The South East Queensland gas market is set for a much-needed competition boost, with one of the country’s highest-rated retailers set to take on the big two.
Red Energy will become the first to challenge AGL and Origin when it launches a range of natural gas plans in the Brisbane area from July.
Red Energy entered the Queensland electricity market in 2017 and its move into the gas market comes from a desire to offer customers the same services as it does in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia, said CEO Iain Graham.
“We needed to ensure that our systems were compliant and that we had appropriate arrangements in place with the gas networks,” he explained. “We are an energy company and we want our customers in South East Queensland to have access to the same products our customers are able to access in other states including gas.”
Red Energy, which currently tops Canstar Blue’s customer satisfaction ratings for both gas and electricity providers in NSW, will offer three gas products to Queensland customers, including two that come with Qantas Frequent Flyer Points.
Mirroring its electricity offers, the Red Energy Easy Saver plan includes a 10% pay on time discount, while the Qantas Red Saver brings two Qantas points for every $1 spent on energy, as well as the 10% discount.
The Qantas Red Plus plan delivers seven Qantas points for every $1 spent on energy, but does not include the pay on time discount. Customers can also get 10,000 bonus Qantas points when they sign up for electricity and 5,000 for gas.
Gas and electricity products will be offered separately, so customers will not need to switch their electricity to also receive gas from Red Energy.
“We are passionate about providing choice, competition and excellence in customer service. We believe our gas offering is very competitive,” said Mr Graham. “We offer competitive rates on both gas and electricity in South East Queensland and if customers pay on time they will receive a 10% discount off their entire bill (not just usage) on both gas and electricity.
“We have not bundled together our products. This is about increasing competition and choice. Customers are welcome to switch over their gas only.
“We are a 100% Australian-owned and operated energy retailer. Our Melbourne based contact centre has won numerous Canstar Blue awards for excellence in customer service. We also strive to provide our customers with a full range of products, competitive rates and easy to understand bills.”
— Nine News Queensland (@9NewsQueensland) June 25, 2018
What about electricity options in SE QLD?
Red Energy’s move into the Queensland gas market means customers in the South East of the state now have three gas retailers to pick from. In terms of electricity, there are more than 15 providers now competing for customers in the Brisbane area.
Canstar Blue Editor Simon Downes said Queenslanders should start to take advantage of the competition.
“The majority of households are still with one of the big two or three retailers for their electricity, but since the removal of price regulations, several others have entered the local market – including Red Energy – and competition has become fierce,” he said.
“There has been downward pressure on electricity prices in Queensland for a year or more, thanks to the new competition and arrival of other big retailers like Alinta Energy and Powershop. This has helped keep the big three on their toes and ensured that customers have some leverage to negotiate new deals if they don’t want to switch.
“Others have jumped at the opportunity to switch electricity providers and I would expect many to follow suit with their gas. Gas bills in Queensland may not be as high as in other parts of the country because it is generally not used for heating, but any opportunity to save some money is worth considering.”