Origin launches new ‘Bill Saver’ energy plan

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One of Australia’s biggest electricity and gas retailers has launched a new product targeted at customers missing out on savings through conditional discounts.

Origin Energy’s Bill Saver plan – available in Victoria, South Australia, New South Wales and ACT – comes with a guaranteed discount off both usage and supply charges, unlike the retailer’s two other variable rate products which only apply discounts to usage charges. The percentage discount available with the Bill Saver plan varies by state, but is as high as 10% in Victoria.

The Bill Saver product is available alongside Origin’s two other variable rate market offers, which bring substantial discounts for either paying by direct debit (Origin Maximiser) or paying on time (Origin Saver). Canstar Blue’s electricity database shows that the Bill Saver plan works out to be the most expensive of the three – which Origin also acknowledges on its website – but it at least gives another option to customers who are not confident about paying on time, or prefer not to pay by direct debit.

While the Origin Maximiser and Origin Saver plans come with a benefit period of just 12 months, the Bill Saver discount is available for up to 24 months. At the end of the contract, customers will need to contact Origin to discuss their options, or be left paying full, non-discounted rates.

To its credit, Origin has been one of the most proactive energy retailers in Australia when it comes to contacting customers as they near the end of their market contracts, informing them that discounts will soon be lost if they don’t take action. Like the Maximiser and Saver plans, the Bill Saver comes with no minimum term contract or exit fees, with customers able to switch whenever they please. Flexible billing options are available, while solar customers receive Origin’s standard feed-in tariff of 9c per kWh.

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Is the Origin Bill Saver a good deal?

Households on the Origin Bill Saver are likely to pay more for power than customers on either the Maximiser or Saver products, owing to the larger conditional discounts applied to these plans. However, for customers who do not wish to pay their energy bills by direct debit or have concerns about not being able to their bills on time, the Bill Saver could prove beneficial. It certainly works out cheaper than Origin’s standing offers in each state.

What is Origin’s cheapest plan?

Origin’s cheapest plan is typically its Maximiser offer, with significant discounts on offer for paying by direct debit and receiving bills by email instead of regular post. In Victoria and NSW, Origin also offers an online bonus whereby customers who sign up to the Maximiser plan can benefit from an additional discount. The Origin Saver plan generally works out a little more expensive than the standard Maximiser product.

You can see how Origin compares on price to other retailers in your state via the links below:

What else does Origin offer?

While Origin offers two or three of its variable rate market plans in each state that it serves, its flagship energy product is a fixed cost plan, aptly named Predictable Plan. With Predictable Plan, new and existing customers are quoted a price to pay each month or quarter, based on their previous usage history. This means customers pay the same amount for energy each billing period, regardless of their actual usage. This could be a good way to avoid the bill shock that comes with variable rate power plans and varying energy usage habits. However, as each Predictable Plan quote is different for every household, it can be hard to compare it with other offers on the market.

Please note that this article was published when the Origin Bill 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.

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