They may not be the first names that spring to mind when you think of energy providers, but Simply Energy and Lumo Energy are giving the big retailers a run for their money when it comes to offering customers big discounts and other sign-up incentives. But what do these headline discounts really mean for your overall electricity costs? Read on to find out.
Particularly in Victoria, Simply and Lumo promise some of the highest discounted plans available, plus plenty of unique special offers, including free movie tickets! So how do these two energy providers compare, and where can you find the best deal on your electricity? Canstar Blue has reviewed their electricity plans to help you make a more informed decision. While the names of some plans remain the same across the country, be sure to check the specific details because the features can vary from one state to the next.
Victoria is the most competitive energy market in Australia, and this is reflected by no less than 10 different variable rate plans between Simply Energy and Lumo Energy. Let’s start by reviewing those from Simply, which has a strong focus on eye-catching discounts and doesn’t slug customers any exit fees.
- Simply Save: Simply Energy’s base offer electricity plan, this comes with a significant 30% off usage charges when you pay your bills on time. It has a 12 month benefit period and no exit fees.
- Simply Plus: This offer is a step up from the Simply Save plan, bringing a maximum discount of 35% off usage charges when you pay on time. It also come with no exit fees, but has a benefit period of two years rather than one.
- Simply RACV Plus: This is an exclusive energy offer for RACV members in Victoria, bringing a maximum discount of 40% off usage charges for paying on time. It has a 24 month benefit period and no exit fees.
- Simply Gold Class Plus: With a two-year benefit period, this offer from Simply Energy comes with a 30% pay on time discount, in addition to a maximum of 16 gold class movie tickets for use at Village Cinemas. There are no exit fees.
- Simply Hawks Plus: Targeted at supporters of the Hawthorn AFL club in Melbourne, this plan brings a 30% discount off usage charges for paying on time, in addition to a $100 ‘HawksNest’ voucher for use at the club’s megastore. This is a 24 month contract with no exit fees.
Not all of Lumo Energy’s electricity offers for Melbourne and the rest of Victoria come with the same dramatic discount promises of Simply Energy’s plans, but they do still boast their own unique selling points and incentives.
- Lumo Advantage: This plan comes with a maximum of 27% off electricity usage charges when you pay your bills on time. It also provides access to Lumo Energy’s exclusive retail shopping program, Lumo Ameego. There are no exit fees and flexible billing options are available.
- Lumo Advantage Premium: An upgrade to the previous offer, this plan comes with a maximum discount of 33% off usage charges when you pay your bills on time. Rather than flexible billing, it comes with direct debit payments and email billing. You can also benefit from the same Lumo Ameego program.
- Lumo Options: This is Lumo Energy’s standing electricity offer for Melbourne with an open contract and no transfer or exit fees. Lumo describes this plan as perfect for renters.
- Lumo Life 10: Lumo Energy’s GreenPower offer, this plan comes with a 27% pay on time discount, access to Lumo Ameego and email billing. With this plan, Lumo will commit to sourcing the equivalent of 10% of their electricity consumption from government accredited renewable programs, which will be fed back into the grid.
- Lumo Movers: Claimed to be perfect for households who move a lot, this plan comes with a 10% early bird discount, an open contract and one ‘free move’ per calendar year.
Who’s cheapest in Victoria?
If the above has taught us anything, it’s that Victorians have plenty of plans to choose from. However, working out where to get the best deal on electricity is not easy. But to help you, let’s compare the two highest discounted offers from Lumo Energy and Simply Energy to work out whose rates are cheapest when all is said and done. These prices are estimates of what a five-person family in Melbourne can expect to pay per quarter, after discounts have been applied.
|Victoria||Simply Energy||Simply Plus||35%||$358.43|
|Victoria||Lumo Energy||Advantage Premium||33%||$387.68|
Costs based on yearly usage calculation broken into quarterly payments. Average energy consumption figures from the AER published Dec 2014. Usage figures are for a five-person household with no pool on the Citipower network. Figures correct as at January 2017.
In Victoria, we see that discounts really can make the difference, with Simply Energy coming out cheaper than Lumo Energy. However, it should be noted that Lumo’s Advantage Premium plan includes access to Lumo Ameego – the retailer’s rewards program which brings other cost-saving benefits. You can compare these costs to other providers in Victoria with our price comparison report.
Simply Energy and Lumo Energy are also fighting it out with competitive offers in South Australia, where between them they give households seven different electricity plans to choose from. In the case of Simply, its offers are much more streamlined than in Victoria, with customers in Adelaide able to pick from three different plans, detailed below.
- Simply Save: In South Australia, the Simply Save plan comes with a maximum discount of 10% off usage charges when you pay your bills on time. There is a 12 month benefit period and exit fees apply.
- Simply Plus: This plan brings a maximum 15% discount off usage charges when you pay on time. Unlike the above plan, this one has a two-year benefit period, but once again exit fees will apply if you leave early.
- Simply RAA Plus: This is Simply Energy’s exclusive offer to RAA members, with a maximum discount of 18% off usage charges when you pay on time. It has a two-year benefit period and no exit fees.
While Simply Energy changes things up slightly for its customers in Adelaide and the rest of South Australia, Lumo Energy keeps its range of plans fairly consistent with its offerings in Victoria, but with the exception of its ‘Advantage Premium’ plan.
- Lumo Advantage: This plan comes with a 12% early bird discount off usage charges when you pay your bills on time. It comes with access to the Lumo Ameego shopping program and there are no exit fees.
- Lumo Options: This is Lumo Energy’s standing offer contract in South Australia, bringing no exit fees and free upgrade to another energy plan if you so wish.
- Lumo Life 10: A GreenPower accredited plan, this has an early bird discount of 12% when you pay your bills on time. It also gives you Lumo Ameego and ensures that Lumo Energy purchases the equivalent of 10% of your energy consumption from renewable sources. You will need to receive bills via email.
- Lumo Movers: The same as its plan in Victoria, this offer is targeted at households who tend to move around a lot. The plan has a very modest 3% early bird discount and brings one free move per calendar year. It is an open contract.
Who’s cheapest in South Australia?
To find out which electricity provider works out cheapest in Adelaide, let’s compare the Simply Plus contract, which has a 15% discount, and the Lumo Advantage plan which provides 12% off. Does the higher discount mean lower prices in South Australia?
|SA||Simply Energy||Simply Plus||15%||$610.58|
|SA||Lumo Energy||Lumo Advantage||12%||$619.83|
Costs based on yearly usage calculation broken into quarterly payments. Average energy consumption figures from the AER published Dec 2014. Usage figures are for a five-person household with no pool on the SA Power Networks network. Figures correct as at October 2016.
The higher discount from Simply Energy means a lower price for power, but there isn’t much in it. Unfortunately, South Australians pay a huge amount for electricity, so be sure to find the best deal you can. You can see how these costs compare to other providers with our SA electricity price comparison report.
Lumo Energy maintains a strong presence in Queensland, with three different electricity plans for households to choose from. Simply Energy also has three plans available in Brisbane, increasing its presence since electricity prices in the state were deregulated in mid-2016.
- Simply Save: In Queensland, Simply Energy’s flagship electricity offer has a maximum 10% pay on time discount off usage charges. This is a 12 month benefit term with no exit fees.
- Simply Plus: Once again Simply Energy beefs up the discount on its Simply Plus plan, offering 15% off usage charges when you pay your bills on time. This is a two-year contract, but there are no exit fees.
- Simply RACQ Plus: This exclusive offer for RACQ members brings a 18% pay on time discount off electricity usages charges. The plan has a 24 month benefit period and no exit fees.
Customers in Brisbane and the rest of south-east Queensland considering a switch to Lumo Energy have the following options to choose from:
- Lumo Advantage: In Queensland, Lumo Energy’s flagship plan comes with an early bird discount of 10% when you pay your bills on time. This also provides access to the Lumo Ameego shopping program, plus there are flexible billing options. Lumo says this plan has its “best rates”.
- Lumo Options: Once again, Lumo Energy offers a basic standing offer electricity plan in Queensland, with an open contract and no transfer fees.
- Lumo Life 10: Lumo Energy’s GreenPower accredited plan is also available in Queensland. This has a 10% pay on time discount off usage charges, and signing up to this plan ensures that Lumo will purchase the equivalent to 10% of your energy consumption from renewable sources.
Who’s cheapest in Queensland?
Let’s compare the highest discounted offers from Simply Energy and Lumo Energy in Queensland to see which works out cheapest. The following costs are for five-person households and take discounts into accounts.
|QLD||Simply Energy||Simply Plus||15%||$503.39|
|QLD||Lumo Energy||Lumo Advantage||10%||$499.52|
Costs based on yearly usage calculation broken into quarterly payments. Average energy consumption figures from the AER published Dec 2014. Usage figures are for a five-person household with no pool on the Energex network. Figures correct as at January 2017.
For the first time in this report, Lumo Energy comes out cheaper than Simply Energy. You also still get the benefit of Lumo’s rewards program. Compare these costs with those of other electricity providers serving Brisbane with our QLD electricity price comparison report.
New South Wales
Simply Energy also has three electricity offers to choose from in New South Wales, while the Lumo Energy brand has taken a backseat to sister company Red Energy. Customers with Lumo in Sydney and the rest of the state have been transferred over to Red Energy – also owned by Snowy Hydro. As such, Lumo directs customers in NSW to Red Energy, while Simply Energy offers the following plans:
- Simply Save: In New South Wales, this Simply Energy offer comes with a 10% discount off electricity usage charges for paying on time. It has a 12 month benefit period and exit fees apply.
- Simply Plus: The difference between this plan and the one above is that Simply Plus is a two-year contract, but comes with an increased 15% off usage charges when you pay on time. Exit fees also apply.
- Simply NRMA Plus: This is an exclusive offer to NRMA members in NSW, bringing a maximum pay on time discount of 18% off usage rates. It is a two-year plan with no exit fees.
While we can’t compare Simply Energy’s costs with Lumo Energy in NSW, we can show you estimated prices for five-person households with Simply Energy in Sydney and how they rate against other providers, including Red Energy, in our NSW electricity price comparison report.
How to get the best deal?
It’s clear that both Simply Energy and Lumo Energy have lots of enticing energy offers to choose from, but to get the best deal, we suggest digging a little deeper, past the headline discounts and incentives, and into the price factsheets of the plans you are interested in. Discounts can be a great way to reduce overall costs, but only if you’re getting a discount on a competitive base rate. It’s all about finding a plan that offers you the best overall value – while Lumo proves more expensive than Simply in some cases, it balances this with a rewards program that brings all sorts of special offers and discounts. Overall, it’s worth keeping a close eye on the electricity offers in your state because they can change quickly.