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Origin Energy Review

rigin Energy is an integrated energy company, generating and selling electricity and natural gas to households across Australia. With more than four million customers, Origin is one of the largest electricity retailers in the country, drawing on its size and experience to offer customers a wide range of products.

In this review, Canstar Blue looks at what Origin Energy offers residential electricity customers, and how much you can expect to pay, whether you live in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia or Queensland. We closely examine Origin’s services and assess whether this retailer is the best choice for you. While you may pay more for electricity with Origin than with some other energy companies, the company boasts comprehensive customer service and online self-service facilities that may make the extra cost worthwhile.

Compare Electricity Plans

Origin Energy Plans

Origin Energy has a number of different electricity offers across the country, including one of only two fixed cost products in Australia. Many of Origin’s offers include conditional discounts for paying bills on time or by direct debit, with fixed rate plans also available over two years. Origin is also one of Australia’s leading solar providers, with competitive feed-in tariffs and discounts available. Let’s get an overview of Origin’s key energy plans:

Origin Maximiser

The Origin Maximiser includes Origin Energy’s largest discount, between 10% and 28% on electricity usage charges, depending on the state you live in. This discount only applies for the first year after you sign up and customers must pay their bills via direct debit in order to receive it. For a limited time in NSW and VIC, receive a bonus 2% discount when you sign up to the Maximiser online.

State ACT NSW QLD VIC SA
Discount 12% 24% 10% 32% 16%

Origin Saver

The Origin Saver is another variable rate plan that offers strong value through large discounts. Once again this discount only applies for the first year after you sign up. In order to receive it, you need to pay your bills on time and in full.

State ACT NSW QLD VIC SA
Discount 10% 13% 8% 26% 14%

Origin Everyday

For customers who tend to fall behind on their bills and aren’t comfortable with direct debiting, there’s the Origin Everyday plan. This is a variable rate contract with a guaranteed discount on usage rates for one year. This discount is smaller than those included with the Maximiser and Saver plans.

State ACT NSW QLD VIC SA
Discount 5% 5% 5% 15% 5%

Origin Supply

Origin Energy describes this plan as its most basic offer. It’s about as straightforward as energy can be, with no conditional discount, contract period or early exit fees. Origin Supply is offered in every state where Origin retails electricity.

Origin Rate Freeze

Origin Energy’s ‘Rate Freeze’ plan is only available in NSW, SA and Victoria. Customers on this plan will have their electricity rates left unchanged for two years, providing certainty and sheltering household budgets from increasing electricity prices for the term of the agreement. There are no discounts on this plan.

Origin Predictable Plan

The Origin Predictable Plan allows customers to pay exactly the same price for power every billing period, regardless of how much energy they actually use. In a nutshell, Origin calculates how much electricity it expects you to use, factoring in usage history, current usage habits and seasonality to name a few factors. It then charges you the same amount for electricity each month for 12 months. If your usage was higher than expected, this will be reflected in increased bills the following year. Similarly, your bills next year will be smaller if your usage was less than expected. However, there is no lock-in contract and customers are free to exit the plan at any time.

Origin Solar Boost

This plan is designed for customers with solar panels. It includes a feed-in tariff of 10c/kWh, which is 4 cents more than Origin’s standard FiT of 6c/kWh. On top of this, the Solar Boost plan also includes a rather generous guaranteed discount. This contract is for a benefit period of one year and fees may apply for early exit. The Origin Energy website does not list this offer for Victorian customers.

State ACT NSW QLD SA
Discount 10% 10% 5% 10%

Origin Solar Boost Plus

The Solar Boost Plus is similar to the standard Solar Boost deal just discussed. This deal ups the value a bit however, with the feed-in tariff increased to 12c/kWh. It also includes slightly higher guaranteed discounts. The catch is that this plan is for two years rather than just one, and fees may apply for leaving early. Essentially, you’re trading flexibility for value. The Origin Energy website does not list this offer for Victorian customers.

State ACT NSW QLD SA
Discount 12% 12% 12% 12%

While customers across most states receive an additional 2% discount with the Solar Boost Plus plan compared to the standard Solar Boost deal, the discount for solar customers in Queensland more than doubles.

Origin Electricity Rates

As an integrated electricity company and one of the largest retailers of electricity in Australia, Origin Energy uses its market power to offer customers competitive products, prices and services.

Origin Energy discounts might not be the largest you’ve seen on the market, however bigger isn’t always better. Some electricity deals hide higher rates behind massive headline discounts – but not Origin. It keeps rates reasonable, and is pretty transparent about what customers are getting into. Its highest discounted plans will always be its cheapest.

To see how Origin Energy stacks up on price, Canstar Blue has calculated typical quarterly bills of households who sign up to its highest discounted offers across the country. For all states but South Australia, this is the Origin Maximiser. The following pricing information is based on households with a single rate electricity tariff and average energy usage for a five person household.

Origin Electricity Prices NSW

Electricity Plan Discount Non-Discount Cost Discount
Maximiser 24% $540.63 $430.30
Costs based on annual usage calculations broken down into quarterly payments. Calculations based on statistics from AER for a five person household on the Ausgrid network, May 2017.

These price calculations are for a NSW household situated on the Ausgrid electricity network. Prices may vary for customers connected to the Endeavour Energy or Essential Energy networks. See how Origin Energy prices compare to other retailers in our New South Wales price comparison report.

Origin Electricity Prices VIC

Electricity Plan Discount Non-Discount Cost Discount
Maximiser 32% $547.73 $405.47
Costs based on annual usage calculations broken down into quarterly payments. Calculations based on statistics from AER for a five person household on the Citipower network, May 2017.

The rates used to calculate these prices are based on the Citipower network around the central Melbourne area. Different rates will apply for customers situated on other networks in Victoria. See how Origin compares in our Victorian price comparison report.

Origin Electricity Prices QLD

Electricity Plan Discount Non-Discount Cost Discount
Maximiser 10% $555.83 $511.94
Costs based on annual usage calculations broken down into quarterly payments. Calculations based on statistics from AER for a five person household on the Energex network, January 2017.

These prices are based off rates from the Energex network. Those living outside South-East Queensland will be on the Ergon network and will be charged different rates on electricity. See how Origin compares in price to other retailers with our price comparison report for Queensland.

Origin Electricity Prices SA

Electricity Plan Discount Non-Discount Cost Discount
Maximiser 16% $692.52 $593.05
Costs based on annual usage calculations broken down into quarterly payments. Calculations based on statistics from AER for a five person household on the SA Power network, April 2017.

Canstar Blue calculated Origin to be one of the most affordable electricity retailers in SA. See how other retailers compared in our SA price comparison report.

Solar Power with Origin Energy

Origin Energy offers a standard feed-in tariff of 6c/kWh to customers who export their solar power to the energy grid. As we’ve discussed, customers can get even more for their solar power by signing up to Origin’s Solar Boost or Solar Boost Plus deals, which include FiTs of 10 and 12 cents per kWh respectively.

Origin also offers a full range of solar products. It’s partnered up with leading manufacturers including Fronius, Trina and Tesla to provide customers with a wide range of solar panels and inverters, with the option to add a Tesla Powerwall to complete your solar system.

Other Origin services

Origin Energy has its hand in almost everything energy related, so it’s not surprising that the company has broadened its services to include LPG, air conditioning and hot water services.

Heating & Cooling

Origin retails three split system reverse cycle air conditioners from Carrier, Toshiba and Mitsubishi. Prices start around $2,000 for the 2.5kW(C)/2.7kW(H) Carrier model, with the option to repay in monthly instalments over 12 months with no deposit.

LPG

Origin has a comprehensive range of LPG services available across most of Australia. Its services include gas fitting, delivery, exchange and refills. Customers can order at a whim, or organise for Origin to periodically deliver gas so you never run out. Origin promises that if customers can find lower comparable LPG price, it will beat it by 5% for 12 months.

Hot water services

Origin installs and repairs hot water systems across NSW, Victoria, SA and the Brisbane Metro area. In addition, Origin hot water customers receive access to a 24/7 help hotline. Origin also offers flexible payment arrangements and same-day system replacements for orders made before 10am.

My Account

‘My Account’ lets Origin Energy customers manage all their energy accounts and queries in the one spot. Among many of its features, customers can:

  • View and pay bills
  • Change payment options
  • Renew or change plan
  • Change property
  • Update contact details
  • Request usage data
  • Receive energy efficiency tips

Is Origin Energy right for me?

Origin Energy is a well-rounded retailer, offering solid value across most of its energy plans. While our calculations suggest it isn’t always the cheapest electricity retailer, the level of service it provides is almost unparalleled. It is one of few energy retailers to offer over the phone customer support on weekends, for example.

At the end of the day, whether Origin is right for you is a matter of preference. If you’re after a reputable retailer with strong service, Origin is worth checking out. If you just want the best price, then you will need to compare and shop around.

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