At a time when electricity prices only go in one direction, one of Australia’s biggest energy companies is launching a new fixed rate plan that could prove beneficial for consumers happy to play the long game in search of savings.
EnergyAustralia has introduced its ‘Secure Saver’ product in Victoria, New South Wales and SE Queensland, giving households the opportunity to lock in reasonably competitive usage and supply rates for two years.
At the time of launch, it is the only fixed rate product available in New South Wales and Queensland, with only one other similar offer in Victoria, courtesy of Pacific Hydro.
EnergyAustralia, along with rival retailers Origin and AGL, removed its previous fixed offering in mid-2017, citing little interest from customers. While fixed rate plans are usually very competitive, a lack of conditional discounts at the time seemed to result in consumers favouring the retailer’s other variable rate deals, which did include discounts. However, the Secure Saver plan from EnergyAustralia does include headline-grabbing discounts across the states, as well as the benefits of rate fixing. Rates are locked in for two years, providing a level of certainty with power bills.
EnergyAustralia Chief Customer Officer Kim Clarke said energy bills had increased by around 20% this year in some states and that the full impact of the Hazelwood power station closing and higher gas costs had yet to flow through to retail tariffs.
“Our customers are worried about energy prices and not just what they are today, but what they’ll be tomorrow,” Ms Clarke said. “That’s why we created Secure Saver; it’s for households which want the certainty of knowing their energy rates won’t go up – and can only come down – until 2019. It’s like hitting the pause button on some of the cost-of-living pressures people are under,” she said.
Is the Secure Saver from EnergyAustralia a good deal?
It could be. The details of the Secure Saver plan vary across the country, but in general it is a reasonably price-competitive offering at the time of launch. It is even cheaper than some variable rate electricity plans on the market, which is a sign that locking in now could pay off in the future, with variable rates likely to rise fairly significantly over the next 24 months.
Secure Saver rates vary across Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. The discounts on offer also vary, which will subsequently impact overall costs:
- In Victoria, the Secure Saver has a pay on time discount of 30% off usage charges. There is a 12 month benefit period and exit fees apply. EnergyAustralia says households in Victoria can expect to pay around $79 a month for electricity
- In NSW, the Secure Saver comes with a 22% discount off usage charges when you pay on time. There is a 12 month benefit period and exit fees apply. EnergyAustralia estimates this plan will cost the average home $91 a month for electricity.
- In QLD, the Secure Saver offers a 20% discount on usage charges when you pay on time. There is a 12 month benefit period and exit fees apply. EnergyAustralia claims households in SE QLD can expect to pay around $103 a month for electricity
Across all three states, the exit fee is $22 regardless of whether you leave in the first or second year of the contract. Also consider that the Secure Saver is available for natural gas customers and that bundles are available.
You can see how EnergyAustralia stacks up on price compared to other energy retailers in your area via the links below:
- Cheapest Electricity NSW
- Cheapest Electricity Victoria
- Cheapest Electricity South Australia
- Cheapest Electricity SE Queensland
Should I sign up to the Secure Saver from EnergyAustralia?
Getting a good energy deal requires you to be constantly vigilant, reviewing your own plan and others on the market reguarly. However, if you prefer the idea of ‘setting and forgetting’ your power plan, a fixed rate deal allows you to do this with the safety net of some protection against increasing costs. But before you sign up, be sure to compare plans and rates to make sure that your fixed rate deal looks competitive. If you prefer to closely monitor the energy market and chase the best deals, you’ll probably be better off sticking to a variable rate contact.
Please note that this article was published when the EnergyAustralia Secure Saver was launched. Product details, including conditional discounts and estimated costs, are likely to have changed. See our energy comparison tool above for an up-to-date quote in your area.