Synergy Review and Rates
Synergy produces and retails electricity and natural gas in Western Australia. The company is government-owned and operates on the South West Interconnected System (SWIS), which extends to Kalbarri in the north, east to Kalgoorlie and south to Albany.
Synergy is the only electricity retailer for non-contestable customers on the SWIS. A customer is considered non-contestable if it uses less than 50MWh of electricity per year, which is about $15,300 worth. That means almost all residential properties are connected to Synergy, along with most small businesses. Non-SWIS customers or SWIS customers using more than 50MWh per year are classed as ‘contestable’ and can choose their retailer from the limited options available.
It is a different story when it comes to natural gas in WA, however. Synergy is only permitted to supply natural gas to households that use more than 180GJ or about $6,200 worth a year. Most residential customers will therefore not be able to sign up to a gas plan with Synergy, leaving a few options: AGL, Alinta Energy, Kleenheat, Origin Energy, Perth Energy and Simply Energy.
Synergy Electricity Plans
Synergy has two electricity deals for residential customers – the Home Plan (A1) Tariff and the Smart Home Plan. There is also a special product for customers that run a business from home.
Home Plan (A1) Tariff: This is a flat rate plan, which means the same rate applies regardless of the season or time of day. Synergy says this plan is straightforward and is designed for busy people and families. Households without a smart meter are automatically signed onto the Home Plan Tariff. Households with smart meters may also opt in for this plan, but should note there is a sign-up fee of $33.80.
Smart Home Plan: This deal is exclusive to households with smart meters installed. Customers on the Smart Home Plan are charged different rates for electricity at different times of the day. There are three time brackets which are as follows:
- Peak [3pm-9pm weekdays] – Electricity demand is high during peak times of the day and is therefore most expensive during this time. Peak period only applies on weekdays.
- Off-peak [9pm to 7am everyday] – Electricity demand is low at off-peak times of the day and is therefore cheapest during this time. Off-peak period applies every day.
- Shoulder [7am-3pm weekdays; 7am–9pm weekends] – Electricity demand is moderate during the shoulder period. Shoulder period falls between peak and off-peak periods. Different time windows apply on weekends and weekdays. The rates charged during the shoulder period are higher than off-peak, but lower than peak.
Customers can try to save money on this plan by shifting some of their usage from the peak periods to off-peak or shoulder. If you don’t already have a smart meter and would like to purchase one, installation and setup will cost a few hundred dollars.
Home Business Plan (K1) Tariff: Home businesses tend to use more electricity than a standard household, but less than a dedicated business premise. Recognising this, Synergy’s Home Business Plan strikes a middle ground by charging customers in ‘blocks’. That is, one rate is charged for the first 20kWh of electricity usage. Then a slightly lower rate is charged for usage between 20kWh and 1.65MWh. Finally, a higher rate is charged for any remaining usage beyond 1.65MWh.
Synergy Renewable Energy
Synergy seems pretty big on green energy, with its website offering a range of guides on how customers can save electricity and reduce their carbon impact. Additionally, most of its residential products include optional GreenPower for as little as 17 cents per day.
Synergy’s solar department, ‘SolarReturn’, offers a comprehensive solar service. It helps customers find the solar system best-suited for their property and follows up the sale, installation and registration of system. Synergy sells a range of top-tier Jinko, Q CELLS and LG panels along with Fronius system inverters. Synergy also offers Fronius storage systems for those wanting to be a little more self-sufficient. Even if you don’t purchase a battery right away, Synergy’s solar systems are ‘battery-ready’ if you change your mind in the future.
Synergy customers with solar will receive 7.135 cents per kWh of electricity their system exports to the grid under the Renewable Energy Buyback Scheme (REBs). Unless you are immediately using the electricity, or have a storage system installed, electricity generated by your solar panels is exported to the grid in exchange for the rebate.
Tools and Billing
Synergy has made things simple for customers with its online My Account management tool. With My Account, customers can manage their bills, update account information, view and compare electricity usage, apply for concessions and much more. There’s virtually no reason for you to directly contact your energy company again. To use My Account, customers will need to register on the Synergy website.
Synergy customers can pay their energy bills online, BPay, over the phone or at the post office. Alternatively, customers can arrange for small installments to be direct debited out of their account, rather than paying large quarterly lump sums.