Pay on Time Energy Discounts Explained

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It’s no secret that Aussies love discounts, and there’s certainly no exception when it comes to our energy bills. Pay on time discounts were once the crème de la crème of energy discounts, packing the largest punch but not always meaning the largest savings. After regulatory changes shook up the energy market on 1 July 2019, pay on time discounts became a lot smaller and harder to come by, with the trade-off being that the savings suggested by these discounts are now a lot more transparent. Here’s everything you’ll need to know about pay on time energy discounts.

What is a pay on time discount?

hand-with-percentage-signs

A pay on time energy discount rewards you for your punctuality by giving you a set amount off your electricity bill for paying the full amount owing before the due date. Depending on your provider and plan, the conditions of your pay on time discount can vary significantly.

Something to keep in mind is that many energy discounts will usually only be valid for a year or two from the commencement date of your plan, after which you’ll be left to pay the full, non-discounted price for power if you have not negotiated a new discount. However, some providers have ongoing pay on time discounts.

How do pay on time discounts work?

As one of the most common types of electricity discounts, pay on time discounts work by offering you a percentage off your power bill for paying the full amount owing by the due date. There is no set discount amount between electricity companies and plans, but you can generally expect to see offers ranging from 5% to 30%, or even more in some cases. Pay on time discounts of up to 47% have been seen across Australia in the past.

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Electricity plans with pay on time discounts

If you’ve decided that a pay on time discount is right for you, here are some of the cheapest published deals from the retailers currently on our database that promote these discounts. Use our comparison tool above for a more exhaustive list in your area.

VIC plans with pay on time discounts

Here are the five cheapest plans on our database that have pay on time discounts in VIC. These costs are based on the Citipower network in Melbourne but prices will vary depending on your circumstances. Plans are listed in order of lowest price first. 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˜)
Lumo Logo
Energy Fact Sheet

Lumo Value 5

Conditional Discounts

  • Further 5% less than VDO for paying on time and direct debit
7% LessThan VDO› $1,174
incl. conditional discount
Go To Site
Globird Logo
Energy Fact Sheet

GloSave

Conditional Discounts

  • 33% less than VDO for paying on time and direct debit
31% MoreThan VDO› $1,178
incl. conditional discount
More Details
1st Energy Logo
Energy Fact Sheet

1st Saver

Conditional Discounts

  • 5% less than VDO for paying on time
EqualTo VDO› $1,290
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
Diamond Energy Logo
Energy Fact Sheet

Diamond

Conditional Discounts

  • 7% less than VDO for paying on time
  • 3% less for direct debit payment
13% MoreThan VDO› $1,355
incl. conditional discount
More Details
View all electricity plans listed on Canstar Blue

NSW plans with pay on time discounts

Here are the five cheapest plans on our database that have pay on time discounts in NSW. This table only displays one product per retailer. These costs are based on the Ausgrid network in Sydney but prices will vary depending on your circumstances. Plans are listed in order of lowest price first. See here for further information on the AER Reference Price, which in this comparison assumes general energy usage of 3900kWh/year, meaning that 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**)
Future X Power Logo
Basic Plan Information

Flexi Saver

Conditional Discounts

  • 27% less than Reference Price for paying on time
11% MoreThan Reference Price^^ $1,288
incl. conditional discount
More Details
Energy Locals Logo
Basic Plan Information

Super Saver

Conditional Discounts

  • $165/year bonus credit for paying on time
Equal To Reference Price^^ $1,301
incl. conditional discount
Go To Site
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
CovaU Logo
Basic Plan Information

Freedom

Conditional Discounts

  • 25% less than Reference Price for paying on time

Other Features:

  • $50 credit off first bill when signing up online
23% MoreThan Reference Price^^ $1,356
incl. conditional discount
More Details
1st Energy Logo
Basic Plan Information

1st Saver

Conditional Discounts

  • 7% less than Reference Price for paying on time
1% MoreThan Reference Price^^ $1,374
incl. conditional discount
More Details
View all electricity plans listed on Canstar Blue

QLD plans with pay on time discounts

Here are the four plans on our database that have pay on time discounts in QLD. This table only displays one product per retailer. These costs are based on the Energex network in Brisbane but prices will vary depending on your circumstances. Plans are listed in order of lowest price first. 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**)
Future X Power Logo
Basic Plan Information

Flexi Saver

Conditional Discounts

  • 29% less than Reference Price for paying on time
10% MoreThan Reference Price^^ $1,347
incl. conditional discount
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
Diamond Energy Logo
Basic Plan Information

Diamond Power

Conditional Discounts

  • 7% less than Reference Price for paying on time
  • 3% less for direct debit payment
4% MoreThan Reference Price^^ $1,472
incl. conditional discount
More Details
1st Energy Logo
Basic Plan Information

1st Saver

Conditional Discounts

  • 5% less than Reference Price for paying on time
EqualTo Reference Price^^ $1,498
incl. conditional discount
More Details
View all electricity plans listed on Canstar Blue

SA plans with pay on time discounts

Here are the two plans on our database that have pay on time discounts in SA. This table only displays one product per retailer. These costs are based on SA Power network in Adelaide but prices will vary depending on your circumstances. Plans are listed in order of lowest price first. See here for further information on the AER Reference Price, which in this comparison assumes general energy usage of 4000kWh/year, meaning that 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**)
Diamond Energy Logo
Basic Plan Information

Diamond Power

Conditional Discounts

  • Further 7% less than Reference Price for paying on time
  • 3% less for direct debit payment
1% LessThan Reference Price^^ $1,730
incl. conditional discount
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

What’s the catch with pay on time discounts?

As the name suggests, pay on time discounts are first and foremost conditional on the customer paying their bills on time. These discounts are conditional and failing to meet these conditions will likely result in the discount being lost. This means you’ll need to pay the full, non-discounted cost. Given that some pay on time discounts can be as large as 30% or more, that’s a substantial amount added to your bill should you fail to pay on time.

So, if you’re not sure whether or not you’ll always be able to pay your power bills on time, it could be a good idea to choose a plan with low base rates, or another type of discount.

Are pay on time discounts the best way to save on energy bills?

woman-bags-percent

In the past, power companies have come under scrutiny for offering up plans claiming huge savings, when the reality has been that those discounts have been applied to very high base prices, meaning the savings have not been as great as it would appear.

Nowadays, the biggest discounts will genuinely mean the biggest savings, which comes to light in our comparisons as our price estimates factor in any conditional discounts. If a retailer promotes a discount of any kind, it must compare its overall price estimate to the reference or VDO as a percentage less than, equal to, or more than these default tariffs.

In light of recent scrutiny over big discounts, many energy retailers have now launched products with no discounts at all, claiming “just low rates” rather than marketing plans based on conditional savings.

Who offers pay on time discounts?

Pay on time discounts are the most common type of energy discount, but not all energy providers offer them. Currently, the electricity retailers offering a pay on time discount on some, or all, of their plans are:

Read more about whether or not pay on time discounts are right for you in our energy discount analysis and see what effect they could have on your bills.

What other types of energy discounts are there?

Although it’s most common for electricity providers to offer pay on time discounts, here are a few other conditional discounts to be aware of:

  • Direct debit discount: Much like pay on time discounts, direct debit discounts are a reward for you reliably paying your energy bills. If you’ve chosen to set up a direct debit to pay your bills, the money will be automatically taken out of your account on the due date. In return, your energy provider will take a percentage amount off your usage costs, or the entire bill, depending on the contract.
  • Bundled energy discount: If you’ve chosen to use the same energy provider for both your electricity and gas needs, you could be eligible for a bundled energy discount. As with most discounts, be wary that this discount might not apply for longer than a year or two.
  • Email billing discount: By choosing to have your energy bills emailed to you, rather than sent through traditional post, your energy provider saves some time and effort. To say thanks, they might offer a small discount as a benefit.

Energy retailers may also offer other discounts such as incentives for signing up online rather than over the phone, plus referral deals should you recommend a friend to your energy company.

Is a pay on time discount right for me?

Generally speaking, pay on time discounts are best-suited to those who are unlikely to miss a payment. If you choose to opt for a plan with a pay on time discount, go into it knowing that failure to pay your bills on time could result in much higher costs. But if you do pay on time every time, there could be some great savings on offer.

Also, keep in mind that discounts often only apply to an introductory period. What this means is that the discount may be lost once the benefit period (i.e. one or two years) is up. And while it may sound like a chore, it’s important to note that shopping around will likely find you a better energy deal, especially if you haven’t switched in several years.

To get started comparing energy providers offering pay on time discounts – and other types of discounts – follow the link below to our energy comparison tool.

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