Telstra Energy launches: Are you eligible, is it really green and is it good value?
Telstra is asking potential customers to express interest in its 100% carbon neutral energy plans.
Only Telstra would silently enter the energy market when it's been hit by a perfect storm.
The timing is interesting given energy retailers are crumbling under the pressure of soaring prices.
If you're as curious as we are, then let's get into answering all the burning questions you might have about Telstra Energy.
Is Telstra Energy signing up new customers?
Telstra has signed up its first batch of customers already and is asking anyone else that wants more information to express their interest for electricity and gas plans.
Once you do that, Telstra will contact you when its energy plans become available.
It appears Telstra Energy is still in beta mode and an official launch is to be confirmed.
"Our first customers are on board now, but we expect to onboard customers gradually before we scale up," said a Telstra spokesperson.
- Good to know. Telstra will initially sell electricity plans in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and South East Queensland.
The Telstra spokesperson explained to Finder that eligibility will depend on where you live.
Once you've expressed your interest, Telstra will carry out some checks from its end first before giving you the green light.
So, what do Telstra's energy plans look like?
That's the million-dollar question. We don't know the pricing just yet since Telstra is playing it close to the chest with this one. However, we do know:
- The plans will 100% off set your carbon emissions at no extra cost to customers. It's been certified by Climate Active.
- Telstra expects to treat both new and existing customers the same. You will not be expected to pay a "loyalty tax".
- Telstra is planning to keep its offers "competitive" despite rising energy prices thanks to its investments in renewable energy.
- Energy app. You will be able to monitor your usage through the MyTelstra app (if you have a smart meter).
- Telstra's Clean Energy Tracker. You will be able to see how much renewable energy is in the grid via this tracker.
- Telstra Plus Points. Customers will earn 10 points for every $1 spent on paying their energy bill.
- Australia-based support team. Telstra's energy support team will be local-based and available to answer your questions and concerns via phone as well as the chat option in the My Telstra app.
"As the market goes through a cycle of big price rises, not all power companies are trying to attract new customers – or even keep existing ones," explained the Telstra spokesperson.
"In contrast to some of the big power companies, Telstra Energy is at the very beginning of growing its business – we must provide good value in order to win the business of our customers.
Just how green is Telstra Energy going to be?
Telstra is aiming to scale up gradually and become a "top 5 energy retailer by 2025". It's banking on its investment in renewable energy and offering 100% carbon neutral plans.
"Telstra Energy customers will receive the same electricity from the grid as they would with any retailer – a mix of fossil fuels and renewable sources. What sets us apart is our investments in renewable energy projects," the Telstra spokesperson said.
"Our focus is on delivering the same [offer] to all customers, not just pricing but also renewables backing, rather than offering "opt-in" products like GreenPower. Our investments in renewable energy are a key element in Telstra's ability to be able to offer competitive pricing to energy customers."
Is Telstra going to be competitive?
It's hard to determine just how "competitive" Telstra's energy plans will be without knowing what the prices look like just yet.
A bundling discount for energy, Internet and mobile could put Telstra in front given it's already a household brand and trusted by Aussies.
"No loyalty tax" – is it hypocrisy?
What is interesting is that Telstra doesn't want its energy customers to pay a "loyalty tax" but its mobile and broadband arms don't seem to line up with that way of thinking.
Given energy bills put a bigger dent in our wallets than mobile and broadband, we can still welcome the news that all customers will be treated the same when it comes to price.
Can we trust its green status?
Telstra's investment in renewables and 100% carbon-neutral energy plans is a strong step toward Australia's own goals of net zero. The Clean Energy Tracker is also a pretty cool feature.
We've already seen the big 3 energy retailers bulldozed in the Green Electricity Guide and in the media.
In general though, it's going to be a wait-and-watch game as more of Telstra's energy plans and initiatives come into the spotlight.
Energy prices are rising. However, there's still time to get on a fixed rate energy plan before they disappear.