Record low energy prices in Victoria as two providers fight to be cheapest

An energy price war has erupted in Victoria, with two smaller retailers battling it out to offer customers record-low electricity prices.

In the ring is GloBird Energy and ReAmped Energy, both of which have dramatically slashed rates, offering the biggest savings off the Victorian Default Offer (VDO) since it was introduced in July 2019.

The VDO caps the prices energy providers can set so householders who don’t engage in the energy market by shopping around for a better offer receive at least what the state’s energy regulator says is a fair price – albeit not as low as prices available to those who compare prices to find the best current market offer.

But while current market offers are typically cheaper than the VDO, GloBird Energy and ReAmped Energy have upped the stakes by offering never-seen-before discounts to the VDO price.

New customers who sign up to ReAmped’s Handshake plan can expect power prices that are between 29 and 36 per cent less than the VDO, while those signing up to GloBird’s GloSave plan will bag 28 to 35 per cent off the default tariff, depending on location.

ReAmped Energy’s new offer beats the low-price record it set in April, when it offered prices in most parts of Victoria that were between 23 and 27 per cent lower than the VDO.

The latest price drop was influenced by falling wholesale prices and Victoria’s uptake of smart meters, according to ReAmped Energy CEO, Luke Blincoe.

“With wholesale energy prices decreasing, the cost for customers should too so it’s the perfect time to look for a new provider,” he said. “Pair that with the fact that Victorians have smart meters, and it makes the process of switching pretty simple – you can sign up to us online in two minutes.”

Smart meters were rolled out to Victorian homes from 2006, enabling customers better access to a range of features not offered by traditional meters. The benefits of smarts meters include usage data updated every 30 minutes and the ability to connect to time-of-use tariffs that offer cheaper energy rates throughout certain times of the day.

Mr Blincoe claimed ReAmped Energy was a disruptor to traditional companies operating in the power market, where being agile with pricing was just part of the business.

“We want to put money back in the pockets of consumers who are sick of paying too much for crap service,” he said. “ReAmped Energy provides a no-fuss alternative that puts the customer first. We can’t guarantee that we’ll be the cheapest, no one can, but we’re damn dedicated to trying and this is obviously an instance where we’ve achieved that.”

The latest record-low prices from ReAmped come shortly after GloBird Energy dropped its rates, which made it, for a few days, the cheapest provider in the state across all distribution areas.

While its time on top was short-lived, offering customers a good deal with plenty of value was what was important, Executive Manager of GloBird Energy, John McCluskey, said.

“The pricing team have worked their guts out putting the best possible deals we can on the table – we want Aussies to get onto a better deal,” he said.

“Our goal is to be known as the best value provider in the industry, not just for price, but with a local Aussie customer care team, no lock-in contracts and traditional easy to understand energy plans. A lot of energy retailers hate the reference price because it highlights the truth about where their offer really sits, but it’s good for small companies like us because it helps level the playing field.”

The reference price refers to the VDO, a default price Victorians pay for power if they’re not on a market offer – an energy plan that’s usually more competitive with cheaper rates and other value-add incentives.

Both deals from each provider have variable rates, no exit fees or lock-in contracts. GloBird’s GloSave also features a small additional discount for customers who pay on time by direct debit.

How much can I save with these two energy providers?

The following tables highlight how much Victorians stand to save with ReAmped Energy and GloBird Energy’s new offers, based on their choice of energy distributor. As a general guide, Citipower covers Melbourne City and the inner suburbs, Jemena services Melbourne’s northern and south-western suburbs, Powercor covers the western suburbs and western Victoria, AusNet takes care of outer northern and eastern suburbs as well as eastern Victoria, while United Energy services southern suburbs and Mornington Peninsula.

Citipower Distribution Network

Energy Provider and Plan Victorian Default Offer Estimated Annual Cost Estimated Annual Savings
ReAmped Energy – Handshake $1,270 $831 (35% less than VDO) $439
GloBird Energy – GloSave $1,270 $848 (33% less than VDO) $422

Prices assume general energy usage of 4000kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff in Melbourne on the Citipower network. Estimated annual cost includes any conditional discounts that may be available. Accurate as of June 2021.

Jemena Distribution Network

Energy Provider and Plan Victorian Default Offer Estimated Annual Cost Estimated Annual Savings
ReAmped Energy – Handshake $1,328 $851 (36% less than VDO) $477
GloBird Energy – GloSave $1,328 $880 (34% less than VDO) $448

Prices assume general energy usage of 4000kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff in Sunbury on the Jemena network. Estimated annual cost includes any conditional discounts that may be available. Accurate as of June 2021.

Powercor Distribution Network

Energy Provider and Plan Victorian Default Offer Estimated Annual Cost Estimated Annual Savings
ReAmped Energy – Handshake $1,368 $950 (31% less than VDO) $418
GloBird Energy – GloSave $1,368 $964 (30% less than VDO) $404

Prices assume general energy usage of 4000kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff in Geelong on the Powercor network. Estimated annual cost includes any conditional discounts that may be available. Accurate as of June 2021.

AusNet Services Distribution Network

Energy Provider and Plan Victorian Default Offer Estimated Annual Cost Estimated Annual Savings
ReAmped Energy – Handshake $1,507 $1,070 (29% less than VDO) $437
GloBird Energy – GloSave $1,507 $1,081 (28% less than VDO) $426

Prices assume general energy usage of 4000kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff in Warrugul on the AusNet Services network. Estimated annual cost includes any conditional discounts that may be available. Accurate as of June 2021.

United Energy Distribution Network

Energy Provider and Plan Victorian Default Offer Estimated Annual Cost Estimated Annual Savings
ReAmped Energy – Handshake $1,319 $851 (36% less than VDO) $468
GloBird Energy – GloSave $1,319 $862 (33% less than VDO) $457

Prices assume general energy usage of 4000kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff in Frankston on the United Energy network. Estimated annual cost includes any conditional discounts that may be available. Accurate as of June 2021.

How much have prices fallen on average in Victoria?

The table below shows a price comparison between the average yearly electricity costs from July 2019 to June 2021. These prices reflect residential customers with an annual power usage of 4,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) across each distribution network.

Electricity Distributor Average Annual Cost July 2019* Average Annual Cost June 2021* Average Price Change*
Citipower $1,428 $1,184 $244 (17.09%)
Jemena $1,518 $1,233 $285 (18.77%)
Powercor $1,560 $1,273 $287 (18.40%)
Ausnet Services $1,667 $1,403 $264 (15.84%)
United Energy $1,483 $1,226 $257 (17.33%)

Source: Based on single rate electricity plans on Canstar Blue’s database, excluding solar-specific products. Reference usage and cost based on those set by the Essential Services Commission (ESC). Annual costs are based on the ESC’s reference annual usage and assume all conditions of discounts offered (if any) are met. *Averages exclude subscription plans. Accurate as of 10 June 2021.

While average electricity costs across Victoria have plummeted recently, ReAmped Energy’s cheapest offer is much lower, with prices well below these at the time of publication. GloBird Energy is neck and neck with its flagship plan that offers customers between $404 and $457 in annual savings as long as the conditions of its discount are met.

Should Victorians consider more than just the price?

Price will generally have the biggest impact on consumers, however there are more factors to consider when choosing an energy provider, explained Canstar Blue’s CEO, Megan Doyle.

“Victorians looking for a new provider will often be won over by companies offering the cheapest electricity prices, but it’s equally important to see what else is on offer in terms of value,” she said.

“That’s why Canstar Blue releases an annual review of power providers, where thousands of Aussies rate their current provider based on factors such as value for money, customer service, environmental sustainability and overall satisfaction. This allows consumers to really differentiate one provider from another where both offer similarly-priced energy plans.

“Since ReAmped Energy’s launch in Victoria earlier this year, competition has clearly heated up, but given it’s so new to market, some customers may be hesitant to make the switch. But many consumers are now aware that their power is supplied through the same poles and wires as their neighbours, and they’re sick of paying more than they have to, so there’s less of a concern about switching to a brand they may have never heard of before.”

Compare Energy Prices in Victoria

Given there are five distribution networks in Victoria, rates and tariffs can vary between different locations, meaning the price a customer pays for power in Melbourne on the Citipower zone will differ from the price paid by somebody living in Geelong on the Powercor network.

Compare a range of electricity plans below by clicking on your distributor or use our comparison tool for specific quotes based on your area.

Here are some of the cheapest published deals from the retailers on our database that include a link to the retailer’s website for further details. These are products from referral partners†. 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.

Here are some of the cheapest published deals from the retailers on our database that include a link to the retailer’s website for further details. These are products from referral partners†. These costs are based on the Jemena network in Sunbury 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.

Here are some of the cheapest published deals from the retailers on our database that include a link to the retailer’s website for further details. These are products from referral partners†. These costs are based on the United Energy network in Frankston 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.

Here are some of the cheapest published deals from the retailers on our database that include a link to the retailer’s website for further details. These are products from referral partners†. These costs are based on the Powercor network in Geelong 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.

Here are some of the cheapest published deals from the retailers on our database that include a link to the retailer’s website for further details. These are products from referral partners†. These costs are based on the AusNet network in Warragul 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.

Image credit: Lightspring/Shutterstock.com

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