EnergyAustralia sparks competition with its move into NBN

The NBN and telco space is about to get a lot more crowded, with EnergyAustralia the latest energy provider to announce its move into the telco sector. Not only has EnergyAustralia launched a simple suite of NBN plans, but it has announced a new service enabling customers to bundle their energy, internet, mobile and various insurance products.

While the temptation to bundle your household bills onto the one plan might sound convenient — not to mention the potential to save a bit of money —  bundling is not always the best option. You might be locked into contracts, and discounts might not save you as much compared to choosing cheaper plans from different providers.

EnergyAustralia launches NBN plans and a new product, Stack On

These new offerings from EnergyAustralia are further indication of the growing trend of bundling more of your home’s utilities and services under the one account with the one provider.

“With two of the ‘big three’ energy providers in AGL and Origin already making moves into the telco space, it was only a matter of time before EnergyAustralia jumped on the bundled utility bandwagon. It’s a trend that’s so far seen a handful of power companies, including Dodo and Kogan Energy, slinging discounts at customers who bundle their internet with electricity and/or gas.” said Canstar Blue’s Energy Editor, Jared Mullane.

While bundled options usually come with some form of discount for your plans, there is still the possibility that you might not be saving as much money on your bills as you think.

“Having all of your eggs in one basket may suit the set and forget type of customer but convenience aside, bill-payers should always consider the value of each service before consolidating their household utilities. In terms of its electricity and gas offers, EnergyAustralia is generally price competitive, with fixed rate options for customers who prefer a bit of certainty around prices. All EnergyAustralia plans have no exit fees or lock-in contracts, meaning customers are free to leave if they decide the retailer is not a suitable fit.” added Mr Mullane.

EnergyAustralia’s NBN plans are fairly straightforward — there are three plans available on the NBN 25, NBN 50 and NBN 100 speed tiers. You’ll also grab a $10 per month discount on your NBN when customers bundle with an energy plan. However, all of these plans are on a 12-month contract, which is something more and more internet providers are moving away from, with month-to-month NBN plans much more common than lock-in contracts, even from the biggest providers.

In addition to launching a new suite of NBN plans that can be bundled with energy plans, EnergyAustralia has also launched a new innovative product called ‘Stacks On’. After working with a Melbourne-based ICT multi-product enablement company called Acurus, this new product allows customers to ‘stack on’ (bundle) a range of products and services, and receive some savings and incentives for doing so.

“They might just want electricity and car insurance, for example, or to go for the whole shebang. There’s no service you have to have — pick what works for you — but the more services you select, the more you can save.” said EnergyAustralia’s Chief Customer Officer, Mark Brownfield.

Customers will also be able to gain rewards for ‘stacking on’ more plans “These rewards are credited to your monthly Stack On bill or can be taken as a cash back – it’s your choice.” Mr Brownfield said.

What can you expect from EnergyAustralia’s NBN plans?

EnergyAustralia’s NBN plans are all on a 12-month contract with unlimited data, and start at $70 per month for NBN 25 speeds with typical evening speeds listed as 20Mbps. Its NBN 50 plan is $80 per month and lists a typical evening speed of 43.6Mbps, while the NBN 100 plan is $100 per month with a typical evening speed of 80Mbps. If you have an EnergyAustralia energy plan, you’ll receive a $10 discount on your NBN plan, bringing the cost for NBN 25 down to $60 per month, $70 per month for NBN 50 and $90 per month for NBN 100.

If you choose not to bundle with an energy plan and you pay that full monthly price, EnergyAustralia’s NBN plans are on the slightly more pricey end of the spectrum. NBN 25 plans with unlimited data are typically just under that $60 price mark (excluding any promotions or discounts). NBN 50 plans with unlimited data can be commonly found around the $65-$70 per month price point, while some of the cheapest NBN 100 plans with unlimited data can be found around the $80 price mark.

Not only do these new EnergyAustralia NBN plans cost a little more than what other providers are offering, but the typical evening speeds are also fairly slower than the NBN speeds other providers list. Typical evening speeds are listed as an indication as to what speed you can expect to experience during the peak times between 7pm and 11pm.

Many providers now list their typical evening speed as the maximum attainable speed on that plan, or fairly close to that speed at the least. Telstra, for example, lists evening speeds of 25Mbps, 50Mbps and 100Mbps for NBN 25, NBN 50 and NBN 100 plans respectively, while popular provider Aussie Broadband lists an evening speed of 99Mbps on its NBN 100 plans, but matches the maximum attainable speed on the lower speed tiers.

Want to see how EnergyAustralia’s new NBN plans compare to what is currently available on the market? The below tables include NBN plans on a range of different speed tiers. Simply switch between the tabs to compare plans on the different speeds.

Unlimited Premium Evening Speed (NBN 100) Plans

The following table shows a selection of published unlimited Premium Evening Speed (NBN 100) plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of monthly cost, from the lowest to highest, and then by alphabetical order of provider. Use our comparison tool above to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.

Unlimited Standard Plus Evening Speed (NBN 50) Plans

The following table shows a selection of published unlimited Standard Plus Evening Speed (NBN 50) plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of monthly cost, from lowest to highest, and then by alphabetical order of provider. Use our comparison tool above to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.

Unlimited Standard Evening Speed (NBN 25) Plans

The following table shows a selection of published unlimited Standard Evening Speed (NBN 25) plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of monthly cost, from the lowest to highest, and then by alphabetical order of provider. Use our comparison tool above to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.

Unlimited Basic Evening Speed (NBN 12) Plans

The following table shows a selection of published unlimited Basic Evening Speed (NBN 12) plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of monthly cost, from the lowest to highest, and then by alphabetical order of provider. Use our comparison tool above to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.

EnergyAustralia’s Stack On product encourages customers to bundle even more services

In addition to the launch of its NBN plans, EnergyAustralia (under the name ‘On by EnergyAustralia’) has spearheaded a new product in partnership with Optus and Open Insurance (backed by The Hollard Insurance Company) to create a new product called ‘Stack On’. Rather than buying your plans directly through EnergyAustralia (or the other participating companies), you can ‘stack on’ a range of products and the more plans you bundle, the more you stand to save and the more rewards you earn.

You can add on electricity (NSW and Qld customers only), NBN plans, SIM-only mobile phone plans, data-only SIM plans, car insurance and home insurance.

The SIM-only mobile plans and data-only SIM plans operate on the Optus 3G and 4G mobile network. The ‘On by EnergyAustralia’ SIM-only phone plan is a month-to-month postpaid plan, with the Small plan at $15 with 5GB of data, $25 for the Medium plan with 15GB of data and the Large plan is $30 with 35GB of data. All plans include unlimited standard national calls and SMS, plus the Medium and Large plans both include some international call credit.

Compared to other plans on the market, these postpaid plans are reasonably in line when it comes to how much data you get for your money.

The ‘Stacks On’ NBN offerings are available at the same $60, $70 and $90 price points that EnergyAustralia’s discounted NBN plans (when bundled with energy) are. If you ‘stack on’ two or more products — such as energy and NBN — here is how much you’ll pay each month for NBN and SIM-only postpaid phone plans:

  • NBN 25 — from $60 per month to $55 per month
  • NBN 50 — from $70 per month to $62.50 per month
  • NBN 100 — from $90 per month to $80 per month
  • Small postpaid phone plan — from $15 per month to $12.50 per month
  • Medium postpaid phone plan — from $25 per month to $20 per month
  • Large postpaid phone plan — from $30 per month to $22.50 per month

Want to see how these mobile plans compare to other postpaid phone plans? The following table shows a selection of postpaid plans from Canstar Blue’s database for $30 or less per month, listed in order of standard cost, lowest to highest, then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our phone plan comparison tool to see a wider range of plans from other providers. This table includes products with links to referral partners.

Which other providers offer bundle plans?

EnergyAustralia is the latest in a growing list of multi-service providers, indicating a growing trend towards bundled plans. In the telco space, bundled internet and phone is nothing new — many providers that offer both, such as Vodafone, will offer discounts on one or more of your services when you bundle on the one account.

As another example, Telstra offers the option to bundle a range of additional products, such as entertainment services like Foxtel, BINGE, Kayo and Netflix, onto the one account. Although you might not get discounts on your plan fees for bundling, Telstra offers a rewards program where you earn points for simply paying eligible bills.

Both AGL and Origin have entered the telco space in recent years, with Origin offering internet plans and AGL choosing to offer both NBN and phone plans, joining the likes of Dodo, Kogan and Sumo, which also offer a range of services and bundle options in the energy/telco space.

This also coincides with the news that Telstra has started the process of launching its own energy company, Telstra Energy. While Telstra hasn’t flicked the switch on its energy plans just yet, it’s expected that the launch is imminent and Telstra customers might find a new service to bundle with their Telstra home internet.

While these bundle offers might be enticing for some, and no doubt the convenience is what draws a lot of customers into bundling services, you might not be getting the best deal for your needs. Before hopping on a bundle deal, make sure you’ve compared plans and products from a wide range of providers to ensure you’re getting the best value for money for your needs.

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