If it’s time to consider your gas options, compare gas companies in Queensland with Canstar Blue’s customer review and ratings.
* Overall satisfaction is an individual rating and not a combined total of all ratings. Brands with equal overall satisfaction ratings are listed in alphabetical order.
Canstar Blue research finalised in December 2016, published in February 2017.
See our Ratings Methodology.
Queenslanders aren’t as reliant on natural gas as households in the southern states of our great brown land, but that doesn’t mean you should accept inferior service from your provider. There are only two gas suppliers to choose from in Queensland, but that still gives you another option if you’re not satisfied with the service you’re currently receiving, or the price that you’re paying. In this review, Canstar Blue will talk you through your gas options, whether you live in Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, or a regional area further north, to help you better understand the market and possibly even find a better deal.
As you can see from our star ratings table above, Origin and AGL are the two gas suppliers most households in Queensland can choose between. Each year, Canstar Blue surveys gas customers of both retailers to find out how they are rated on important factors such as customer service, billing clarity and the value for money they offer. While there is minimal competition, you will surely want to be getting the best deal you can?
Since Canstar Blue began rating gas suppliers in Queensland, the results have been consistent, with Origin outperforming AGL for overall customer satisfaction. So let’s learn more about the Queensland gas market and what these two energy giants have to offer the Sunshine State.
The vast majority of Queenslanders have been able to choose their natural gas supplier since 2007 when Full Retail Competition was introduced. However, AGL and Origin remain the only two energy companies to offer retail gas services in the state. This is in stark contrast to New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia where other major energy providers, including Red Energy and EnergyAustralia, compete for customers in far more competitive markets. Origin and AGL supply 97% of gas-connected households in Queensland, according to the Australian Energy Regulator’s latest annual report. The exceptions are those covered by Western Downs and Maranoa regional councils, including Roma and Dalby. In these areas, the councils have licenses to retail natural gas to customers.
Gas prices for most of Queensland have been deregulated since 2007, meaning Origin and AGL determine their own products, prices and conditions. Prices are generally reviewed once a year, but if the retailers increase prices at any time, they must inform customers at least 10 business days before the changes take effect. Prices are regulated in regional areas.
In areas of Queensland where gas prices have been deregulated, households will be on one of two types of contracts:
According to the Australian Energy Regulator, the annual gas bill on the median market contract in 2016 was $733. This compares to an average of $756 on the median standing offer.
Pensioners and seniors in Queensland may be eligible for a rebate of up to $70 a year off their gas bills.
There are two different types of market offers – those with variable rates and those with fixed pricing. Plans with variable rates are subject to price changes at the retailer’s discretion, while fixed price plans lock-in supply charges and usage rates usually for a set period.
In addition to their respective standing offer contracts for gas in Queensland, Origin and AGL both provide a range of other plans. Both retailers have market contracts which bring modest discounts for either paying bills on time (Origin) or by direct debit (AGL), with 12-month benefit periods. AGL also offers a fixed rate plan with no rate changes for two years. Meanwhile, Origin offers Australia’s only fixed cost gas plan named Predictable Plan, whereby customers are given one price to pay every billing period for a year.
The amount you pay for gas is determined by two main costs – usage and supply charges. Your supply charge is the fixed daily amount you pay to access natural gas, regardless of how much you actually use. Usage charges, on the other hand, reflect the amount of has you use.
As is normal for gas suppliers, Origin and AGL charge different usage rates for gas depending on how much you use. For example, the first ‘block’ of gas you use a day will usually be charged at the highest rate. This is usually around 8 megajoules. The following block will then be charged at a cheaper rate and so on.
Be aware that gas prices from Origin and AGL are subject to change, meaning the only way to find the cheapest plan for you is to compare charges when you are ready to switch. For many people, price will be the first and last thing they consider when comparing energy companies, but it’s also worth keeping our customer ratings in mind – because ‘cheapest’ doesn’t always mean ‘best’.
Canstar Blue commissioned Colmar Brunton to survey 6,000 Australian adults across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who live in Queensland and pay the gas bills in their household – in this case, 171 people.
Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then alphabetically. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.
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