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. These costs are based on the Citipower network in Melbourne but prices will vary depending on your circumstances. See here for further information on the VDO, which in this comparison assumes general energy usage of 4000kWh/year, meaning that the VDO is $1,334/year. Use our comparison tool for a specific comparison. These are products from a referral partner†. Our database may not cover all deals in your area, and please check retailer websites for up to date information.

Brand Features Price(estimated˜)
Origin Logo
Energy Fact Sheet

Max Saver – Online Special

Conditional Discounts

  • 6% less than VDO for direct debit & eFulfilment discount

Other Features:

  • Online sign-up only
Equal To VDO> $1,281
incl. conditional discount
More Details
Red Energy Logo
Energy Fact Sheet

Living Energy Saver

Conditional Discounts

  • 10% less than VDO for paying on time
11% MoreThan VDO› $1,338
incl. conditional discount
Go To Site
View all electricity plans listed on Canstar Blue

NSW – quick comparison

Here are the cheapest published deals for Origin and Red on our database for NSW. These costs are based on the Ausgrid network in Sydney but prices will vary depending on your circumstances. See here for further information on the Reference Price, which in this comparison assumes general usage of 3900kWh/year, meaning the Reference Price is $1,467/year. Use our comparison tool for a specific comparison. These are products from a referral partner†. Our database may not cover all deals in your area, and please check retailer websites for up to date information.

Brand Features Price(estimated**)
Origin Logo
Basic Plan Information

Max Saver – Online Special

No Conditional Discounts

Other Features:

  • Online sign-up only
13% Less Than Reference Price^^ $1,279

More Details
Red Energy Logo
Basic Plan Information

Living Energy Saver

Conditional Discounts

  • 10% less than Reference Price for paying on time
1% More Than Reference Price^^ $1,336
incl. conditional discount
Go To Site
View all electricity plans listed on Canstar Blue

South Australia – quick comparison

Here are the cheapest published deals for Origin and Red on our database for SA. These costs are based on the SA Power network in Adelaide but prices will vary depending on your circumstances. See here for further information on the Reference Price, which in this comparison assumes general usage of 4000kWh/year, meaning the Reference Price is $1,941/year. Use our comparison tool for a specific comparison. These are products from a referral partner†. Our database may not cover all deals in your area, and please check retailer websites for up to date information.

Brand Features Price(estimated**)
Origin Logo
Basic Plan Information

Max Saver – Online Special

No Conditional Discounts

Other Features:

  • Online sign-up only
15% Less Than Reference Price^^ $1,654

More Details
Red Energy Logo
Basic Plan Information

Easy Saver

Conditional Discounts

  • 10% less than Reference Price for paying on time
3% MoreThan Reference Price^^ $1,801
incl. conditional discount
Go To Site
View all electricity plans listed on Canstar Blue

Queensland – quick comparison

Here are the cheapest published deals for Origin and Red on our database for QLD. These costs are based on the Energex network in Brisbane but prices will vary depending on your circumstances. See here for further information on the Reference Price, which in this comparison assumes general usage of 4600kWh/year, meaning the Reference Price is $1,570/year. Use our comparison tool for a specific comparison. These are products from a referral partner†. Our database may not cover all deals in your area, and please check retailer websites for up to date information.

Brand Features Price(estimated**)
Origin Logo
Basic Plan Information

Max Saver – Online Special

No Conditional Discounts

Other Features:

  • Online sign-up only
11% Less Than Reference Price^^ $1,401

More Details
Red Energy Logo
Basic Plan Information

Easy Saver

Conditional Discounts

  • 10% less than Reference Price for paying on time
1% MoreThan Reference Price^^ $1,428
incl. conditional discount
Go To Site
View all electricity plans listed on Canstar Blue

Victoria

Origin Energy has a few offers available to customers across Victoria – the Max Saver (Online Special), Max Saver, Flexi, Solar Boost Plus 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.

  • Max Saver – Online Special: This plan promises low electricity rates as well as a conditional discount of 6% off usage charges for 12 months, but you must pay by direct debit and receive email billing to get the savings. This offer is only available to customers who sign up online.
  • Max Saver: Similar to the product above, the Max Saver features a 5% discount off electricity usage charges for one year, however customers will need to sign up to direct debit payments and email billing.
  • Flexi: The Flexi plan comes with a 3% 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.
  • Solar Boost Plus: This plan is for eligible Origin solar customers who are looking for a higher feed-in tariff of 15c/kWh. There is a small 1% 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 Victorian Default Offer (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. It includes 10% off your entire bill when you pay on time, rather than just the usage charges. In addition to this, 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 and discount as 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.
  • Qantas Red Plus: The Qantas Red Plus does not include Red Energy’s famous 10% pay on time discount, making it the retailer’s most expensive market offer. However, Qantas Red Plus customers receive 10,000 Frequent Flyer Points and receive a whopping 7 Qantas points per $1 spent on energy, so long as bills are paid on time.
  • 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 $1,334/year. Use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area.

Electricity Provider Electricity Plan Difference from VDO› Conditional Discounts Price Estimate˜
Origin Energy Max Saver – Online Special Equal To VDO 6% less than VDO for direct debit and e-Fulfilment $1,281
Red Energy Living Energy Saver 11% More than VDO 10% less than the VDO for paying on time
$1,338
Energy Fact Sheets

˜Price assumes general energy usage of 4000kWh/year. Estimated price includes any conditions discounts that may be available. Pricing based on Citipower network in Melbourne, but prices differ between distribution areas. July 2019.

Sometimes the energy offers with the highest discounts do not work out the cheaper option overall. This is because they often have higher usage or supply charges, meaning savings are largely negated. In this case, you can see that Red Energy and its 10% discount works out more expensive than Origin’s deal with a smaller conditional discount, but only slightly. 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.

  • Max Saver – Online Special: This plan comes with a 13% guaranteed discount off usage and supply charges for 12 months. The offer is available for online sign-ups only.
  • Max Saver: Similar to the Online Special, the Max Saver has a 12% guaranteed discount off the entire bill for a year and has no exit fees.
  • Flexi: The Flexi product includes a 10% guaranteed discount off usage and supply charges for 12 months. As the name suggests, this plan is quite flexible with its payment options.
  • Freedom: This plan features a 9% guaranteed discount off the whole bill (usage and supply charges) for one year and it doesn’t charge late payment fees or paper billing fees.
  • Solar Boost Plus: With this deal, customers must have an eligible solar PV system from Origin. It has a 2% discount off usage charges for 12 months and a generous feed-in tariff of 23c/kWh.
  • Solar Optimiser: Available to customers with solar panels, this plan has no discounts and a feed-in tariff of 21c/kWh.

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

  • Living Energy Saver: This plan gives customers a 10% pay on time discount applied to the entire bill. It also provides 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.
  • Qantas Red Plus: This product is similar to the Qantas Red Saver, however it does not feature any discounts. The upside to this plan is that it also includes 10,000 Qantas points when signing up and an additional 7 points per $1 spent on bills when 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 $1,467/year. 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 13% Less Than Reference Price No conditional discounts $1,279
Red Energy Living Energy Saver 1% More Than Reference Price 10% less than the Reference Price for paying on time $1,336
Basic Plan Information Documents

*Price assumes general energy usage of 3900kWh/year. Estimated price includes any conditions discounts that may be available. Pricing based on Ausgrid network in Sydney, but prices differ between distribution areas. July 2019.

In price alone, Origin works out slightly 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:

  • Max Saver – Online Special: Like the other states, this plan is only available to customers who sign up online. It has a 15% guaranteed discount off electricity usage and supply charges for 12 months.
  • Max Saver: This plan is very similar to its online counterpart with the exception of a smaller guaranteed discount (14%) over 12 months and it doesn’t require online sign-up.
  • Flexi: The Flexi plan has a 12% 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.
  • Freedom: Origin’s Freedom plan comes with a 10% guaranteed discount off the whole bill for 12 months. There are no late payment fees, payment process fees or paper bill fees.
  • Solar Boost: Customers with solar panels will receive a 9% discount off electricity usage charges for 12 months, and a feed-in tariff of 18c/kWh.
  • Solar Boost Plus: Available to eligible solar PV customers from Origin, the Solar Boost Plus offers a 9% discount off usage charges for one year, as well as an enormous feed-in tariff of 23c/kWh.

The three plans offered by Red Energy to South Australians are the Easy 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.

  • Easy Saver: This is an open contract with variable pricing. When you pay your bills on time, you will receive a 10% discount on the entire value of your bill. 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 Easy Saver.
  • Qantas Red Plus: There is no discount on this plan, but customers can earn even more points compared to the Qantas Red Saver, 7 points per $1 spent on energy for paying on time.

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 $1,941/year. 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 $1,654
Red Energy Easy Saver 3% More Than Reference Price 10% less than the Reference Price for paying on time $1,801
Basic Plan Information Documents

*Price assumes general energy usage of 4000kWh/year. Estimated price includes any conditions discounts that may be available. Pricing based on SA Power network in Adelaide, but prices differ between distribution areas. July 2019.

This time we see that the plan with an unconditional discount is cheaper overall, with Origin charging 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.

  • Max Saver – Online Special: Customers have to sign up online to be eligible for this deal. The plan has an 11% guaranteed discount off usage and supply charges for 12 months.
  • Max Saver: This plan has an unconditional discount of 10% off the entire bill for a benefit period of one year. Signing up online gets you the extra 1%…
  • Flexi: Origin’s Flexi plan comes with a 9% guaranteed discount off electricity usage and supply charges for a year. This is a no-lock in contract that has no exit fees.
  • Freedom: The Freedom plan comes with reasonable savings off the Reference Price, giving customers a small discount off the whole bill for 12 months.
  • Solar Boost Plus: Eligible Origin solar PV customers can take advantage of a 20c/kWh feed-in tariff, plus a small discount off electricity usage charges for a year.
  • Solar Optimiser: The Solar Optimiser has no discounts but is available to customers with solar panels. The plan has a feed-in tariff of 15c/kWh.

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

  • Easy Saver: This plan has no contract term and comes with a 10% discount on your entire electricity bill for paying bills on time and in full. However, Red Energy customers in QLD do not get access to Red Energy Rewards.
  • Qantas Red Saver: This plan is similar to the above, offering the same discount at the same rate. However, customers can also earn Qantas Frequent Flyer Points for signing up and paying their bills on time, with 2 points for every $1 spent.
  • Qantas Red Saver: This deal is similar to the Qantas Red Saver, however customers earn even more points. What’s the trade-off? Well, this deal doesn’t have any discount, so it is Red’s most expensive product. But you do get 7 points per $1 spent on energy.

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 $1,570/year. 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 11% Less Than Reference Price No conditional discounts $1,401
Red Energy Easy Saver 1% More Than Reference Price 10% less than the Reference Price for paying on time $1,428
Basic Plan Information Documents

*Price assumes general energy usage of 4600kWh/year. Estimated price includes any conditions discounts that may be available. Pricing based on Energex network in Brisbane, but prices differ between distribution areas. July 2019.

There isn’t much between these two companies in SE Queensland, but 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. Indeed, Red Energy ranks highest in our customer satisfaction ratings for New South Wales electricity retailers, while Origin is rated three stars in most states.

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.

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