Origin vs Red Energy: Electricity Plan Comparison

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Origin Energy is Australia’s largest electricity retailer, with more than four million customers nationwide. But is bigger always better? Red Energy is a far smaller retailer, yet has been making waves in recent years across Victoria, South Australia, New South Wales, and now Queensland.

Canstar Blue has reviewed the plans and prices of Origin Energy and Red Energy to see which offers the best deal and cheapest rates where you live. We’ll review each of their plans and provide estimated annual costs for households in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane, who sign up to the cheapest products Origin and Red Energy have on offer.

While the names of these plans are similar throughout Australia, their prices, terms and discounts can vary considerably across networks and states. Be sure to thoroughly read their energy price fact sheets to find the specific details of what’s on offer in your area. You can also see a specific quote for your area by using our energy comparison tool.

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Origin vs Red Energy – Cheapest Deals

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

Victoria – quick comparison

Here are the cheapest published deals for Origin and Red 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 and Red 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.

South Australia – quick comparison

Here are the cheapest published deals for Origin and Red 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.

Queensland – quick comparison

Here are the cheapest published deals for Origin and Red on our database for 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.

Victoria

Origin Energy has a few offers available to customers across Victoria – Go, Flexi, Home Support and Basic. While all market offers include variable rates, Origin also has a basic plan which simply meets the Victorian Default Offer (VDO) price for the state.

  • Go: This plan promises low, fixed electricity rates for 12 months. There’s no lock-in contract or exit fees. The Everyday Rewards variant of this plan gives customers 5,000 Woolworths Everyday Rewards points and comes with 25% GreenPower.
  • Flexi: The Flexi plan comes with an unconditional discount off the entire bill (usage and supply charges) for a 12-month benefit period. This plan does not require customers to sign up for direct debit billing.
  • Home Support: This plan has rates equal with the VDO but offers additional value with a Emergency Home Assistance Program membership provided by Allianz Global Assistance.
  • Solar Boost Plus: This plan is for eligible Origin solar customers who are looking for a higher feed-in tariff. There is a small discount off usage charges over two years and there are no exit fees.
  • Basic: This is Origin’s bare-bones plan that offers no discounts but aligns with the VDO.

Meanwhile, Red Energy has three electricity market offers for Victorian households: the Living Energy Saver, Qantas Red Saver and the Qantas Red Plus. Red Energy also has a default offer available.

  • Living Energy Saver: This is a no term, variable rate contract. Red Energy says its deals have competitive solar rebates and flexible billing options, meaning you can still get your bills by post if you want. Customers will also have access to Red Energy Rewards which gives you more than 3,500 worth of discounts and offers.
  • Qantas Red Saver: This plan has the same rates ss Red Energy’s Living Energy Saver. The difference is that customers on the Qantas Red Saver can earn Qantas Frequent Flyer Points just by signing up and paying their bills on time (2 Qantas points per $1). It also has flexible billing, no exit fees and no contract period.
  • Victorian Default Offer: This is Red Energy’s offer that complies with the price set by the Victorian Essential Services Commission, but doesn’t offer any value-add features.

Who’s cheapest in Victoria?

In the table below, we show Origin and Red Energy 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˜
Origin Energy Everyday Rewards 14% Less Than VDO No conditional discounts $1,221
Red Energy Living Energy Saver 3% Less Than VDO No conditional discounts $1,378
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 differ between distribution areas. October 2020. 

Sometimes it all comes down to the usage and supply charges which make up an energy deal. In this case, we see Origin outmatches Red Energy in price. Find out how Origin and Red Energy compare to other electricity providers in Victoria with our cost comparison report.

New South Wales

Origin brings a similar range of plans to the table in Sydney, but with varying guaranteed discounts, detailed below. It also has two specific offers for solar customers.

  • Go: This plan comes with guaranteed fixed rates for 12 months. Flexible billing options are available. There is also an Everyday Rewards variant of this plan where members receive 5,000 points for signing up.
  • Flexi: The Flexi product includes a  guaranteed discount off usage and supply charges for 12 months. As the name suggests, this plan is quite flexible with its payment options.
  • Home Support: This plan features an Emergency Home Assistance Program membership provided to you by Allianz Global Assistance.
  • Solar Boost Plus: With this deal, customers must have an eligible solar PV system from Origin. It has a discount off usage charges for 12 months and a generous feed-in tariff.
  • Basic: This plan carries rates equal with the Reference Price.

Similar to Victoria, Red Energy gives customers in NSW two different electricity market offers to choose from. Households in Sydney can select between the Living Energy Saver and Qantas Red Saver.

  • Living Energy Saver: This plan gives customers flexible billing options and access to Red Energy’s reward program. This is an open term contract with a variable rate and no exit fees.
  • Qantas Red Saver: This product is virtually identical to the Living Energy Saver. The only difference is that instead of Red Rewards, the Qantas Red Saver gives customers 10,000 Frequent Flyer Points simply for signing up and an additional 2 points per $1 on bill payments, as long as its paid on time.

Who’s cheapest in New South Wales?

In the table below, we show Red Energy and Origin Energy 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 Everyday Rewards 18% Less Than Reference Price No conditional discounts $1,199
Red Energy Living Energy Saver 10% Less Than Reference Price No conditional discounts $1,320
Basic Plan Information Documents

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

In price alone, Origin works out cheaper, but Red Energy packs plenty of value, particularly with its generous Qantas points and rewards program. See how Red Energy and Origin compare to other retailers in NSW with our comparison of costs for the state.

South Australia

Origin Energy offers South Australians a similar range of products to what’s available in Victoria and NSW. Electricity prices in South Australia are generally much higher than in any other part of the country, so it’s important to shop around to find the best price. Here’s how Origin stacks up:

  • Go: Like the other states, this plan comes with fixed rates for 12 months. There’s no lock-in contract and flexible billing options. This plan also has an Everyday Rewards variant where members can bag 5,000 Everyday Rewards points for signing up.
  • Flexi: The Flexi plan has a guaranteed discount off usage and supply charges for a one-year benefit period. This product is more flexible as it does not require as much eligibility criteria from the get go, such as setting up direct debit.
  • Home Support: Origin’s Home Support plan comes with an Allianz Global Assistance Emergency Home Assistance Program membership.
  • Solar Boost: Customers with solar panels will receive a discount off electricity usage charges for 12 months, and a high feed-in tariff.
  • Basic: The basic plan is priced to be equal with the South Australian Reference Price.

The three plans offered by Red Energy to South Australians are the Living Energy Saver, Qantas Red Saver and Qantas Red Plus. The first plan has a pay on time discount off the whole bill, while the other two reward customers with Frequent Flyer Points.

  • Living Energy Saver: This is an open contract with variable pricing. Red Energy customers in South Australia do not get access to Red Energy rewards.
  • Qantas Red Saver: Customers can earn 10,000 Frequent Flyer Points by signing up and earn 2 Qantas points per $1 for paying their bill on time. This plan also has the same competitive discount and rates as the Living Energy Saver.

Who’s cheapest in South Australia?

In the table below, we show Red Energy and Origin Energy 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 Everyday Rewards 14% Less Than Reference Price No conditional discounts $1,576
Red Energy Living Energy Saver Equal To Reference Price No conditional discounts $1,828
Basic Plan Information Documents

*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 SA Power network in Adelaide, but prices differ between distribution areas. October 2020.

This time we see that the plan with an unconditional discount is cheaper overall, with Origin charging much less than Red Energy in SA according to our latest comparison. Compare these two retailers to several others in Adelaide with our latest cost comparison report.

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Queensland

Households between Gympie, Toowoomba and Tweed Heads in South East Queensland can choose their electricity retailer, be it Origin, Red Energy or some other company. Origin offers about the same amount of energy deals in QLD as the other states it retails in.

  • Go: This plan has fixed rates for 12 months, without a lock in contract or any exit fees. There is another variant of this plan called Everyday Rewards which comes with 5,000 points and 25% GreenPower built in at no extra cost.
  • Flexi: Origin’s Flexi plan comes with a guaranteed discount off electricity usage and supply charges for a year. This is a no-lock in contract that has no exit fees.
  • Home Support: The Home Support plan comes with an Allianz Emergency Home Assistance Membership.
  • Solar Boost Plus: Eligible Origin solar PV customers can take advantage of a generous feed-in tariff, plus a small discount off electricity usage charges for a year.
  • Basic: This is Origin’s plan with rates equal to the Reference Price.

Red Energy came to South East Queensland in January of 2017, with a range of competitive energy offers.

  • Living Energy Saver: This plan has no contract term. However, Red Energy customers in QLD do not get access to Red Energy Rewards.
  • Qantas Red Saver: On this plan, customers can earn Qantas Frequent Flyer Points for signing up and paying their bills on time, with 2 points for every $1 spent.

Who’s cheapest in Queensland?

In the table below, we show Red Energy and Origin Energy 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*
Origin Energy Everyday Rewards 17% Less Than Reference Price No conditional discounts $1,252
Red Energy Living Energy Saver 7% Less Than Reference Price No conditional discounts $1,410
Basic Plan Information Documents

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

There is quite a margin between the two companies in SE Queensland, and Origin Energy comes out cheaper than Red Energy. Remember to use our cost comparison report for Queensland to find out how these two stack up to several other providers.

How to find the best energy deal

Origin and Red Energy are both viable retailers with competitive rates and generally reliable service. However, in this comparison, Origin Energy seems to come out on top across the board.

While Red Energy will be the cheaper option for some, Origin may be cheaper for others, that’s why it’s important to compare a wide range of plans and consider what might suit your situation best. If you have solar panels, for example, it may be the case that Origin and its Solar Boost deals give you good value. Also, don’t forget about Red Energy’s Qantas Frequent Flyer plans, offering great value for customers who do their fair share of travelling.

Overall there is a lot to consider with Origin Energy and Red Energy. We hope you find this review helpful. Remember, no matter which energy provider you’re with, it’s always worth looking at the market and seeing if there is a better offer out there for you. If you’ve been with the same provider for more than two years, you are almost certainly paying too much.

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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