Red Energy vs AGL: Electricity Cost Comparison

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There’s a good chance you’ve encountered an AGL advertisement at every bus stop you’ve passed by in the last few months, and have begun to wonder if it’s worth making the switch to the ‘big three’ energy provider. And while Red Energy may not have postering currently in its marketing mix, could a smaller, lesser-known energy retailer beat out the big kid in a battle of which energy provider is the most cost effective?

Canstar Blue has taken the time to review the energy plans offered by each retailer, finding the cheapest product and pitting them against each other in order to find which retailer is providing Australian consumers with the best value. We’ll take a look at each provider’s plans in Victoria, NSW, QLD and SA, and delve into more than just cost-effectiveness.

Before we get stuck in, let’s take a look at what each provider is offering, and do a quick cost comparison of the cheapest plans on offer from the retailers. Read on for further details about the products on offer.

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Red Energy vs AGL – Cheapest Deals

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

Victoria – quick comparison

Here are the cheapest published deals from AGL and Red Energy on our database for Victoria. 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. You may see products from a referral partner†. 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 Red Energy and AGL on our database for NSW. 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. You may see products from a referral partner†. 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 Red Energy and AGL on our database for Queensland. 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. You may see products from a referral partner†. 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 Red Energy and AGL on our database for South Australia. 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. You may see products from a referral partner†. 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.

Red Energy

Red Energy is owned by renewable generation company Snowy Hydro, and operates across Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia. Red Energy generally offers three electricity market offers in each area. You can expect to see variable rate plans, which mean its rates can go up and down at the provider’s own choice.

What makes Red Energy stand out is its partnership with airline Qantas, whereby signing up to its dedicated Qantas plans, customers can receive Frequent Flyer points. The good news is that in all states Red Energy retails in, the Qantas Red Saver product actually works out to be the cheapest offering, tied with the Living Energy Saver plan. Customers on the Living Energy Saver plan will also receive access to Red Energy Rewards.

  • Red Energy is consistently among the top electricity providers in each state as revealed in Canstar Blue’s annual customer satisfaction ratings, coming out on top in NSW for 2019 – the fifth year in a row. It also performs well in other areas.

AGL

One of Australia’s oldest and best-known power companies, AGL is pretty much a household name. It offers a diverse range of energy plans across Victoria, NSW, Queensland and South Australia, including both variable and fixed rate deals.

While AGL is known to change its plans quite regularly, it currently has two to three ‘main’ electricity products in each of these states. Some of AGL’s plans come with fixed rates, and with fairly standard rates, coming in slightly less than the Reference Price/VDO. Unlike Red Energy, AGL’s loyalty program, AGL Rewards, is available to all customers regardless of the plan they choose. AGL is also partnered with flybuys, allowing those who sign up online to be eligible to claim up to 5,000 bonus points over 15 months.

  • In Canstar Blue’s customer satisfaction surveys, AGL has scored between three and four stars out of five for overall satisfaction across the states.

Victoria

In Victoria, both AGL and Red Energy are offering competitive electricity plans and/or incentives for consumers to pick from. AGL provides its Victorian customers with quite a few electricity and gas plan options, plus access to AGL rewards. Here are its main plans:

  • AGL Essentials Saver: This is a variable rate plan that comes with a once off bill credit for signing up online. With this plan, you could receive up to 5,000 flybuys points over 15 months for online sign-up and have access to AGL Rewards.
  • AGL Essentials: This plan has fixed rates for 12 months rather than 24, with no conditional discounts or exit fees. Much like the Essentials Plus plan, customers will earn up to 5,000 flybuys points over 15 months for signing up to AGL Essentials online. Customers on this plan will also have access to AGL Rewards.

Red Energy’s big selling point is its partnership with Qantas, with two of its three plans in Victoria offering Frequent Flyer points.

  • Living Energy Saver: This plan comes with a 10% pay on time discount off your whole bill, rather than just usage. On this plan, customers will also receive access to a range of everyday discounts through Red Energy Rewards. The Living Energy Saver has variable rates and comes on a no term contract.
  • Qantas Red Saver: This plan is similar to the above in that it has the same discount and base rates. It also has variable rates and no term contract. The main difference is that instead of Red Energy Rewards, customers earn Qantas Frequent Flyer points on sign up and as they pay bills regularly. You get 2 Qantas points for every $1 spent on energy.
  • Qantas Red Plus: The Qantas Red Plus plan offers up 7 Qantas Frequent Flyer points per $1 spent on energy, but does not include the 10% pay on time discount available on the other plans. Customers can again expect no contract terms and variable rates.

Who’s cheapest in Victoria?

Canstar Blue has crunched the numbers to help you make an informed decision of what energy provider might give you the best value for money.

In the table below, we show AGL 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˜
AGL Essentials Saver 10% Less Than VDO No conditional discounts $1,200
Red Energy Living Energy Saver 11% More Than VDO Equal to VDO for paying on time
$1,334incl. conditional discount
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. October 2019.

In Victoria, AGL currently works out a fair bit cheaper than Red Energy. It’s a decent margin and ultimately comes down to low base rates rather than discounts. To see how AGL and Red Energy stack up against all of the other energy providers in the state, you can head to our Victoria Electricity Cost Comparison report.

NSW

In NSW, customers can generally expect similar plans as to what’s offered in Victoria, with the biggest differences being the discounts. AGL is offering the same main plans in NSW, together with a variable rate option, and again with access to AGL Rewards. They are:

  • AGL Essentials Saver: On AGL Essentials Saver, customers can expect lower variable rates and no exit fees. Not only that, customers will also bag up to 5,000 flybuys points over 15 months and a credit off their first bill when signing up online. This plan also gives customers access to AGL Rewards.
  • AGL Essentials Plus: This plan has locked in usage and supply rates for 24 months, with no conditional discount or exit fees. Like the plan above, customers will receive up to 5,000 flybuys points over 15 months and a generous credit off their first bill who sign up online, as well as $40 a year in additional bill credits. AGL Essentials Plus customers have access to AGL Rewards.

Red Energy’s plans in NSW are the same as what you find in Victoria, with its electricity plans in Sydney and surrounds being the Living Energy Saver, Qantas Red Saver and Qantas Red Plus.

  • Living Energy Saver: This plan comes on an open term contract with variable rates. Customers will also get access to Red Energy Rewards, a loyalty program offering up discounts on everything from groceries to experiences.
  • Qantas Red Saver: This product is pretty much identical to the Living Energy Saver, but instead of getting access to Red Energy Rewards, customers will receive 10,000 Qantas Frequent Flyer points for signing up to the plan, then 2 points for every dollar spent on their power bills when paying on time.
  • Red Taronga Saver: This plan may not come with any discounts, but signing up will earn you a Taronga Zoo Friends pass for unlimited access to the park for 24 months.

Who’s cheapest in NSW?

To find out which electricity retailer is cheapest in NSW, we’ve compared each provider’s cheapest plan.

In the table below, we show AGL and Red 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*
AGL Essentials Saver 12% Less Than Reference Price $75 bill credit for online sign-up $1,213incl. conditional discount
Red Energy Living Energy Saver 9% Less Than Reference Price No conditional discounts $1,332
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. October 2019.

In this case, AGL’s Essentials Saver plan works out fairly cheaper than Red Energy’s Living Energy Saver plan. To see how AGL and Red Energy compare to other providers in Sydney, head to our NSW cost comparison report.

Queensland

AGL’s plans don’t look much different in QLD than in other states, bar the changes in rates. South-East Queensland customers also have access to AGL Rewards just for being signed up to one of the provider’s plans.

  • AGL Essentials Saver: This plan has variable rates and gives customers access to AGL Rewards. Those that sign up online will also get up to 5,000 flybuys points over 15 months, as well as a solid credit off their first bill.
  • AGL Essentials Plus: For the duration of two years, customers will receive a $20 bill credit every six months as well as fixed rates. You’ll also get access to AGL Rewards. Those who opt to switch to this plan online will also receive up to 5,000 flybuys points over 15 months.

While Red Energy only came to Queensland in January 2017, it’s offering a range of competitive energy offers in the region, comprising:

  • Living Energy Saver: This plan has no contract term or exit fees. Unlike in NSW and Victoria, QLD customers won’t receive access to Red Energy Rewards.
  • Qantas Red Saver: With this plan, customers also get bonus Qantas Frequent Flyer points on sign-up, as well as 2 points per $1 spent on your electricity or gas bill.

Who’s cheapest in QLD?

AGL has been around in Queensland for a while, but how does it stack up against newcomer Red Energy? AGL’s cheapest plan doesn’t come with a discount, while Red Energy’s does. So, which is cheaper?

In the table below, we show AGL and Red 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*
AGL Essentials Saver 11% Less Than Reference Price $75 bill credit for online sign-up $1,318incl. conditional discount
Red Energy Living Energy Saver 9% Less Than Reference Price No conditional discounts $1,421
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. October 2019.

In Queensland, there’s a bit of a difference between AGL and Red Energy’s cheapest plans, with AGL’s Essentials Saver coming out on top. It’s worth mentioning that Red Energy’s Qantas Red Saver plan carries the same price as the Living Energy Saver, with the added benefit of the Frequent Flyer points. Check out our Queensland cost comparison report for more details.

South Australia

In South Australia, customers who choose AGL can select from three main products, and Red Energy sign-ups also have three. AGL offers those in Adelaide and the rest of the state plans on 12-24 month contracts. Here are the plans:

  • AGL Essentials Saver: Unlike the plan below, the AGL Essentials Saver has variable rates. While there is no discount, this plan has an initial bill credit for signing up online, plus gives customers access to flybuys points.
  • AGL Essentials Plus: This plan comes with fixed rates for 24 months and you’ll receive $20 credit every six months for the two years. Customers who do sign up online can also expect up to 5,000 flybuys points over 15 months. This plan gives access to AGL Rewards.

In South Australia, customers looking to sign up to Red Energy will see the Living Energy Saver and Qantas Red Saver.

  • Living Energy Saver: Red Energy is offering a 10% pay on time discount off your entire bill on this no contract term, variable rate plan. In SA, Red Energy Rewards is not offered.
  • Qantas Red Saver: On this plan customers will earn Qantas Frequent Flyer points when they sign up, and continue to when they pay their bills on time. 2 points are awarded for every $1 spent on energy.

Who’s cheapest in SA?

Again, in looking for the cheapest retailer in SA, we’ve stacked up the cheapest plans offered by AGL and Red Energy to see who comes out on top. The AGL Essentials Plus plan comes with no discount, but will it beat out Red Energy’s Living Energy Saver product?

In the table below, we show Red 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*
AGL Essentials Saver 10% Less Than Reference Price $75 bill credit for online sign-up $1,663incl. conditional discount
Red Energy Living Energy Saver 4% Less Than Reference Price No conditional discounts $1,864
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. October 2019.

Once again we see AGL come out as the cheaper option. But don’t forget that the Qantas Red Saver plan carries the same rates as the Living Energy Saver, which could be a good value-add to those that fly often. To compare these two retailers to other offerings in Adelaide and South Australia, see out latest cost comparison report.

Which energy retailer is the best choice?

When comparing Red Energy and AGL, it’s of course important to first consider how cost-effective signing up to their cheapest available plans will be. For the most part, AGL comes out cheaper in most cases. However, the estimated bill cost isn’t the only thing to take into account. Value can come in the form of rewards and other plan benefits, plus there is huge value to be had from good customer service and support when you need it. As mentioned above, Red Energy has been one of the standout performers in our customer satisfaction ratings over the years, especially in NSW.

For jet-setters, Red Energy’s Qantas partnered plans could deliver excellent overall value, if the Frequent Flyer points accumulated are actually regularly used that is. If you tend to spend more time in the shops than in the air, however, AGL’s partnership with flybuys could deliver superior value for you.

There’s always going to be many factors to consider when choosing your energy provider, but if you were stuck between AGL and Red Energy, we hope this review has been able to help you make a choice. Keep in mind that there are other offers available no matter what state you’re in, and you can see how these plans stack up against others in the market via the link below.

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