Origin Energy Review
Origin Energy is an integrated energy company servicing both residential and business customers, which claims to ensure “customers have a positive experience by understanding and meeting their energy needs, and providing effective service”.
Origin was established in 2000, following the demerger of Boral’s energy business from its building and construction materials business, with Origin stating its legacy dates back 150 years via its connections with Boral.
What does Origin offer?
Operating in the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Victoria, Origin offers its customers a range of electricity and gas plans, while also placing an emphasis on renewable energy products.
“Our customers depend on us to provide a reliable, affordable and sustainable energy supply that meets their needs and expectations,” Origin states. “That means we are not just in the business of supplying energy, but also need to provide timely and helpful advice, effective service response, and assistance in accessing other parts of the energy supply chain, when required.”
Origin’s plans incorporate discounts for payments made by direct debit, with the provider also offering a month’s worth of free energy usage and supply after six months on certain plans. However, this offer is only available to households in New South Wales and Victoria. Customers looking to sign up to a plan can do so online or by calling the Origin customer service team.
Among Origin’s offerings for its residential customers are its:
- Origin Predictable Plan: the same fixed amount paid every billing period, no matter how much is used.
- Origin Maximiser: a variable rate plan providing for customers to maximise their discount on direct debit, with no exit fees.
- Origin Saver: a variable rate plan via which customers pay on time and save, with no exit fees.
- Origin Rate Freeze: a basic plan with no energy or supply rate rises for two years.
- Origin Supply: a variable rate, no lock-in contract energy offer.
In most cases, Origin energy plans have no exit fees. For customers who wish to add green electricity, Origin also provides the capability to add 25, 50 or 100 per cent GreenPower.
“GreenPower is government-accredited renewable electricity, generated from a source like solar or wind and built since 1997,” Origin explains. “When you choose GreenPower electricity we’ll have the percentage of electricity usage you’ve chosen matched into the electricity grid with electricity from GreenPower-accredited renewable sources.”
Origin states that it also offers Australia’s first Green Gas option, via which it ensures that an equivalent amount of greenhouse gas emissions from a customer’s natural gas use are offset through its independently audited carbon reduction scheme.
With Origin, customers can pay their bill online via the Origin website, with other payment options including direct debit and BPay, setting up an EasiPay payment plan, with weekly, fortnightly or monthly payments made towards energy bills, by cheque via mail, and in person at any Australia Post office.
The Predictable Plan
In 2016, Origin became the first Australian energy provider to launch a fixed cost energy plan, whereby customers with at least three months of previously billing history can set their power costs for an entire year, regardless of how much gas or electricity they actually use. With the Predictable Plan, Origin customers pay the same amount every month or quarter, taking away the bill shock that can occur following periods of unusually high energy use.
Solar power with Origin
Origin additionally ranges a number of solar options, with customers able to choose from different systems and run the solar power in conjunction with an electricity plan. Origin’s Solar as a Service offer, meanwhile, which comes with no upfront cost, sees Origin installing the system, managing its ongoing monitoring and maintenance, and customers paying for the monthly solar power it generates under a solar contract rate.
Origin has also announced an initiative whereby owners of existing solar PV systems can install the Tesla Powerwall storage battery in their homes. Previously the Powerwall could only be purchased and installed from Origin with new solar systems. Origin claims to have helped more than 85,000 Australian households go solar in the past 10 years, and recently reached 1MW of sales in business scale solar per month.
At an industrial scale, Origin has announced long term Power Purchase Agreements to purchase all the solar generation from two large scale solar farms – the 100MW Clare Solar Farm in Queensland and the 56MW Morree Solar Farm in New South Wales.
Origin customers can access their account details online through Origin’s My Account, via which they can update their details (such as changing contact details and adding new account holders), change energy plans and access their billing history.
Origin’s home energy profile provides an estimate of which appliances and where customers use the most energy in their home, and at what time of the year, with Origin providing energy tips based around the home and advising users how much they could save.
Victorian smart meter customers additionally have access to Origin’s Energy Manager, which keeps track of the customer’s costs to date, and can predict the amount of the next bill based on current usage.