Origin to cut electricity and gas prices from July

Origin Energy has announced it will be cutting electricity and gas prices in some parts of the country from July 1, with rates frozen in other areas.

Origin has lowered its electricity prices in South East Queensland and South Australia, while rates in New South Wales and the ACT will go unchanged.

Natural gas customers in NSW can expect a price reduction, while those in the other states will see rates stay the same.

All energy providers are expected to adjust rates across NSW, Queensland, South Australia and the ACT from July 1. In 2017, households in most areas saw price increases of around 20 per cent or higher.

Origin Executive General Manager Retail, Jon Briskin, said customers have recently felt the pinch of higher electricity prices and “while this is a modest turnaround, we are glad to be delivering better news this year”.

“Our prices reflect a more stable National Electricity Market overall. We’ve also absorbed higher green scheme and network costs in New South Wales and ACT turning what would have been another increase into a freeze on our base tariffs in those states,” he said.

It will be the first time since 2015 that there will be no increase to Origin’s mid-year retail electricity prices, the retailer confirmed.

Origin says it is the first retailer to announce its new prices to take effect from July. The changes apply to its base tariffs and there could be further savings available for customers if they sign up to one of its market offers.

It is not yet clear what, if any, changes will be made to conditional discounts on Origin’s market offers from July.

“We believe we can drive electricity prices even lower for Australian households and businesses, if we can agree on a long term energy policy to encourage timely investment in new supply to replace the nation’s aging power stations,” Mr Briskin said.

“We encourage the industry and governments at all levels to stay the course and continue to progress the National Energy Guarantee.”

Origin customers in Queensland can expect the retailer’s base rates to drop by an average of 1.3 per cent, while those in South Australia should see a one per cent cut. Natural gas customers in NSW will see rates cut by an average of three per cent.

Small business customers can also expect modest savings, with electricity prices coming down by an average of three per cent in Queensland and 1.4 per cent in South Australia, while gas rates are being cut by four per cent in NSW and 1.9 per cent in the ACT.

Time to consider your energy options

With power providers set to adjust their prices across NSW, Queensland, South Australia and the ACT from July, now is the time to start thinking about your options. This could mean searching for a new provider, or just discussing your options with your existing retailer.

Canstar Blue Editor, Simon Downes, said the price drop from Origin should be a sign of things to come from other retailers this winter.

“Origin has shown its hand and now attention turns to the other big retailers, AGL and EnergyAustralia, to see what they are going to do with prices,” Mr Downes said.

“With wholesale electricity prices now stable, it’s time for some of the retailers that significantly increased prices last year to pass the savings back onto those customers that have been copping it.

“If your retailer isn’t cutting electricity prices this July, it could be time to find a new one.”

Canstar Blue’s electricity database shows that the difference between the cheapest and most expensive electricity plans in some areas is as much as $1,000 a year, or even more in some circumstances.

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