AGL Essentials & Essentials Plus Explained

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If you’re on the hunt for a new electricity plan, you’ve likely had a peek to see what AGL has on offer. And with so many plans boasting large discounts, you might wonder: ‘Why would I sign up to a plan with no discount?’. AGL has followed in the footsteps of the other big three retailers in advertising a plan with no conditional discounts, but fixed rates – but will work out to be decent value? Canstar Blue takes a look at the plan’s rates, benefits and conditions to help you come to a conclusion as to whether it’s worth signing up to.

What is AGL Essentials?

AGL Essentials is the provider’s signature fixed rate, 0% discount energy plan. It’s available in NSW, QLD, VIC and SA. On this plan, customers will have peace of mind knowing their usage and supply charges won’t budge for at least 12 months, on an ongoing contract. Unlike most of AGL’s other products, this plan has no conditional discounts – instead generally offering lower rates than its other plans.

However, with this product there isn’t much flexibility when it comes to billing option – you’ll have to sign up to e-billing in order to be eligible. That being said, monthly billing is available.

AGL is currently running an incentive where new customers will receive 10,000 flybuys points for signing up online to any of its plans, and AGL Essentials is no exception. Not only that, but all AGL customers, existing and new, have access to AGL Rewards.

What about AGL Essentials Plus?

What you’ll see readily advertised on the AGL website, rather than AGL Essentials, is the AGL Essentials Plus product. It carries the same rates and fees and options as AGL Essentials, but has two notable differences.

The first is the benefit period. While the AGL Essentials product has a 12-month benefit period, AGL Essentials Plus is two years. On a fixed rate plan, this means that for that time frame your rates won’t change. And since there are no lock-in contracts on either product, if you do decide you want out, you won’t incur any exit fees, even if you sign up for two years to begin with. And unlike the AGL Essentials, the ‘Plus’ version also comes with a promise of bill credits every six months over the two-year benefit period.

Compare AGL Electricity Plans

AGL Essentials Plus Prices

AGL isn’t currently advertising the AGL Essentials product on its website, replacing it instead with the Essentials Plus, and Canstar Blue has reflected that choice in our database. So how much can you expect to pay with the AGL Essentials Plus? The tables below show estimated annual costs for three-person households living at select postcodes in each state. For a more accurate quote based on your specific usage requirements and suburb, input your details into our energy comparison tool above.

AGL Essentials Plus Prices VIC

State Discount Annual Cost*
VIC 0% $1,194.94

*Calculations based on a three-person household connected the Citipower network in Melbourne on a single rate tariff. Prices will vary for those living on a different electricity network.

AGL Essentials Plus Prices NSW

State Discount Annual Cost* Important
NSW 0% $1,536.61 Basic Plan Information

*Calculations based on a three-person household connected the Ausgrid network in Sydney on a single rate tariff. Prices will vary for those living on a different electricity network.

AGL Essentials Plus Prices QLD

State Discount Annual Cost* Important
QLD 0% $1,441.08 Basic Plan Information

*Calculations based on a three-person household connected the Energex network in Brisbane on a single rate tariff. Prices will vary for those living on a different electricity network.

AGL Essentials Plus Prices SA

State Discount Annual Cost* Important
SA 0% $2,161.32 Basic Plan Information

*Calculations based on a three-person household connected the Sa Power network in Adelaide on a single rate tariff. Prices will vary for those living on a different electricity network.

You can see how the AGL Essentials Plus plan compares to other providers in your area via the links below. And also remember to use our comparison tool for a specific quote in your area.

Is AGL Essentials/Essentials Plus on a lock-in contract?

Neither the AGL Essentials or AGL Essentials Plus are on lock-in contracts. Both the products are on ongoing contracts, which just means that you’ll be with the provider on the plan until you decide to switch to a new offer. The good news is that, whenever you do decide to move along, because you’re not on a lock-in contract, you’ll avoid paying annoying exit fees.

Will AGL Essentials & Essentials Plus rates change?

Electricity Contracts

AGL Essentials is the provider’s only fixed rate plan, meaning your usage and supply charges won’t budge for as long as your benefit period implies. Benefit periods are exactly what they sound like, an agreed-upon amount of time that you’ll receive some form of advantage from your energy retailer, whether that be a discount on your power bill or, in this case, fixed rates.

If you’re on AGL Essentials plan, you’ll have the same rates for a year, at which point they are subject to change. However, if you sign up to AGL Essentials Plus, this changes to a 24-month benefit period.

Is AGL Essentials & Essentials Plus available with solar?

AGL generally offers some competitive feed-in tariffs on its standard electricity products, as well as its specific solar deals. The feed-in tariffs available with the AGL Essentials & Essentials Plus plans are as follows:

  • VIC: 3c/kWh
  • NSW: 1c/kWh
  • QLD: 6c/kWh
  • SA: 3c/kWh

Does AGL Essentials & Essentials Plus have GreenPower options?

GreenPower options

With most AGL plans comes the option to add on GreenPower, and the two AGL Essentials products are no exception. You’ll get the option of offsetting a small amount of your usage or large, depending on how much extra money you’re willing to put forth. Here are the options:

  • 10%: $1.10/week
  • 20%: $1.80/week
  • 100%:5c/kWh

For those confused, the ‘GreenPower’ program is a government-backed initiative which feeds power from accredited renewable energy generators into the grid based on contributions from eco-conscious consumers. Read more on it here. It doesn’t mean you buy green energy, but you’ll be supporting its production.

AGL Essentials & Essentials Plus Fees

The AGL Essentials and Essentials Plus products have no exit fees. That being said, as is the case with almost all electricity plans, it does come with a strew of others:

  • Connection fees
  • Credit card payment fees
  • Late payment fees
  • Reconnection fees
  • Direct debit dishonour fees

Fees can vary considerably between each state, so be sure to check the fine print before you sign up.

Is AGL Essentials/Essentials Plus right for me?

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Broadly speaking, the AGL Essentials is generally a competitive offer from a ‘big three’ energy retailer, often ranked amongst the cheapest plans in each state in which it’s available. It follows the trend of a slew of retailers jumping on the ‘no discount’ bandwagon, and instead offers lower base usage and supply rates. But what really makes this plan unique is that it comes with fixed rates. With these terms, you’ll have peace of mind knowing your rates won’t go up for at least 12 months. But on that same note, it also means they won’t go down.

Remember that these plans don’t come with lock-in contracts, meaning AGL Essentials has no exit fees, so switching to a new provider, if something better comes up, should be relatively cost effective. And if you’re thinking: ‘Why should i switch?’ the answer is because it pays to keep an eye on the ever-changing electricity market. Start shopping around by following the link below.

Picture credits: Peshkoa/Shutterstock.com, Tusumaru/Shutterstock.com, amophoto_au/Shutterstock.com, Hollygraphic/Shutterstock.com

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