Compare South Australian gas suppliers Simply Energy, Origin, AGL and EnergyAustralia on their customer service, bill & cost clarity, tools & advice, ease of sign-up, environmental sustainability, value for money and overall satisfaction in Canstar Blue’s reviews & ratings.
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Natural gas is a pretty basic power source, but finding the right gas deal for your needs can be anything but simple. The gas market in South Australia has become quite competitive, and while this is good news for customers shopping around for cheaper megajoules, it means there are more providers and plans that you need to navigate. However, Canstar Blue aims to make the process of finding better value a little easier with our annual customer satisfaction review. We’ve surveyed hundreds of bill-paying customers across Adelaide and the surrounding areas to find out what they think about their gas supplier in respect of its customer service, bill & cost clarity, and the value for money it provides. Finding the right deal for you is about more than just the cheapest price – but getting a good deal certainly helps. So, which gas supplier has come out on top?
This year, we’ve been dealt a wildcard with what appears to be the beginnings of a winning streak, with EnergyAustralia emerging victorious for the second year in a row. This comes as somewhat of a surprise, as prior to this double win, it was Simply Energy that held the title on three separate occasions. We only say surprise as the big retailers are often seen as the ‘bad guys’, with a track record of having a hard time in our customer reviews. Despite this, we confidently report that this year, EnergyAustralia has the happiest natural gas customers in South Australia, according to our research. We’ll shed some light on the specific factors that made this win possible below. Plus, read on for our up-to-date gas price comparison for SA
Here are the best gas suppliers in South Australia as rated by customers in Canstar Blue’s latest satisfaction survey:
This year’s outcome points to major developments from the ‘big three’ energy retailers, beating out Simply Energy for overall customer satisfaction, after years of title wins in succession from the smaller gas retailer. With EnergyAustralia scoring five stars overall, AGL and Origin Energy both achieved four stars, with Simply Energy back on three stars. The good news is that three of the four retailers achieved top marks om customer service, with EnergyAustralia the best of the bunch for bill & cost clarity and Origin leading the way when it comes to ease of signing up.
Find out if the same is true in our customer ratings for electricity providers in South Australia, and if you’re keen to compare electricity and gas prices, you can do so with our comparison tool below. Or keep scrolling for a snapshot of cheap gas deals from our database.
Here are some of the cheapest gas deals on our database for SA. These estimated annual costs are based on the Australian Gas Network in Adelaide and yearly gas usage of 11,875MJ, but prices will vary depending on your circumstances. We show one product per retailer, listed in order of lowest estimated cost. This table includes products from referral partners†. Our database may not cover all deals in your area, and please check retailer websites for up to date information.
As one of the biggest electricity and gas companies in the country, you would expect EnergyAustralia to have plenty of offers for South Australians – and you’d be right. Fixed rates and guaranteed discounts are the order of the day, with personal preferences definitely coming into the decision-making process. The retailer’s flagship offer comes with fixed rates for 12 months and no conditional discounts. EnergyAustralia’s other offer is also a fixed rate plan, though it includes a notable guaranteed discount. Keep in mind though that this doesn’t automatically make it the retailer’s cheapest plan. Much like the electricity plans it has on offer, this provider also offers a ‘Basic’ deal, with an ongoing benefit period and slightly higher rates. EnergyAustralia certainly gives South Aussies plenty to think about, including the potential for online sign-up credit on some plans.
Here are the EnergyAustralia gas plans on our database for SA. These estimated annual costs are based on the Australian Gas Network in Adelaide and yearly gas usage of 11,875MJ, but prices will vary depending on your circumstances. This table includes products from referral partners†. Our database may not cover all deals in your area, and please check retailer websites for up to date information.
AGL usually offers two gas plans in South Australia, the main difference being that one has fixed rates and the other variable. AGL’s fixed rate gas offer comes on a 12-month energy plan period, whilst its variable rate product has a 12-month benefit period with no lock-in contract. AGL has a habit of changing its plans fairly often, so keep an eye out for product changes and online sign-up credit which may be available at certain times. One of AGL’s big selling points is that electricity customers can collect flybuys points as they go, with up to 5,000 points up for grabs over 15 months when signing up online. You’ll also gain access to AGL Rewards when signing up to a gas plan.
Here are the AGL gas plans on our database for SA. These estimated annual costs are based on the Australian Gas Network in Adelaide and yearly gas usage of 11,875MJ, but prices will vary depending on your circumstances. This table includes products from referral partners†. Our database may not cover all deals in your area, and please check retailer websites for up to date information.
Energy giant Origin has three gas market offers for South Australians, with varying discounts and specific conditions based on personal preferences. Prospective customers can choose between gas plans with guaranteed – but modest – total bill discounts. The three products all come with variable rates, with benefit periods of either 12 months or ongoing, depending on the plan. There are no exit fees with Origin’s plans, but you may find that in order to sign up, you’ll need to agree to criteria such as e-fulfilment or paying by direct debit. Doing so will generally make the biggest discounts available to you. Customers will need to contact Origin to check eligibility on certain plans this retailer has on offer.
Here are the Origin gas plans on our database for SA. These estimated annual costs are based on the Australian Gas Network in Adelaide and yearly gas usage of 11,875MJ, but prices will vary depending on your circumstances. This table includes products from referral partners†. Our database may not cover all deals in your area, and please check retailer websites for up to date information.
Simply Energy‘s gas plans in South Australia mirror the retailer’s electricity products, with two different options to consider. These include an exclusive deal for RAA members in SA that brings a small unconditional discount, with the other offer simply promising low rates for everyone. Contract periods ongoing and exit fees could also apply. All plans come with variable rates. Simply Energy may offer an additional bill credit for combining electricity with gas when you join, however this may not be available at all times.
Here are the Simply Energy gas plans on our database for SA. These estimated annual costs are based on the Australian Gas Network in Adelaide and yearly gas usage of 11,875MJ, but prices will vary depending on your circumstances. This table includes products from referral partners†. Our database may not cover all deals in your area, and please check retailer websites for up to date information.
While some gas suppliers allow you to sign up for gas only, in most cases they will encourage you to sign up for both electricity and gas together (dual fuel). Doing so could earn you an additional discount on top of the rates and discounts offered for electricity and gas individually. ‘Double up’ discounts have become fairly common – especially with the big retailers – but the percentage offered can vary from time to time. Be aware, however, than some retailers will only sign you up for gas if you also agree to switch your electricity, too. Generally, only the big three retailers will take on gas-only customers from the outset. That said, there is nothing stopping you switching both electricity and gas to a new retailer, and then switching out your electricity component again at a later date.
In addition to the market offer gas products mentioned above, all four retailers in this year’s review also have standard gas contracts in South Australia. These are regulated contracts that you may be on if you have never switched gas suppliers, or haven’t switched in several years. According to the latest industry report from the Australian Energy Regulator, around one in ten households in SA are on a standard gas contract.
Keep in mind that there are several gas companies operating in South Australia. While the four in our review can generally be considered the most prominent, retailers including Alinta Energy, Click Energy, Lumo Energy and Red Energy also sell natural gas across SA. However, the vast majority of households remain connected with one of the big three. Here is a list of gas suppliers in South Australia:
It’s likely that other retailers will be added to this list in the near future.
In South Australia, natural gas typically costs 2-5 cents per megajoule (MJ) – the unit of measurement for gas. The exact price you’ll pay depends on a number of factors, including your gas retailer, plan and tariff. In SA, gas retailers charge for gas in ‘blocks’ of daily usage. For example, you might pay 4.2c per MJ for the first block of 30 megajoules, followed by 2.2 cents per MJ for all remaining usage. It’s important to check your energy plan information document for all rates. Some suppliers charge for gas in two daily blocks, while others charge in multiple increments. And the point at which different block rates apply can vary between plans. To put these prices into perspective, the average gas oven will use around 12 megajoules an hour.
In addition to these gas usage charges, also pay close attention to the daily supply charges in your price fact sheet. These are the costs you’ll need to pay simply for the pleasure of being connected to the gas network. These can add a significant amount to your overall bill – typically around 60c to 80c a day. It’s entirely possible that gas supply charges could contribute a higher proportion of your overall costs than gas usage charges, especially if you don’t use gas for hot water heating. So, be sure to check all the rates listed before making a decision.
There are lots of things to think about when it comes to picking a gas supplier for your home. We asked respondents to our survey about their main reasons for initially picking their gas supplier. This is what we found:
About 14% of respondents gave other reasons for choosing their gas supplier, with 43% simply choosing the same gas supplier as they have for electricity.
Less than half of gas customers in SA (35%) signed up to their supplier over the phone, while only 15% did so online.
Amazingly 93% of South Aussies think they get a good deal on gas.
If you’re worried about signing up with a small gas supplier, remember that these companies are simply the customer-facing part of your overall service. They handle your billing and general enquiries, but it’s the gas distributors that are actually responsible for your supply. In South Australia, the gas distributor is Australian Gas Networks (formerly Envestra). This is who you will need to contact in the event of a gas leak or other emergency.
The gas you use for things like your hot water system or stove cooktop comes from a number of different sources. The majority of natural gas in Australia (around 60%) is used to generate electricity and the rest is piped to households and businesses throughout the distribution network. South Australia’s gas is sourced from Victoria, Queensland and the Cooper Basin, with six transmission pipelines delivering the gas to Adelaide and major regional areas. Retailers purchase this gas and sell it onto their customers. Transmission and distribution costs account for as much as 50% of your final bill. Households who can’t access the natural gas distribution network can purchase liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).
Customers connected to the gas distribution network can access one of two types of contracts with their gas supplier – standard contracts and market contracts. Understanding the difference is the first step to saving money.
Market contracts will almost always work out cheaper than standard contracts, provided that you meet the conditions of any discounts. Market contracts can come with either variable or fixed rates. If you haven’t switched plans in recent years, you will likely save money by switching to a new offer with a conditional discount or other sign-up incentive. Ultimately though, you will need to get to know usage and supply charges, and compare rates between different suppliers. If you think you’re paying too much for gas, you probably are. It’s the same deal when it comes to electricity, so make sure you shop around.
This page was originally published by Canstar Blue Editor-in-Chief Simon Downes. He’s been writing about the Australian energy industry for more than five years, covering the evolution of the competitive market, retailer behaviour, regulatory changes and what it all means for consumers trying to find a better deal. He’s passionate about helping Aussies better understand their options and highlighting the best new deals. Simon also acts as spokesperson for Canstar Blue and is one of Australia’s most prominent energy industry commentators.
The table below shows the annual costs of the providers on our database. We show one product per retailer, listed from the lowest priced estimate first. This comparison assumes general gas usage of 11,875MJ a year. Prices factor in gas usage rates, supply charges and any conditional discounts that are available on the retailer’s cheapest market offer. The following costs should be treated as a general guide only. Use our comparison tool for a specific comparison. Our database may not cover all deals available in your area, and please check retailer websites for up to date information.
|Gas Supplier^||Gas Plan||Discount||Annual Cost*||Important|
|Alinta Energy||No Fuss||0%||$718||Basic Plan Information|
|GloBird Energy||EasySave||0%||$741||Basic Plan Information|
|Origin Energy||Max Saver||10%||$759||Basic Plan Information|
|AGL||Essentials||0%||$762||Basic Plan Information|
|Lumo Energy||Basic||0%||$765||Basic Plan Information|
|Red Energy||Living Energy Saver||0%||$768||Basic Plan Information|
|EnergyAustralia||No Frills||0%||$771||Basic Plan Information|
|Simply Energy||Simply Energy Saver||8%||$798||Basic Plan Information|
*Annual cost estimates based on daily gas usage of 11,875MJ a year, October 2020. Gas prices based on gas provided through Australian Gas Network in Adelaide. Please be aware that some of the discounts shown above may only be available where the customer purchases both gas and electricity from the same retailer. There may be other retailers available in your area.
Canstar Blue surveyed 12,000 Australian adults across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction, via ISO 26362 accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who live in South Australia, have a gas account, and pay the bills – in this case, 541 people.
Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then by mean overall satisfaction. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.
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**Annual cost estimates based on yearly gas usage of 11,875MJ, October 2020. Gas prices based on gas provided through the Australian Gas Network in Adelaide. There may be other retailers available in your area.
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