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.

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 for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. This table includes products from referral partners†. 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 for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. This table includes products from referral partners†. 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 for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. This table includes products from referral partners†. 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 for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. This table includes products from referral partners†. 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 discretion. It does, however, offer some plans with fixed rates depending on the state.

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 Plans

  • Living Energy Saver: This plan comes with 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 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.
  • BCNA Saver: On this plan Red Energy will donate $5 a month to Breast Cancer Network Australia on your behalf. Sign up over the phone.
  • Red Taronga Saver: Exclusive to Sydneysiders, the Red Taronga Saver gives customers a yearly membership to Taronga Zoo for one adult and two children.

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 ‘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 Energy Plans

  • AGL Essentials Saver: This is a variable rate plan where customers have access to AGL Rewards. Essentials Saver is only available in SA.
  • AGL Essentials: This plan has fixed rates for 12 months, with no conditional discounts or exit fees. This deal is exclusive to SA, and customers on this plan will also have access to AGL Rewards.
  • Essentials Plus: For customers in NSW, VIC and QLD, Essentials Plus is AGL’s flagship offer, locking in rates for 24 months. It also comes with a credit off quarterly bills over the two-year period.
  • Basics: A variable rate plan on offer to NSW, VIC and QLD customers that has no lock-in contracts or exit fees. Similar to the plan above, it comes with a small ongoing quarterly bill credit, but for one year only.

Who’s cheapest in Victoria?

In Victoria, AGL currently works out a fair bit cheaper than Red Energy. It’s a decent margin and ultimately comes down to lower base rates. 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.

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 $1,270/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˜
AGL Essentials Plus 13% Less Than VDO No conditional discounts $1,101
Red Energy Living Energy Saver 1% Less Than VDO No conditional discounts $1,257
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. April 2021. 

Who’s cheapest in NSW?

In this case, AGL’s Essentials Plus 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.

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 $1,462/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*
AGL Essentials Plus 23% Less Than Reference Price No conditional discounts $1,131
Red Energy Living Energy Saver 15% Less Than Reference Price No conditional discounts $1,240
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. April 2021.

Who’s cheapest in QLD?

In Queensland, there’s a large difference between AGL and Red Energy’s cheapest plans, with AGL’s Essentials Plus 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.

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 $1,508/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*
AGL Essentials Plus 21% Less Than Reference Price No conditional discounts $1,187
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. April 2021.

Who’s cheapest in SA?

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 who fly often. To compare these two retailers to other offerings in Adelaide and South Australia, see out latest cost comparison report.

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 $1,832/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*
AGL Essentials 13% Less Than Reference Price No conditional discounts $1,594
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. April 2021.

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 rewards program may deliver some added value to 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.

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. 

 Compare Electricity Providers

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