AGL vs Origin: How do they compare?

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There are more than 20 different energy providers operating in Australia, but two of them have more market share than the rest combined. They are AGL and Origin, and in this review we compare their electricity plans across the country to find out which offers the best terms and the cheapest prices when you live.

We won’t bore you with a history lesson about each of these big companies because, quite frankly, who cares? Instead, let’s just focus on the important stuff – what AGL and Origin offer their customers, and where you can find the best deal. To do this, we’ll focus on each state separately.

While the electricity plans you will see often have the same names across Australia, it’s important to read the specifics because the details can vary considerably between states. Also keep in mind that the energy providers tend to change their discounts quite frequently, so the below details are subject to change.

Compare Electricity Plans

Victoria

Both AGL and Origin offer a good variety of electricity plans to their Victorian customers, with significant discounts reflecting the competitiveness of the local market. AGL offers households in Melbourne and the rest of the state two electricity options to choose from over 12 month periods – both coming with $50 online sign-up credit.

  • AGL Everyday: This is a variable rate plan with a guaranteed 13% discount off your entire bill (usage and supply charges) for 12 months. Billing options are flexible.
  • AGL Set and Forget: This is AGL’s variable rate plan with a discount for paying by direct debit. In this case the discount is 38% off usage charges, with a 12 month benefit period applying.
  • AGL Savers: This contract is also for 12 months but comes with a discount of 30% off usage charges when you pay your bills on time. It also comes with a variable rate.
  • AGL Essentials: This plan comes with locked in usage and supply rates for 12 months. There is no conditional discount and no exit fees for cancelling the contract early.
  • Other Products: AGL has also recently offered a Savers Plus plan in Victoria, bringing an additional discount on top of the product mentioned above.

Origin offers five different electricity plans in Victoria, on no fixed term or 12 and 24 month contracts.

  • Origin Maximiser: This 12 month variable rate plan comes with a 30% discount off usage charges when you pay by direct debit. It comes with email billing and no exit fees.
  • Origin Saver: This variable rate plan offers 26% off usage charges when you pay your bills on time and also comes with a benefit period of 12 months. There are no exit fees.
  • Origin Bill Saver: This is a variable rate plan with a guaranteed discount of 10% off both usage and supply charges. It comes with a benefit period of 12 or 24 months and may prove a good option for customers who don’t like direct debiting and sometimes forget to pay their bill on time.
  • Origin Supply: With no specific plan length, this is Origin’s basic variable rate energy agreement for electricity.
  • Origin Rate Freeze: This is Origin’s fixed rate electricity plan for 24 months. With it you are protected against any rate or supply charge increases for the term. There are no exit fees. This plan is currently not available.

Who’s cheapest in Victoria?

To help you make the most informed decision possible, we’ve crunched the numbers on the two cheapest products from AGL and Origin to show, based on average energy consumption figures (i.e. the amount of electricity the average five person household uses), which plan is cheapest if you live on the Citipower network in Victoria. For a specific quote in your suburb, use our energy comparison tool above.

State Provider^ Plan Discount Annual cost*
Victoria AGL Set and Forget 38% $2,206.73
Victoria Origin Energy Maximiser 30% $2,438.52
*Prices based on average energy consumption figures from AER for five person household on the Citipower network in Melbourne.

^By clicking on a brand name, you may leave Canstar Blue and be taken to a referral partner to compare. You agree that Canstar Blue’s terms and conditions apply to this referral. If you click on a brand that is not a referral partner, you will be taken to a brand page on Canstar Blue.

There is little in it, but AGL works out slightly cheaper than Origin in Victoria, thanks to its big conditional discount. You can see how AGL and Origin compare to many other providers in the state with our Victoria Electricity Cost Comparison report.

New South Wales

Households with AGL or Origin in New South Wales have similar plan options as those in Victoria, but with some subtle differences in discounts. AGL offers the same two electricity plans to customers in Sydney and the rest of the state, with $50 online sign up credit.

  • AGL Everyday: This is a variable rate plan with a benefit period of 12 months. During this period, customers receive a guaranteed 5% discount off usage and supply charges. It comes with flexible billing options.
  • AGL Set and Forget: This is AGL’s biggest discount offer in NSW, bringing 28% off usage charges for customers who pay their bills by direct debit. It is a variable rate plan with a 12 month benefit period.
  • AGL Savers: This plan comes with a larger 25% pay on time discount off usage charges. Like the above offers, the AGL Saver is a variable rate plan with a benefit period of 12 months. It also comes with flexible billing options.
  • Other Products: While AGL currently lists just two market offers in NSW, it has previously offered a Savers Plus plan with an additional discount to the product featured above. It has also provided a fixed rate plan, but this is currently not available. It’s thought these plans may return in the future.

Origin also offers the same suite of plans to its customers in New South Wales as it does those in Victoria.

  • Origin Maximiser: This variable rate plan has a 23% discount off usage charges when you pay by direct debit. It comes with a 12 month benefit period, no exit fees, and you receive all of your bills and other correspondence via email.
  • Origin Saver: Another variable rate plan, this offer comes with a discount of 21% off usage charges when you pay on time, with a benefit period of 12 months and no exit fees.
  • Origin Bill Saver: This deal comes with a modest 10% discount on both usage and supply charges. What makes this product stand out, however, is that you’re guaranteed to receive this discount regardless of how or when you pay. Customers can choose between a 12 or 24 month contract.
  • Origin Supply: This basic variable rate energy contract from Origin has no specific fixed term and does not come with the discounts off the provider’s previously mentioned plans.
  • Origin Rate Freeze: Origin also occasionally offers a fixed electricity rate plan in NSW. This means you will be charged the same amount for supply and usage at the start of the term as you are two years later. It is a 24 month plan with no exit fees. This plan is not always available.

Who’s cheapest in NSW?

In New South Wales, Origin Energy’s cheapest product, the Maximiser, has a bigger discount than AGL’s Set and Forget plan, but which works out cheaper? We will again compare prices between the two retailers using average energy consumption figures. Once again, use our comparison tool above for a specific quote in your area.

State Provider^ Plan Discount Annual cost*
NSW AGL Set and Forget 28% $2,359.82
NSW Origin Energy Maximiser 23% $2,462.02
*Prices based on average energy consumption figures from AER for five person household on the Ausgrid network in Sydney.

^By clicking on a brand name, you may leave Canstar Blue and be taken to a referral partner to compare. You agree that Canstar Blue’s terms and conditions apply to this referral. If you click on a brand that is not a referral partner, you will be taken to a brand page on Canstar Blue.

AGL narrowly edges out Origin Energy on price in New South Wales, coming in marginally cheaper in this comparison. But it’s always worth reviewing a wide range of offers. You can see how AGL and Origin compare to other providers in our NSW Electricity Cost Comparison report.

South Australia

Electricity customers with AGL in South Australia  have three plans to choose from, while those with Origin have the same five offers to consider. The three AGL plans available in Adelaide and the rest of the state are all 12 month contracts and do not provide an online sign up credit, unlike with the other states.

  • AGL Set and Forget: In South Australia, AGL’s variable rate Set and Forget electricity plan comes with a 14% discount off usage charges when you pay by direct debit. It comes with email billing and no exit fees over 12 months. A 2% ‘double up’ discount also applies in South Australia, meaning you can save when you also get gas with AGL.
  • AGL Savers: The AGL Savers plan comes with a slightly reduced discount to the Set and Forget plan – this time 12% off usage charges when you pay your bills on time. This variable rate offer also has a benefit period of 12 months and there are no exit fees, but with flexible billing options and the same double up discount.
  • AGL Everyday: This plan may come with a smaller discount of 5%, but this discount applies to both electricity usage and supply charges, so is likely to work out more beneficial overall. The discount is also guaranteed. There are no exit fees and flexible billing options.

Origin brings the same five electricity plans to South Australia as it provides in New South Wales and Victoria, but with increased headline discounts.

  • Origin Maximiser: In South Australia, Origin’s flagship electricity plan offers a discount of 16% off usage charges when you pay by direct debit. A variable rate contract, it has a 12 month benefit period with no exit fees, and you will receive all emails and other correspondence via email.
  • Origin Saver: This variable rate plan comes with a discount of 12% off usage charges when you pay your bills on time. This offer is available for 12 months and also has no exit fees. It does not include email billing.
  • Origin Bill Saver: This product has a guaranteed discount of 8% on both usage and supply charges. The discount applies for a 12 or 24 month benefit period, but there’s no exit fees if you choose to leave early.
  • Origin Supply: This basic electricity contract presents the same details as the equivalent offer in the other states. It comes with a variable rate and no specific plan length.
  • Origin Rate Freeze: Origin also offers its fixed charge plan in South Australia. Over a 24 month period, customers will not see any changes to the rates they pay for electricity usage or supply. This plan is currently not available.

Who’s cheapest in South Australia?

Its AGL’s Set and Forget plan going up against Origin’s Maximiser deal as the two cheapest products from these providers in South Australia. Origin offers the greater discount, but does that mean it’s the cheapest?

State Provider^ Plan Discount Annual cost*
SA AGL Set and Forget 14% $3,059.93
SA Origin Energy Maximiser 16% $3,064.05
*Prices based on average energy consumption figures from AER for five person household on the SA Power network in Adelaide.

^By clicking on a brand name, you may leave Canstar Blue and be taken to a referral partner to compare. You agree that Canstar Blue’s terms and conditions apply to this referral. If you click on a brand that is not a referral partner, you will be taken to a brand page on Canstar Blue.

The bigger discount just about loses out again, with AGL coming in just slightly cheaper for the average Adelaide household. That said, both prices don’t make pretty reading for South Australians. See how AGL and Origin compare to other energy providers in the state with our SA Electricity Cost Comparison report.

Queensland

AGL keeps its range of electricity products consistent with South Australia, offering the same three plans, albeit with different discounts. Prospective AGL customers in South East Queensland only receive a $25 online sign-up credit, instead of the $50 offered in other states. However, two plans come with a free month of electricity.

  • AGL Set and Forget: This plan has a maximum discount of 28% on usage charges when you pay your bills by direct debit. This is a variable rate contract and has a 12 month benefit period. Bills must be received by email. This is the first product to offer a month of free electricity in the 12th month of the contract.
  • AGL Savers: This plan brings a 25% discount off usage charges when you pay your bills on time. It’s a variable rate plan with flexible billing options and a benefit period lasting 12 months. This plan also comes with a month’s worth of free electricity.
  • AGL Everyday: Like in other states, the AGL Everyday offer in Queensland comes with a discount off both energy usage and supply charges, this time 3% guaranteed. Another variable rate deal, there is a 12 month benefit period and there are flexible billing options.

Origin customers in south-east Queensland have three options to choose from, but with significantly reduced discounts available compared to other states.

  • Origin Maximiser: For Queensland households, this Origin plan has a discount of just 16% off usage charges when you pay your bills by direct debit. A variable rate offer, it has a benefit period of 12 months and no exit fees. You will receive bills and communications via email.
  • Origin Saver: This plan offers a 14% pay on time discount off usage charges. It is also a variable rate plan with a 12 month benefit period and no exit fees.
  • Origin Supply: Origin does not offer a fixed charge plan in Queensland, but it does still provide its basic electricity agreement with no specific contract length.

Who’s cheapest in Queensland?

AGL Set and Forget is the supplier’s cheapest product in SE Queensland, coming with a 28% discount. In the other corner, Origin Energy’s best deal in Queensland is the Maximiser with its 16% discount. We compare the Set and Forget deal to Origin’s Maximiser to find out which is cheapest.

State Provider^ Plan Discount Annual cost*
QLD AGL Set and Forget 28% $1,818.28
QLD Origin Energy Maximiser 16% $2,016.66
*Prices based on average energy consumption figures from AER for five person household on the Energex network in Brisbane.

^By clicking on a brand name, you may leave Canstar Blue and be taken to a referral partner to compare. You agree that Canstar Blue’s terms and conditions apply to this referral. If you click on a brand that is not a referral partner, you will be taken to a brand page on Canstar Blue.

In SE Queensland, there is very little difference between AGL’s and Origin’s cheapest products. Find out how these costs compare to other providers in the state with our QLD Electricity Costs report.

Conclusion

So what have we learned here? Well, based on these comparisons, AGL is currently cheaper than Origin in most areas, though it’s important to point out that different tariffs may bring different results, and that prices vary between networks in NSW and Victoria. With price differences sometimes in excess of $100 a year, it’s important to make sure you’re not paying more than you have to. Use our energy comparison tool for a specific quote in your area.

The message would be that it’s worth paying attention to the discounts offered with electricity plans, because not only will they help to reduce your overall costs, the percentage often directly relates to which plans work out cheapest. Not always, but quite often. This will make selecting a new plan a little easier, but probably shouldn’t dictate your final decision because there are other things to consider when searching for a new energy deal.

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Other considerations

AGL and Origin both offer other incentives in a bid to secure your custom. AGL’s big selling point is its partnership with shopping rewards program flybuys, with one point available for every $1 you spend on energy. If you switch to AGL online, you will also net 10,000 bonus points. The other point to remember about AGL is that some of its plans come with a ‘free’ month of electricity.

Meanwhile Origin Energy has been attracting attention for its new fixed cost Predictable Plan. Based on previous energy consumption data, Origin will quote a fixed cost on electricity or gas for an entire year, to be paid monthly or quarterly. The idea is to take the potential shock out of energy bills, with one set price to pay every billing period.

Both AGL and Origin also promote their online account management tools to help you closely monitor your energy usage. This is important because, while the energy plan you’re on will dictate how much you plan, so will the amount of power you actually use.

AGL and Origin both additionally offer GreenPower-accredited plans to customers throughout Australia. For AGL, this takes the form of its Green Choice product which can be added to plans for an additional amount on usage costs. Customers can choose between 10, 20 or 100% GreenPower. Origin customers can select 25, 50 or 100% GreenPower on top of any plan.

If you’re close to making a decision about whether AGL or Origin are the best bet for your household, we suggest a look at our customer satisfaction ratings to see how other consumers rate both providers.

Canstar Blue's Electricity Customer Ratings

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