While AGL and Origin dominate much of the Australian energy market, Red Energy and EnergyAustralia are two of their biggest challengers, particularly in New South Wales and Victoria. With a good mix of discounted plans and rewarding offers available, they present a viable alternative to the two big power companies. So, how do they compare and who works out cheapest where you live?
In this report, we review the electricity offers of Red Energy and EnergyAustralia across the states they serve, and show how much their plans are likely to cost you. While the names of their plans remain fairly consistent across the country, be sure to read the specific details in your state because their details and prices can vary significantly.
Red Energy provides two basic electricity market offers to households in Victoria, while EnergyAustralia has three options to navigate, including a fixed rate plan. Both of Red Energy’s plans come on no-contract terms with variable rates, meaning the amount you are charged for electricity usage or supply can change at the retailer’s discretion.
- Living Energy Saver: This Red Energy plan is available with no fixed term contract. It comes with a 10% discount off your entire bill when you pay on time, which is something of a rarity as most providers offer discounts on usage charges only. This plan includes access to Red Energy’s Rewards program whereby customers get cheaper deals on a number of different goods and services with selected partners. You’ll receive your bills by email and there are no exit fees.
- Living Energy Saver Green: As the name suggests, this plan is similar to the one above, but the difference is that it includes 100% GreenPower – a commitment from Red Energy to purchase the equivalent amount of power that you use from renewable resources. This comes at an extra cost to consumers, in this case an additional 5.83 cents per kWh. Red Energy Rewards are also available with this plan, as is email billing. There are also no exit fees.
Two of EnergyAustralia’s electricity plans for Melbourne and the rest of Victoria come with variable rates and different discounts, while the third offer allows customers to lock-in their usage and supply rates for two years.
- Flexi Saver: This plan comes with a potential discount of 32% off electricity usage charges. You get 28% off if you pay your bills on time, plus a further 2% discount for signing up online, as well as another 2% discount for agreeing to receive your bills and other communications by email instead of post. This EnergyAustralia offer comes with a one-year benefit term and has no exit fees. EnergyAustralia claims this plan will mean an average monthly cost of $79 for low-usage households.
- Anytime Saver: A more basic electricity plan from EnergyAustralia, this comes with a guaranteed discount of 18% off usage charges. It also has a benefit period of one year and there are no exit fees. EnergyAustralia says this plan will result in estimated costs of $86 per month. This could be a good option for those who are worried about losing their discount from the above plan by not paying their bills on time.
- Rate Fix: This is EnergyAustralia’s fixed rate electricity plan for Victoria, meaning customers will pay the same rates for usage and supply over the length of the two-year contract. Exit fees apply if you cancel the contract early. Households can expect to pay $91 per month with this plan, according to EnergyAustralia. Customers who sign up to this plan will also receive $100 credit towards their first bill.
Who’s cheapest in Victoria?
EnergyAustralia and Red Energy offer some of the cheapest electricity rates in Victoria, but how do they compare head to head? We’ve compared the highest discount deals of each retailer to find which works out cheapest.
|Victoria||Red Energy||Living Energy Saver||10%||$372.37|
Costs based on yearly usage calculation broken into quarterly payments. Average energy consumption figures from the AER for a five person household on the Citipower network, January 2017.
Using average usage figures for a five-person household, you can see that Red Energy is noticeably cheaper than EnergyAustralia, despite having a smaller discount. This is why you shouldn’t get carried away by big discount numbers – Red Energy’s seemingly small 10% discount applies to the ENTIRE bill and not just the usage charges like with EnergyAustralia. Additionally, some retailers compensate their large discounts with higher rates on electricity usage and supply. While this comparison looks at the Citipower network in Melbourne, be aware that costs across the other electricity networks in Victoria can vary.
New South Wales
Red Energy and EnergyAustralia offer a similar range of plans in Sydney and the rest of NSW as they do in Victoria, but with some subtle differences. In the case of Red Energy, it offers one variable rate plan with a two-year benefit term, while the other comes with no lock-in contract, as opposed to Victoria where both deals are available on no contracts terms.
- Living Energy Saver: This Red Energy plan provides a 10% discount off your entire bill when you pay on time. You can also benefit from Red Energy Rewards, with money off things like movie and theme park tickets, as well as shopping and eating out. The plan has email billing and a two-year benefit term. Exit fees apply if you cancel the contract early.
- Easy Saver: Red Energy’s second electricity offer in New South Wales, this also comes with a 10% discount off your whole bill when you pay on time. The difference is that you are not locked into a contract and the plan doesn’t come with access to Red Energy rewards.
EnergyAustralia also shakes things up for its customers in NSW with a fixed rate plan thrown into the mix alongside its other two discounted offers.
- Flexi Saver: This variable rate plan over 12 months comes with a maximum discount of 20% off usage charges – 16% for paying on time, 2% for signing up online, and an additional 2% for receiving your bills and correspondents via email. EnergyAustralia claims this plan will result in an estimated monthly cost of $80. There are no exit fees
- Anytime Saver: Another variable rate plan, the difference with this offer is that it comes with a guaranteed discount of 12% off usage rates, not conditional on whether you pay bills on time. There is a one-year benefit period, with no exit fees. EnergyAustralia estimated this plan will cost households in NSW $84 per month.
- Rate Fix: This is EnergyAustralia’s fixed rate plan for two years. With it, customers are protected against any changes to usage or supply charges during this time. Exit fees apply. EnergyAustralia says customers can expect to pay $84 per month with this plan.
Who’s cheapest in NSW?
So, we know about Red Energy and EnergyAustralia’s electricity plans in New South Wales, but who actually works out cheapest? We’ve crunched the numbers behind their plans with the highest discounts to give you an answer. To do this, we have calculated their respective usage and supply charges, and taken the savings from their conditional discounts into account. The following table shows what an average five-person household in Sydney can expect to pay.
|NSW||Red Energy||Easy Saver||10%||$449.68|
Costs based on yearly usage calculation broken into quarterly payments. Average energy consumption figures from the AER for a five person household on the Ausgrid network, January 2017.
There is an important lesson to learn here. While the Flexi Saver plan from EnergyAustralia has easily the highest discount on paper, the Easy Saver plan from Red Energy isn’t much more expensive. The biggest headline discounts do not always mean you’re getting the cheapest deal. You can see how these two providers compare with other energy companies in NSW with our cost comparison report.
The big difference with Red Energy’s electricity plans for South Australia is that they don’t offer access to its rewards program. EnergyAustralia keeps it consistent with the same three plans as other states, making only minor changes to discounts. In the case of Red Energy, you still get the opportunity of choosing between a two-year contract and no fixed term.
- Living Energy Saver: In South Australia, this plan from Red Energy comes with a 10% discount off your entire bill for paying on time. It has a two-year benefit period and exit fees will apply if you cancel the contract early.
- No Exit Fee Saver: Red Energy’s second plan in South Australia comes with no contract and no exit fees, as the name suggests. However, it only offers a discount of 3% off your entire bill when you pay on time.
EnergyAustralia offers the same three electricity plans as it does in New South Wales and Victoria, providing plenty of choice for households in South Australia.
- Flexi Saver: This time the variable rate Flexi Saver plan from EnergyAustralia brings a maximum discount of 20% off usage charges, provided you pay on time and receive bills and other communications via email. It has a benefit term of 12 months and there are no exit fees. EnergyAustralia gives an estimated cost of $99 per month for this plan in SA.
- Anytime Saver: EnergyAustralia also offers its guaranteed discount plan in South Australia, with customers able to bank on 12% off usage rates. This plan also has a one-year benefit term with no exit fees. It’s estimated this plan will cost you $104 per month.
- Rate Fix: This fixed charge offer for South Australia is available over two years, protecting households against rate changes during the term. EnergyAustralia estimates this plan will cost you $114 per month.
Who’s cheapest in South Australia?
Let’s compare the highest discounted plans from Red Energy and EnergyAustralia to work out which offers the cheapest electricity costs in South Australia. The Flexi Saver from EnergyAustralia has a discount of 20%, compared to Red Energy’s Living Energy Saver plan with 10% off. But which works out cheaper? We’ve done the maths by calculating their usage and supply charges, before applying discounts. This comparison is for five-person households in Adelaide with average energy consumption.
|SA||Red Energy||Living Energy Saver||10%||$633.91|
Costs based on yearly usage calculation broken into quarterly payments. Average energy consumption figures from the AER for a five person household on the SA Power network, January 2017.
Just like in NSW, the plan with the lower discount is not too much more expensive overall. This emphasises the point that it’s important to do your homework before signing up to a new energy plan – don’t automatically assume the biggest headline discount means you’ll get the cheapest rates. Find out how these two energy providers compare to others in South Australia with our cost comparison report.
Red Energy expanded its retail service to South East Queensland at the start of 2017, adding to the state’s growing pool of electricity retailers. EnergyAustralia already has a strong market share in the Sunshine State, offering the same three plans from each of the other states. Red Energy has brought to the table its Easy Saver and Easy Saver Green electricity offers.
- Easy Saver: This is a variable rate plan with no contract term. While Queensland customers won’t have access to Red Energy’s rewards program, they do receive Red Energy’s 10% pay-on-time discount on their entire bill.
- Easy Saver Green: This is essentially the same as the Easy Saver plan, albeit with the added option to have 100% of your electricity usage covered by the GreenPower scheme for an extra 5.83c/kWh.
Once again, EnergyAustralia offers two variable rate plans with discounts and one-year benefit periods, as well as one two-year fixed-rate plan.
- Flexi Saver: This has a maximum discount of 16% off usage rates, which is pretty good by Queensland standards. Customers receive a 12% discount when they pay on time, an additional 2% when they sign up online, and a further 2% if they accept to receive bills and correspondence through email. EnergyAustralia estimates this plan will cost a low-usage household $100 per month.
- Anytime Saver: This has a guaranteed 8% discount on electricity usage, making it a wise move for those who are unlikely to pay their bills on time under the Flexi Saver. Once again, there are no exit fees and the benefit period is for one year. EnergyAustralia estimates this plan will cost low-usage households $105 per month.
- Rate fix: EnergyAustralia will freeze the rate you pay on electricity so that it stays the same for the next two years. While it doesn’t include any conditional discounts, this plan could potentially save you money if electricity prices increase significantly. The EnergyAustralia website predicts this plan should cost low-usage households $106 each month.
Who’s cheapest in Queensland?
The increasing competition in the Queensland electricity market should put pressure on the retailers to keep their rates competitive and avoid drastic price increases. What should increase, however, are the conditional discounts customers can benefit from, just like in other states. How do Red Energy and EnergyAustralia stack up in Brisbane? Let’s compare their highest discounted offers and find out.
|QLD||Red Energy||Easy Saver||10%||$499.52|
Costs based on yearly usage calculation broken into quarterly payments. Average energy consumption figures from the AER for a five person household on the Energex network, January 2017.
In Canstar Blue’s Queensland electricity pricing report, you will see that EnergyAustralia and Red Energy are two of the cheapest providers overall. But be sure to compare plans from a wide range of retailers as they often tweak their offers.
How to get the best deal?
Like all energy providers, Red Energy and EnergyAustralia are desperate for your custom. But to find out if you’re really getting a good deal, we suggest drilling down further into their respective electricity price factsheets for specific information about usage and supply charges. It’s also worth checking how they are rated by customers in your state, which you can do via the link below.
If you have been with your existing energy provider for two years or more, you are very likely paying more than you need to. To get the best deals on electricity, you need to be willing to switch providers every year or two, taking advantage of new highly discounted offers. The retailers want new customers and this is how they attract them. These will give you the maximum savings, but it will require a little work on your part.