Origin Energy Solar Review & Guide

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Whether you’re a solar novice thinking about installing panels for the first time, or a seasoned pro shopping around for the best deal to help maximise your investment, it’s natural that you’ll consider Origin Energy as your potential solar retailer. As Australia’s biggest integrated energy company, Origin is well-placed to help you at any stage of your solar journey. But getting the best solar deal from Origin requires some commitment on your part, so you’ll need to think carefully before making any big, long-term decisions.

To help you decide if Origin is your best solar bet or not, Canstar Blue has produced this guide, looking at everything from installation to feed-in tariffs and solar batteries. We’ve done our best to answer any and all questions you might have about Origin Energy solar, but if you think we’ve missed something, feel free to get in touch and let us know.

Origin Solar Products

Origin describes itself as your “one-stop” solar system provider. It offers a range of services including the design, installation and maintenance of your solar system. Origin also has a range of electricity deals, including two specialised solar products – Solar Boost and Solar Boost Plus – to help customers get the most out of their panels. Most Origin electricity plans include a feed-in tariff, but these offers are specifically designed for solar customers and include the retailer’s highest rates for exporting energy to the grid.

Origin Solar Boost

Solar Boost is an electricity deal that provides customers with one of Origin’s largest feed-in tariffs (FiTs), plus a guaranteed discount on electricity usage for the first 12 months. Like with most electricity deals, the rates and discounts vary across different states.

State FiT Electricity Usage Discount
Queensland 14c/kWh 5%
NSW 20c/kWh 3%
Victoria 20c/kWh 16%
South Australia 18c/kWh 10%
ACT 15c/kWh 10%

Source: Origin website, December 2018

Origin’s website indicates that its Solar Boost product is available to all customers with solar, regardless of whether or not the system was installed by Origin. Origin says this deal is a good option for those who aren’t home throughout the day and tend to use most of their energy in the morning and evenings, meaning they export most of their solar power to the grid.

Origin Solar Boost Plus

Solar Boost Plus is a slightly beefed-up version of the Solar Boost plan. It has a two-year benefit period and comes with a guaranteed discount and slightly larger FiT. The catch, however, is that the plan is usually only available to customers who purchase an eligible solar system from Origin.

State FiT Electricity Usage Discount
Queensland 16c/kWh 7%
NSW 25c/kWh 3%
Victoria 25c/kWh 16%
South Australia 23c/kWh 10%
ACT 20c/kWh 10%

Source: Origin website, December 2018

The Solar Boost Plus offers some of the highest feed-in tariffs in the market, but again, it’s only available to customers that purchase their solar system through Origin. So, if you’re tossing up between Origin and another installer, it’s worth factoring in the potential long-term savings with Origin’s Solar Boost Plus. The company clearly has an enticing offer to attract households to sign up and commit to solar power with it, but be sure to compare offers from other providers before making a decision.

What solar systems does Origin have?

Origin Energy has three solar power system ranges on offer – the Advantage Range, Premium Range, and Premium Plus Range.

  • Advantage Range: Includes Zeversolar inverter and CSUN solar panels
  • Premium Range: Includes Fronius inverter and CSUN solar panels
  • Premium Plus Range: Includes Fronius and JA 300w solar panels

The price of these systems varies and you will need to contact Origin for a quote. Generally speaking however, the Premium and Premium Plus Ranges are pricier than the Advantage Range. This is because Fronius inverters and JA solar panels are considered to be some of the best around.

Origin doesn’t have a “one-size-fits-all” approach to solar. Rather, it says that it works with its customers to understand their energy needs to calculate the best solar solution for their home.

What about solar batteries?

Adding a battery to your solar system means you can store any excess solar power generated by your panels to use later on, rather than drawing power from the grid at a cost. Storage systems can help you save even more on power and allow you to access your solar power at night, during blackouts, or during times when grid electricity is most expensive. Origin Energy sells two kinds of battery – Tesla’s Powerwall 2 and the LG Chem Resu.

  • Tesla Powerwall 2: The Tesla Powerwall is one of the most popular solar batteries on the market, with 14kWh of total storage. A standard retrofit will cost $12,749 according to the Origin website. Customers can also purchase the Powerwall 2 as part of an Origin Solar PV system for $16,844.

  • LG Chem Resu: The LG Chem Resu is a well-rounded battery that’s claimed to be reliable and has a high round-trip efficiency. Origin sells both the LG Resu 6, with a 6.5kWh capacity, and the larger Resu 10, with a 9.8kWh capacity. Origin says the price of a standard retrofit starts from $10,795.

Maintenance & Warranties

All solar panels, inverters and storage batteries installed by qualified Origin Energy installers are backed up with a five-year warranty on workmanship. This means that if your solar stops working properly due to a fault on the part of the installers, the company will repair/re-do the installation at its own cost.

Most of the products sold by Origin are also covered by a manufacture warranty, but be sure to check this yourself before purchasing.

  • Fronius Inverter: 5-year warranty
  • Zeversolar inverter: 5-year warranty
  • CSUN solar panels: 10-year material warranty and 25-year power output warranty
  • JA 300w Panels: 12-year product warranty and 25-year linear power warranty
  • Tesla Powerwall: 10-year warranty
  • LG Chem Resu: 10-year warranty

Keep in mind that, like most warranties, you must take all reasonable steps to maintain your system and alert Origin or the manufacture at the first sign of any fault. Be sure to read your warranty terms carefully before purchasing a solar product.

Does Origin offer premium feed-in tariffs?

Origin Energy offers a standard feed-in tariff of between 7 and 10c/kWh, depending on where you live. Origin’s standard FiT is available across most of its electricity products, including the Maximiser and Bill Saver. As discussed, customers that sign up to one of Origin’s dedicated solar products can score an even larger FiT, upward of 14c/kWh.

Solar customers that have previously signed up to a Solar Bonus Scheme tariff should still receive the bonus rate if they switch to Origin. This is most relevant to customers in Queensland where government-funded bonus scheme rates of 44c continue to be paid.

Origin Energy Feed-in Tariffs

Here is a list of all Origin Energy feed-in tariffs for solar customers. As you can see, there is a big difference between the standard FITs and those offered with Origin’s solar-specific plans.

State Standard FiT Solar Boost FiT Solar Boost Plus FiT
Qld 7c/kWh 14c/kWh 16c/kWh
Vic 9.9c/kWh 20c/kWh 25c/kWh
NSW 8c/kWh 20c/kWh 25c/kWh
SA 10c/kWh 18c/kWh 23c/kWh
ACT 8c/kWh 15c/kWh 20c/kWh

Source: Origin website, December 2018

While the Solar Boost and Solar Boost Plus products have higher FiTs, it’s important customers remember that they only last for 12 and 24 months respectively. After the benefit period expires, customers may be reverted to the standard FiT or moved to another deal.

Also, consider that the electricity usage discounts on Origin’s solar-specific plans are generally smaller than the discounts offered on its standard plans. Therefore, finding the best Origin plan for your specific needs is far from straightforward. To find the answer, you’ll need to take a close look at your typical power usage versus how much solar energy you typically export. If you tend to use lots of electricity and don’t always export very much, you may be better off with one of the retailer’s standard plans. But you should discuss these options with Origin before diving in.

Origin Solar Price & Financing

The price you pay for solar varies considerably depending on the selected range, size of the system and difficulty of the installation. Generally speaking however, you should expect to pay between $3,000 and $7,000 for a relatively standard rooftop solar system. Adding a battery on top will cost an additional $10,000 to $12,000.

Customers can purchase their solar system through Origin upfront. Alternatively, if you’re like most households and don’t have this kind of cash just lying around, Origin offers a 24-month interest-free payment plan. This finance option breaks up the cost into 24 monthly interest-free instalments with $0 upfront deposit. The Origin website does not explain the applicable interest rate for failing to meet the conditions of this arrangement, so you should discuss these details with Origin before you agree to any financing offer.

Should I get solar with Origin?

The decision to go solar is almost a no-brainer with electricity prices these days, but is Origin the right installer and retailer for you? Origin says it has sold and installed over a million panels and claims to be Australia’s second largest installer, so there’s little question about its experience and reputability. With that said, there are many options on the market with a variety of energy companies – such as AGL and Red Energy – offering similarly comprehensive solar services.

Origin appears to be a ‘safe pair of hands’ and some households will no doubt take comfort from working with such a large company. But whether or not you could find better value elsewhere is another matter entirely.

The point is that solar is an investment, and like any other big spend, you should shop around and see what else is on offer before making a purchase decision. Follow the link below to check out how providers were rated by customers on their solar retail service in our latest satisfaction ratings report.

Compare Solar Retailers

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