Canstar Blue Energy Awards 2020

Grudge purchases don’t come much bigger than energy, which is why Canstar Blue takes pride in helping Australian consumers get the best value they can. This means paying a competitive price for power, but also getting the incentives, features and service you deserve. We publish annual customer satisfaction ratings to show which electricity providers are best-rated by bill-payers. But now we can also leverage the data from our price comparison tool to show – based on our expert methodology – which electricity providers are consistently offering superior value across New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and the ACT, so you can make the most informed decision possible.

Canstar Blue Editor-in-Chief, Simon Downes, said “These awards are all about finding out which energy providers are consistently offering great value for new customers. Electricity costs will always be a sore point for most households, but cheap prices don’t always translate to the best value. That’s why we’ve built comparison tools that allow Aussie consumers to compare based on the cheapest prices, but also the overall value proposition offered by the energy companies in the shape of prices, plan features and customer service based on our data collection and research methodologies.

“These awards showcase the energy providers that have had the best overall value performance across the states and provide another helpful point of reference for households comparing their options to find the best plan and provider for their needs.”

Outstanding Value Award – NSW: Alinta Energy

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Alinta Energy is Canstar Blue’s Outstanding Value award winner for electricity plans in New South Wales, having performed consistently well relative to the market throughout the observation period. Alinta has consistently been one of the most competitively-priced providers across the three electricity distribution networks of NSW, with no conditional discounts, lock-in contracts or exit fees. In addition to a low-price basic offer, Alinta also provides a Sports Pack plan which includes a 12-month Kayo Sports subscription.

“More than any other state, households in New South Wales are drawn to the traditional big three energy providers, but Alinta is leading the pack of challengers with compelling offers and a growing reputation for good service,” said Mr Downes. “Alinta has adapted better than most to the industry changes of 2019 which saw conditional discounts largely become a thing of the past. Like most, Alinta marketed big discounts to attract new customers, but now focuses on low base rates, one of the most innovative features in its partnership with Kayo, and the type of well-regarded service that has seen it score consistently well in our annual reviews.”

Alinta Energy Plans NSW

Here are the Alinta Energy plans on our database for NSW. These are products from a referral partner†. These costs are based on the Ausgrid network in Sydney but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 3900kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

Outstanding Value Award – Victoria: Alinta Energy

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Alinta Energy has also taken out the Outstanding Value title in the hugely competitive electricity market of Victoria. Surrounded by several other well-established providers in the state – plus a growing number of smaller challenger brands – Alinta continues to stand out from the crowd with well-priced basic offers and interesting sign-up incentives, including its unique Kayo Sports deal and rewards program. Although some providers reserve their cheapest rates for certain parts of Victoria, Alinta is consistently one of the cheapest across all five distribution networks in the state.

“in the fast-moving energy market of Victoria, the energy providers need to work incredibly hard to stay relevant. But these companies and consumers themselves are realising this doesn’t just mean bigger and bigger discounts,” said Mr Downes. “Having a reputation for good customer service and a unique offer is hugely important, but not at the expense of low prices. Victorians are energy savvy and will not tolerate higher than necessary prices. Alinta is one of the providers that’s now striking the right balance between good features and competitive rates to keep existing customers happy, as well as attracting new ones.”

Alinta Energy Plans Victoria

Here are the Alinta Energy plans on our database for VIC. These are products from a referral partner†. These costs are based on the Citipower network in Melbourne but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 4000kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

Outstanding Value Award – Queensland: Alinta Energy

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Competing a clean sweep across the east coast of Australia, Alinta Energy also picked up Canstar Blue’s Outstanding Value award for electricity plans in Queensland. Since entering the newly deregulated QLD market in partnership with the state government in 2017, Alinta has earned a strong reputation for good value and service, initially through a big discount offer that saw hundreds of thousands of people switch in just months. Now an established player in the state with a significant market share, Alinta has topped Canstar Blue’s customer satisfaction ratings for electricity providers in QLD for three years in a row.

“You can’t underestimate the impact Alinta has had on energy price competition in Queensland,” said Mr Downes. “It’s hard to imagine another energy company replicating the incredible growth that Alinta saw in the state in 2017 and 2018. It launched with a ground-breaking offer then and continues to offer great value today, whether customers remain on the big 28% discount plan they initially signed up to in the early days, or have switched more recently. Alinta helped educate Queenslanders about the benefits of energy price competition and it continues to enjoy a positive reputation in the state today.”

Alinta Energy Plans QLD

Here are the Alinta Energy plans on our database for SE QLD. These are products from a referral partner†. These costs are based on the Energex network in Brisbane but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 4600kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

Outstanding Value Award – South Australia: Origin Energy

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Dispelling the myth that the big energy companies can’t offer good prices, Origin Energy has received Canstar Blue’s Outstanding Value award for electricity plans in South Australia. Not only is Origin now consistently one of the cheapest providers in the state, but it’s also the company responsible for South Australia’s Concessions Energy Discount Offer, delivering unbeatable rates to eligible customers. Origin also offers one of the cheapest deals in the state to customers who are not eligible for the concessions discount plan, although they may need to sign up online to get the best deal. The company also delivers comprehensive customer service online and over the phone.

“Everyone knows the high price South Australians pay for power, but Origin is certainly doing its part in helping to reduce costs for struggling households and anyone else just looking for a good deal,” said Mr Downes. “There is often a perception that you need to switch to one of the smaller providers to get the best deal, but Origin is proving that’s not always the case. After years of missing out, South Australians are seeing intense price-competition with several budget providers moving into the market. But Origin is still right up there in terms of offering the best value, whether you qualify for the concessions discount or not.”

Origin Energy Plans South Australia

Here are the Origin Energy plans on our database for South Australia. These are products from referral partners†. These costs are based on the SA Power network in Adelaide but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 4000kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

Outstanding Value Award – ACT: Origin Energy

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While many households in the Australian Capital Territory will be unaware of the relatively new energy price competition now going on around them, those who are could benefit through competitive offers from the likes of Origin Energy. While regulated energy rates remain in place, customers can now shop around for cheaper deals and Origin is leading the way in providing the best overall value relative to the market throughout the observed period in Canstar Blue’s Outstanding Value award research, taking out the title for electricity plans in the ACT.

“Origin is clearly doing a lot to help improve competition and drive down power prices in the Canberra area,” said Mr Downes. “It’s giving households in the territory something to think about when it comes to their energy prices, not least because it consistently offers one of the cheapest deals on our database for the ACT. The area could really benefit from more competition and Origin has shown just what can be achieved when the energy providers take it seriously. The challenge will be encouraging more people in the ACT to consider their options and shop around for better value.”

Origin Energy Plans Canberra

Here are the Origin Energy plans on our database for the ACT. These costs are based on annual energy usage of 5499kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff, and a selected postcode in Canberra, but these prices will vary depending on your own circumstances. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

How did we determine the Outstanding Value award winners?

Canstar Blue’s Outstanding Value awards use a sophisticated rating methodology which compares each provider’s performance across single rate and controlled load electricity plans offered to new customers over a six-month historical consideration period, including each distribution network within every state and territory. Further details on the awards methodology can be found in our methodology document.

About the author of this page

Jared Mullane

This page was written and is regularly updated by Canstar Blue’s Energy Specialist, Jared Mullane. He’s an expert in all things utilities, including electricity, gas and water, helping to make complicated subjects easier to understand for consumers. A trained journalist, Jared is usually one of the first to break energy-related news, whether it’s the latest changes in the industry, price movements, or the next best deal you need to know about.

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