Compare Victorian gas suppliers AGL, Lumo Energy, Red Energy, Momentum Energy, Origin Energy, Simply Energy, Alinta Energy, Dodo Power & Gas and EnergyAustralia on ease of sign-up, customer service, bill & cost clarity, tools & advice, value for money, environmental sustainability and overall customer satisfaction.
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ENERGY RETAILERS ARE UPDATING THEIR PRODUCTS & PRICES. OUR CONTENT WILL BE UPDATED AS WE ARE MADE AWARE OF THESE CHANGES.
When it comes to energy in Victoria, most of the hype is around the electricity companies and their big promises about big savings. But it’s important not to lose sight of what you pay for gas – because getting a good deal on your natural gas supply is just as important. Gas plays an important role in the lives of most Victorian families, but it’s something that’s easy to take for granted – until your next gas bill comes in! Complaining about constantly rising power costs is something we all do, but not all of us are proactive in comparing providers to try and secure a better deal, often because it’s perceived to be too difficult and ultimately a fruitless exercise. But it doesn’t have to be – and can be well worth the effort. To make the process easier, Canstar Blue produces an annual review of gas suppliers in Victoria to find out which are keeping their customers happy – and which are not! Read on for details.
This year, more than 1,900 households in Melbourne and across Victoria have given us their opinions of their gas suppliers, with their feedback reflected by the star ratings table you see above. Nine major gas providers feature in the results – judged on factors including customer service, tools & advice, bill & cost clarity and value for money – and there is a clear divide between suppliers big a small. Our aim is to give you as much information as possible to help you make an informed decision about your gas retailer. This is what we found:
The nine gas suppliers in our VIC review have been rated in the following order for overall satisfaction:
Momentum Energy has climbed to the top of our gas ratings table for the first time, with last year’s winner, Red Energy, dropping to third place overall. Like in previous years, the review highlights a notable divide in customer satisfaction between gas suppliers big and small. Dodo, Red Energy, Alinta Energy and Simply Energy all rated four stars for overall satisfaction, with the state’s big three providers – AGL, Origin Energy and EnergyAustralia – deemed worthy of just three stars. AGL and Origin recorded just two stars for value for money!
In addition to customer satisfaction, you can see how these gas retailers stack up on price in our Victorian gas price comparison report. And you can compare their electricity prices with our comparison tool via the link above. Read on for further details about the compared gas suppliers and how you can get a better deal.
Owned by renewable energy generation company Hydro Tasmania, Momentum Energy is a champion of green energy and helping Australian consumers make energy-efficient decisions. It’s also an advocate of keeping things relatively simple for prospective customers, steering clear of the big conditional discounts offered by some retailers and instead just focusing on fairly competitive rates. In Victoria, Momentum has three main residential electricity offers, but just one simple product for gas customers. Like its electricity deals – which include specific plans for renters and solar customers – Momentum’s gas plan is as basic as they come, with no discounts to be seen. Momentum’s approach to energy retail – and its obvious focus on renewables – has clearly seen it win over lots of Victorian customers. It also performed well in our 2019 review of electricity providers in Victoria, finishing fourth out of 13 in the overall rankings.
You’ll probably know Dodo best as a phone and internet provider, but the brand completes the full set of home services by offering electricity and natural gas in Victoria. Dodo is owned by Vocus Communications, which includes other popular brands like iPrimus and Commander. When it comes to energy, Dodo Power & Gas keeps things nice and easy with just a single variable rate market offer for households to consider. Big discounts are usually the aim of the game for Dodo, which naturally promotes the convenience factor of bundling all your home services under the one name. Dodo also has a habit of providing sign-up credit if you join online. Given that it’s a new addition to our Victorian gas ratings this year, it would seem that Dodo is growing its presence in Victoria – and is keeping its customers pretty happy.
Red Energy is owned by renewable energy generation company Snowy Hydro, along with its sister brand Lumo Energy. Red Energy’s main selling point is its partnership with airline Qantas, which sees customers pocket frequent flyer points for every dollar they spend on energy. Two Red Energy plans include Qantas points, with up to seven points available for every $1 spent on energy, in addition to an initial windfall of 15,000 points should you sign up for both electricity and gas with Red. The provider’s other plan includes access to Red Energy Rewards – a loyal scheme that brings savings on things like movie tickets, eating out and hotels etc. While Red Energy offers modest pay on time discounts, it’s another retailer that attempts to keep things nice and easy for prospective customers. But as rates are variable, you’ll have to watch out for any unexpected price changes.
A major gas and electricity retailer across the country – including Western Australia – Alinta Energy was recently acquired by a Hong Kong-based conglomerate company, but remains headquartered in Sydney. In terms of its plans, Alinta Energy keeps things markedly simple with a single variable rate market offer in each state that it serves. This comes with a significant pay on time discount off gas usage charges, with a benefit period of 12 months. There is no lock in contract or exit fees. Alinta customers may also be able to secure a double up discount if they sign up for both electricity and gas with the retailer. Ranked fourth in our latest VIC gas review, Alinta Energy is currently rated best in our QLD electricity comparison.
Owned by French utilities giant Engie, Simply Energy offers a comprehensive range of energy plans for Victorians to choose from. They include an exclusive deal for RACV members, which brings an additional discount to its other offers, as well as an offer targeted at movie-lovers, bringing up to 16 ‘free’ Gold Class cinema tickets available, and a plan specifically targeted at AFL plans with ongoing bill credit of up to $480 if you sign up for both electricity and gas. Contract periods are either 12 or 24 months – depending on the plan – but there are no exit fees with any plans. All deals come with variable rates and varying conditional discounts off usage charges for paying bills on time. A previous winner of our Victoria gas suppliers review, Simply Energy was rated fifth best this year.
Lumo Energy is one of two electricity providers owned by renewable energy generation company Snowy Hydro – the other being Red Energy. Based in Melbourne, Lumo Energy offers a diverse range of electricity and gas plans, including a plan targeted at customers who rent their home, plus a deal that includes 2 for 1 HOYTS movie tickets. Most of Lumo’s plans come with modest pay on time discounts, with the maximum savings on offer if you sign up to direct debit payments. Discounts are applied to the whole bill rather than just usage charges. If you don’t like conditional discounts, Lumo has another plan that brings competitive rates and nothing more. All Lumo deals come on a no-contract basis, plus there are no exit fees. Rates are variable, and some plans bring access to Lumo’s ‘Lumo Ameego’ shopping program, which gives members a range of exclusive discounts on everything from groceries to petrol.
One of the biggest electricity and gas companies in the country, EnergyAustralia provides one of the most diverse product ranges of all retailers. Although, with all the choice could come confusion. Most gas plans include discounts of one type or another, based on personal preferences, but for those who prefer not to get involved with discounts, another plan promises simply low rates. This, along with another plan, comes with fixed rated, while two other deals keep rates variable. The retailer’s flagship fixed rate offer includes a notable pay on time discount, but with exit fees to pay if you quit before the end of a two-year contract. Other plans include pay on time or guaranteed energy discounts. It’s also common to see online sign-up credit on offer from EnergyAustralia. Plus, Virgin Australia members may be able to collect Velocity points with some plans.
Origin Energy has four different gas offers for Victorian households to pick from, depending on personal preferences and circumstances. The biggest conditional discount comes with direct debit payments and email bills, while a smaller discount is on offer for those who just want to pay bills on time. In both cases, discounts come off gas usage charges and there are 12-month benefit periods. Rates are variable. Origin also has a gas plan with no discounts, just competitive rates locked in for 12 months. Customers may also want to consider Origin’s Predictable Plan, whereby customers pay the same amount every billing period for a year regardless of their gas usage. Unique quotes are offered based on previous usage history. There are no exit fees with any Origin gas plan.
Energy giant AGL usually gives Victorians two or three gas plans to choose from, with conditional discounts generally the point of difference. The retailer’s flagship offer now comes with no discounts but fixed rates locked in for one or two years, depending on which specific product is available at the time. However, AGL also still maintains a big discount gas plan should customers be happy to pay their bills on time. This plan provides a discount off gas usage charges for 12 months. It may not have the diverse range of products as some of its competitors, but AGL’s biggest selling points are its ‘value add’ incentives, including access to AGL Rewards and the opportunity to collect flybuys points for every dollar spent on energy, in addition to a bonus 10,000 points for signing up online. AGL also tends to offer double-up discounts for signing up for both electricity and gas.
Our customer satisfaction ratings feature the most prominent natural gas suppliers in Victoria, but there are a handful of others to choose from. Here is a complete list of companies selling gas in Victoria:
While there are many gas providers to choose from in Victoria, keep in mind that some only sell gas when you also purchase electricity.
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Victoria now has a hugely competitive gas retail market, but that hasn’t always been the case. Since 2002, households around the state have been able to move from standard contracts onto market contracts with different providers, but with price regulations, there would have been little financial incentive to do so. However, the Victorian Government lifted energy price regulations for gas and electricity in 2009, paving the way for new companies to enter the market and challenge the dominance of the incumbents. That’s exactly what’s happened, with suppliers such as Simply Energy, Lumo Energy, Momentum Energy and Red Energy offering competitive plans and often superior customer service. In more recent times, some other retailers that previously only retailed electricity have also started to sell gas. These include GloBird Energy and Powershop.
While competition is important, it can also lead to confusion, with multiple gas plans now offered by most retailers. This makes it hard to work out which offer is right for you. However, before talking about plans, let’s first go over the basic information you’ll need to know in order to get a better deal.
There are two types of gas contracts in Victoria – standard contracts and market contracts.
Market contracts should always work out the cheaper option, but only if you can stick to the conditions of your plan. Failure to do so could leave you paying significantly more.
Whether you have a standard contract or market gas contract, the amount you pay will be determined by two main charges – supply costs and usage charges.
The easiest way to compare two different gas providers is to check out their supply and usage charges. In Victoria, these costs can vary significantly between the retailers. Some may appear to have cheap supply prices, but these could be made up for by higher usage rates, or vice versa. Also, be aware that most plans come with variable rate charges, meaning the amount you pay could be changed by your provider at any time. Some gas retailers offer plans with fixed rates – meaning your supply and usage charges are locked in for a set period – but there are pros and cons to these types of plans.
Natural gas prices are charged in cents per megajoule (the unit of measurement for gas). Peak time gas usage rates will typically cost between 2.5 and 3 cents per megajoule. To put this into perspective, your gas oven probably uses around 12 megajoules an hour. It’s important to have a handle on gas prices to help you monitor and act on your usage.
If you have a time of use tariff, the amount you will pay for gas will change depending on the time of day you use it. In Victoria, gas usage may also be broken into daily ‘blocks’, with the first block of power usually costing the most. For example, you could:
These rates are typical of peak-time gas usage costs. However, you can expect cheaper rates if you use gas at off-peak times. The majority of households in Victoria now have smart meters and are therefore able to use flexible pricing tariffs.
You may not realise, but one of the biggest factors in determining the prices you pay for energy is your location. Melbourne and the rest of Victoria is split between various energy distributor networks, with different companies responsible for maintaining and improving the vast infrastructure that transports gas and electricity to your particular suburb. While there are five electricity distribution networks in Victoria, households are divided into three gas networks:
This is useful to know – not only because these companies are who you will need to contact if you have a problem with your gas supply, or notice a gas leak, but because the network you live on has an impact on your overall costs. Energy distributor costs can account for up to 50% of your overall energy bills.
There are lots of things to think about when it comes to picking a gas supplier for your home. We asked Victorian respondents to our survey about their main reasons for initially picking their gas supplier. This is what we found:
Half of gas customers in Victoria (50%) signed up to their supplier over the phone, the survey found, while 29% signed up online. Just 61% of survey respondents think they get a good deal on gas.
Whether you’re buying gas or electricity, the key to getting a better deal is understanding the different factors that determine the costs you’ll need to pay, including contract types, plans, tariffs and charges. In summary, here are some questions that are worth asking any prospective gas provider in Victoria:
Remember that the Victorian gas market is now hugely competitive, with at least 15 different providers competing for your business. This puts you – the paying customer – in the driving seat. Make sure you shop around for the best deal for you and don’t be afraid to switch if you’re not 100% satisfied with the price you’re currently paying or the servicing you’re receiving. With so much competition, you may even be able to benefit from a growing number of rewards programs and other sign-up incentives. Ultimately, it’s all about what gives you the best value. That could mean the cheapest prices you can find, but it may also mean you get value from other parts of the plan.
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 Victoria, have a gas account, and pay the bills – in this case, 1,962 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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