Origin Energy: Gas, electricity and solar provider
It's one of the biggest names in the industry, but what can Origin Energy offer Australians seeking a better deal?
Origin Energy is one of Australia's biggest energy retailers, providing electricity and natural gas to customers right across the country. Operating in every state except Tasmania, Origin has four million customers signed up to its plans.
In addition to producing energy, Origin is involved in exploration operations for natural gas and solar panel installation. Recently, it has committed to halving its carbon emissions by 2032.
Get a cost estimate for Origin Energy (July 2020)
Get an idea of how much Origin Energy costs, starting with electricity and apply securely online.
Disclaimer: The following price estimates are a general guide only. Prices are based on a residential customer in South Australia who consumes 4,000 kWh a year on a single rate tariff in the SA Power Network. Prices last checked on May 2020 and are subject to change. Always check the providers site before applying - Your actual bill may vary, depending on your usage.
The following price estimates are a general guide only. Estimated prices are based on a residential customer in Canberra, ACT who consumes 5499k kWh a year on a single rate tariff in the Evoenergy network and only one plan per provider is shown. Estimated prices include conditional discounts (if any). Any plans with special eligibility requirements are excluded. Prices last checked on May 2020 and are subject to change. Always check the providers site before applying.
What plans are offered by Origin?
Origin offers a wide range of different electricity plans to residents of every Australian state and the ACT except for WA and TAS. It offers natural gas plans to all of the above, plus WA. None of the plans have lock-in contracts, and therefore none have associated exit fees.
This is more or less the default offer, providing you electricity to your residence at or near the reference price. It's not quite a standing offer because Origin does provide sign up incentives with it, such as bill credit 3 months after first taking out the plan. It's available with three tariffs: flat rate, time of use, and either of those plus a controlled load.
This is Origin's main offering, and boasts the highest discounts compared to the reference price. However, it comes with a couple of requirements: first, that you must pay all your bills via direct debit, and second, that you have to download and use the Origin Energy app to manage your plan and energy use. It's available with the same tariffs as the Basic plan.
A less restrictive version of the Max Saver plan which doesn't require you to lock into direct debits or use of the Origin Energy app. In return, usage rates are higher than for the Max Saver, but still lower than what you would get on a Basic plan.
The Solar Optimiser plan is available to residents of NSW, QLD, and VIC. It has no discount on usage rates compared to the reference price for your state, but it does come with significantly boosted solar feed-in tariffs to compensate — somewhere between 15 - 21c/kWh depending on your state.
The Solar Boost plan is available to residents of SA and the ACT. In addition to offering lower usage rates than the reference price, it also improves the solar feed-in tariffs you receive depending on where you live. You can expect to see boosted rates of 12 - 15 c/kWh.
As with the electricity plans, this plan provides natural gas at Origin's base rate. There are no real special features, but it may still have deals like bill credit after signing up.
Origin's best natural gas plan, offering much lower usage rates than the Basic one. As with electricity, this requires you to set up all your payments as direct debit and to download and use the Origin Energy app.
A less restrictive version of the Max Saver plan, with higher usage rates but more flexibility. You don't have to meet any special conditions or payment options to sign up to this plan.
A quick review of Origin Energy
Origin offers a wide range of electricity and natural gas plans for NSW, VIC, QLD, SA, ACT, as well as natural gas for WA.
While Origin Energy trades as an Australian company and is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, it's actually owned by various shareholders all across the world. It was only formed back in 2000, after a demerger of the Australian conglomerate Boral Limited.
Origin Energy is one of Australia's biggest retailers of gas and electricity in both the residential and business markets, including renewable energy.
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Does Origin offer solar?
Origin energy offers installation, service, support and maintenance of solar systems for your home. Their service area includes a 100km radius from metro areas in ACT, NSW, QLD, VIC, and SA, and they provide several different solar packages and setups.
All of their plans offer solar feed-in tariffs that are about average for each state, and have equitable solar incentive plans for customers in all states that provide higher solar rates. Overall, Origin performs well on solar.
How green is Origin?
Origin Energy ranks in the top twenty-five percent of Australian energy providers with a score of 6.8/10 on the 2018 Green Electricity Guide. They have shown a lot of recent investment in renewable energy, including wind, solar, hydro and biomass, as well as offering 25% GreenPower for an extra $1 a week. On top of this, they have accessible energy efficiency products and support local energy trading schemes.
Where Origin Energy falls down a bit is their extensive current investments in fossil fuels and their ongoing support and production of coal seam gas. While Origin has a stated plan to cut their emissions in half by 2032, they were the fourth largest emitter of greenhouse gases across Australia in March 2018.
Does Origin offer any special incentives to sign up?
Currently, Origin has sign-up deals for certain plans. Some Max Saver plans come with a small discount when purchased online, and most Basic plans offer about $50 - $200 of bill credit three months after signing up.
Can I manage my plan from my phone?
Yes. Origin Energy has developed the Origin phone app, which is actually mandatory for users who wish to get the best rates on their Max Saver plans. It allows customers to view their daily power usage, pay their bills, and even keep track of how much they've made from feeding solar power back into the grid.
This is one of the more extensive online management systems available from any energy retailer.
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