Origin vs EnergyAustralia: Electricity Cost Comparison

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It’s two of the big three energy giants up against each other – Origin and EnergyAustralia. Both are very well-known and serving millions of Aussies apiece, but does notoriety mean they’re the right choice when it comes to your electricity? Here at Canstar Blue, we’ve done the legwork for you, comparing each provider’s cheapest plans to deduce which offers the cheapest deals and rates where you live.

Since electricity bills vary considerably depending on the energy network and state in which you reside, we’ve broken down what you can expect to pay on an Origin and EnergyAustralia plan across Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and the ACT. Let’s begin with a quick comparison by state. Alternatively, jump straight into our electricity comparison tool to compare plans in your area.

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Origin vs EnergyAustralia: How do they match up?

Here is a quick comparison of Origin and EnergyAustralia.

Origin EnergyAustralia
Electricity available NSW, VIC, QLD, SA, ACT NSW, VIC, QLD, SA, ACT
Natural gas available NSW, VIC, QLD, SA, ACT, WA NSW, VIC, SA, ACT
GreenPower options 25%, 50% or 100% 10%, 20% or 100%
Green energy rating 3.5* 3.0*
Customer incentives & usability  Guaranteed discounts*, solar plans, online chat, Origin app Guaranteed discounts*, fixed rate options, online chat, EnergyAustralia app
Price Origin is currently the cheapest in two of the four states compared EnergyAustralia is currently the cheapest in two of the four states compared

*Green energy rating refers to the Green Electricity Guide 2018, Greenpeace. Discounts are only available on specific plans and require certain conditions to be met.

Origin vs EnergyAustralia – Cheapest Deals

Here are the current cheapest published deals on our database for Origin and EnergyAustralia across Victoria, NSW, Queensland and South Australia, with any conditional discounts factored in.

Victoria – quick comparison

Here are the cheapest published deals for Origin and EnergyAustralia on our database for Victoria. This table includes a product 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.

NSW – quick comparison

Here are the cheapest published deals for Origin Energy and EnergyAustralia on our database for NSW. This table includes a product 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.

Queensland – quick comparison

Here are the cheapest published deals for Origin Energy and EnergyAustralia on our database for SE QLD. This table includes a product 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.

South Australia – quick comparison

Here are the cheapest published deals for Origin Energy and EnergyAustralia on our database for SA. This table includes a product from a referral partner†. 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.

What plans are available from Origin?

Origin is Australia’s biggest energy company, with millions of customers across Australia and investment into a range of fossil fuel and renewable energy generators. It supplies customers in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory with electricity and in some cases gas. As far as the retailer’s plans go, you can expect to see plans offering conditional discounts and variable rate plans, with the exception of one or two unique products.

Origin Plans

Here are the staple plans available when signing up to Origin Energy. Not all of these plans are available in each state, but to check which are, input your suburb into our electricity comparison tool above.

  • Max Saver – Online Special: The Origin Max Saver – Online Special is a plan that comes with notable savings compared with the Reference Price/VDO, amplified with an online sign-up bonus. The catch is customers will need to set up direct debiting, eBilling and eCommunication in order to be eligible.
  • Flexi: By paying a slightly higher amount than the Max Saver plans indicate, customers will pay a reasonable amount off the Reference Price/VDO. Even better, this plan doesn’t rely on eligibility criteria such as direct debiting in order for customers to sign up.
  • Freedom: In line with Origin’s other plans, this no-discount product packs a small saving off the Reference Price or VDO, with an added bonus that this plan doesn’t charge card payment fees or late payment fees. This product is not currently available in Victoria.
  • Basic: This plan offers no conditional discounts, contract terms or exit fees. It has the highest rates of any Origin product, in line with the Reference Price in NSW, QLD and VIC and VDO in Victoria.

Origin Solar

Origin is one of the limited brands offering solar-specific plans to customers that come with some of the highest feed-in tariffs available on the market.

  • Solar Optimiser: This solar plan is available in NSW, VIC and QLD, offering no savings off the Reference Price/VDO, though with a higher feed-in tariff than what’s available on Origin’s non-solar specific plans. Currently, these tariffs sit between 15c/kWh and 21c/kWh, varying between states.
  • Solar Boost Plus: In NSW, VIC, QLD and SA, customers who have purchased a new solar system from Origin can sign up to the Solar Boost Plus, which quite often comes with no saving off the Reference Price or VDO (with the exception of SA). In exchange, solar customers can expect to find boosted feed-in tariffs of between 15c/kWh and and 23c/kWh depending on the state they’re in. This plan has a 12 month benefit period. South Australian customers can also sign up to the non-plus version of this plan which provides a smaller feed-in tariff and doesn’t require the purchase of solar panels through Origin Energy.

Customers who chose not to be on these dedicated plans can still expect a feed-in tariff, which currently sits at 7c/kWh-12c/kWh depending on the state. See more on our solar comparison page.

What plans are available from EnergyAustralia?

Another one of Australia’s ‘big three’ power retailers, EnergyAustralia offers electricity and gas plans in NSW, VIC, SA, QLD and the ACT. As with the other major retailers, EnergyAustralia offers plans with discounts, as well as a no-discount options that come with lower base rates. Benefit periods range from 12 to 24 months, and no exit fees apply.

EnergyAustralia Plans

EnergyAustralia currently has three market offers available in Australia. All states and areas in the National Electricity Market will see the same plans on offer but with varying discounts and conditions. Here’s a rough guide of what to expect from them:

  • Total Plan Home: This is EnergyAustralia’s newest plan, which comes with an unconditional discount off usage and supply rates that applies to a 12 month benefit period. This is a fixed rate plan.
  • No Frills: EnergyAustralia’s No Frills plan gives customers lower base rates to compensate for not offering any discounts or sign-up incentives. This rate has fixed rates for 12 months, and since July 1 2019, customers no longer have to set up direct debit or eBilling to be eligible to sign up.
  • Basic Home: Complying with the price changes that came into effect on July 1 2019, Energy Australia has launched a plan that sits equal to or near the Reference Price/VDO in the respective states. In addition this plan has no discounts, and customers who don’t shop around can easily end up on this plan.

EnergyAustralia Solar

Unlike Origin, EnergyAustralia isn’t offering those with solar panels any solar-specific products. That being said, its normal plans do still offer sometimes competitive feed-in tariffs. Here’s what you can expect in each state:

  • VIC: 12c/kWh
  • NSW: 10.5c/kWh
  • QLD: 11.5c/kWh
  • SA: 11.5c/kWh

Customers in Victoria may also be able to receive a time-of-use feed-in tariff, which provides a different amount back depending on the time of day. This means customers may receive up to 29c/kWh for exporting their power in peak demand times!

What’s different about EnergyAustralia is that it also offers a range of solar systems. It aids with the upfront investment of solar panels by giving customers the option to pay off their new system with $0 upfront and no interest for five years.

Who’s cheapest in Victoria; Origin or EnergyAustralia?

In Victoria, EnergyAustralia has come out as the cheapest of the two in this comparison. Also, EnergyAustralia’s plan doesn’t rely on criteria such as direct debiting for customers to receive the best value. To see how these products go against others available in the state, head to our Victoria energy price comparison report.

In the table below, we show Origin Energy and EnergyAustralia prices on the Citipower network in Melbourne. Plans are listed from the lowest priced estimate first. See here for information on the VDO, which in this comparison assumes general energy usage of 4000kWh/year, meaning the VDO is $1,420/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area.

Electricity Provider Electricity Plan Difference from VDO› Conditional Discounts Price Estimate˜
EnergyAustralia Total Plan Home 11% Less Than VDO No conditional discounts $1,263
Origin Energy Max Saver – Online Special 11% Less Than VDO No conditional discounts $1,263
Energy Fact Sheets

~Price assumes general energy usage of 4000kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Estimated price includes any conditions discounts that may be available. Pricing based on Citipower network in Melbourne, but prices will differ between distribution areas. September 2020.

Who’s cheapest in NSW; Origin or EnergyAustralia?

In NSW, Origin Energy’s Max Saver – Online Special comes out cheaper than EnergyAustralia’s most competitive offering in the state. Compare these plans and providers against a range of others in our NSW price comparison report.

In the table below, we show Origin Energy and EnergyAustralia prices on the Ausgrid network in Sydney. Plans are listed from the lowest priced estimate first. See here for information on the AER Reference Price, which in this comparison assumes general energy usage of 3900kWh/year, meaning the Reference Price is $1,462/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area.

Electricity Provider Electricity Plan Difference from Reference Price^ Conditional Discounts Price Estimate*
Origin Energy Max Saver – Online Special 19% Less Than Reference Price No conditional discounts $1,184
EnergyAustralia Total Plan Home 17% Less Than Reference Price No conditional discounts $1,213
Basic Plan Information Documents

*Price assumes general energy usage of 3900Wh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Estimated price includes any conditional discounts that may be available. Pricing based on Ausgrid network in Sydney, but prices will differ between distribution areas. September 2020.

Who’s cheapest in QLD; Origin or EnergyAustralia?

In this case EnergyAustralia takes the win, offering a decent amount more savings when compared to the Reference Price. Regardless, it may be worth exploring value-extras associated with each brand. See what else is on offer in South-east Queensland in our QLD cost comparison report.

In the table below, we show Origin Energy and EnergyAustralia prices on the Energex network in Brisbane. Plans are listed from the lowest priced estimate first. See here for information on the AER Reference Price, which in this comparison assumes general energy usage of 4600kWh/year, meaning the Reference Price is $1,508/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area.

Electricity Provider Electricity Plan Difference from Reference Price^ Conditional Discounts Price Estimate*
EnergyAustralia No Frills 13% Less Than Reference Price No conditional discounts $1,305
Origin Energy Max Saver – Online Special 12% Less Than Reference Price No conditional discounts
$1,327
Basic Plan Information Documents

*Price assumes general energy usage of 4600Wh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Estimated price includes any conditional discounts that may be available. Pricing based on Energex network in Brisbane, but prices will differ between distribution areas. September 2020.

Who’s cheapest in SA; Origin or EnergyAustralia?

Origin destroys the competition in this state. There’s a significant difference between these plans in SA, and if you’re not careful you could end up paying more than you need to. But remember, there are many other plans available in Adelaide and surrounds – take a look at them in our SA comparison report.

In the table below, we show Origin Energy and EnergyAustralia prices on the SA Power network in Adelaide. Plans are listed from the lowest priced estimate first. See here for information on the AER Reference Price, which in this comparison assumes general energy usage of 4000kWh/year, meaning the Reference Price is $1,832/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area.

Electricity Provider Electricity Plan Difference from Reference Price^ Conditional Discounts Price Estimate*
Origin Energy Max Saver – Online Special 15% Less Than Reference Price No conditional discounts $1,557
EnergyAustralia Total Plan Home 6% Less Than Reference Price No conditional discounts $1,722
Basic Plan Information Documents

*Price assumes general energy usage of 4000Wh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Estimated price includes any conditional discounts that may be available. Pricing based on SA Power network in Adelaide, but prices will differ between distribution areas. September 2020.

Should I sign up to Origin or EnergyAustralia?

It’s close competition in this comparison, however Origin emerges as a major victor in South Australia. That being said, the difference between EnergyAustralia and Origin’s cheapest offers isn’t much to brag about in the other states, so other factors become just as important.

What’s important to mention is that while prices and rates are definitely something to consider when looking for an energy plan, it’s far from the be-all-end-all. Both retailers are long-standing, having handled millions of customers and have well-established ways of doing things, but there are a few things that separate them.

Origin has a range of solar specific products offering some of the best feed-in tariffs available on the Australian market. EnergyAustralia on the other hand may not have solar plans, but offers a range of solar installation options to help you get set up and generally has slightly longer benefit periods.

Remember that these two providers are a far cry from your only options when looking at making the switch to a new electricity plan, and if you want to see what’s available in your specific area, follow the link below.

This comparison is based on a very specific household, with usage figures and postcodes detailed above. Any annual cost estimates should be considered indicative only and not an actual quote. Please use our comparison tool for information catered to your location and electricity usage estimates. 

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Picture credits: sitthichai.tum/Shutterstock.com

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