with AGL.
  • AGL Savers: This plan comes with a slightly lower 17% discount off usage charges, this time when you pay on time.  It is also a variable rate plan over 12 months, but comes with flexible billing options (i.e. you can pay quarterly and still receive bills via post). You can also get an extra 2% discount when you buy gas from AGL too.
  • AGL Fixed: AGL’s fixed rate plan is also currently 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.

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, the highest discounted offers from AGL and Origin both promise 18% off usage charges when you meet the conditions. So, again based on average energy consumption figures, which works out cheapest?

State Provider Plan Discount Quarterly cost
NSW AGL Set and Forget 20% $453.34
NSW Origin Maximiser 15% $471.67

Prices based on average energy consumption figures from AER for five person household on the Ausgrid network in Sydney.

You can see how AGL and Origin compare to other providers in our NSW Electricity Cost Comparison report.

South Australia

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 16% 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 15% 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 18% 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 16% 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?

Once again AGL’s Set and Forget plan goes up against Origin’s Maximiser deal as the two highest discounted offers available to customers in South Australia. The size of these respective discounts varies, but which works out cheapest?

State Provider Plan Discount Quarterly cost
SA AGL Set and Forget 16% $594.70
SA Origin Maximiser 18% $580.62

Prices based on average energy consumption figures from AER for five person household on the SA Power Networks network in Adelaide.

These costs 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.

Queensland

In south-east Queensland, AGL offers the same three basic electricity plans, but with reduced discounts compared to other states, while Origin drops its fixed charge contract to provide just three plans. Prospective AGL customers in Brisbane and the surrounding areas are only offered $25 online sign-up credit instead of the $50 in other states.

  • AGL Set and Forget: In Queensland, this AGL plan comes with a discount of just 12% when you pay by direct debit. It has monthly email billing over a 12 month term, but unlike in other states, this variable rate plan does not bring a 2% ‘double up’ discount when you all get gas with AGL.
  • AGL Savers: This plan brings an 11% discount off usage charges when you pay your bills on time. It has flexible billing options, but once again there is no double up discount available. This variable rate plan also has 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?

For the second time in this comparison, AGL’s headline discount figure is higher than Origin’s, but does that mean AGL works our cheaper in Queensland? Yes.

State Provider Plan Discount Quarterly cost
QLD AGL Set and Forget 12% $507.55
QLD Origin Maximiser 10% $511.94

Prices based on average energy consumption figures from AER for five person household on the Energex network in Brisbane.

Find out how these costs compare to other providers in the state with our QLD Electricity Costs report.

Conclusion

So what have we learned here? Well, based on these comparisons, Origin is the cheaper option for households in South Australia, but AGL takes the chocolates in Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales. While there is 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. 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.

Other considerations

AGL and Origin 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. It is only available to existing Origin customers, so anyone wishing to switch will first need to begin with one of Origin’s other plans.

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.

Electricity customer ratings

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