Discounts on Gas and Electricity: Customer Beware

It would be easy to agree.

We have our everyday home with AGL for electricity and a local supplier for bottled gas for HW and stove.

Our other, part-time place has Origin for electricity and also town reticulated gas.

Sometime previously both moved us onto discounted rates (plans in their speak), simply for paying on time. Lots of anger with both at the time as we always paid in time.

When you compare the charges for either the total bottom line bill for the same usage is much the same.

While AGL have a higher feedin for solar 20c vs Origin 17c they are offset by similar differences in usage and daily connection charges. Both charge a daily solar metering charge, a rort in any form given the smart meters save the monthly or quarterly meter readers cost.

We will be shopping around after our next bills, which will have the first full quarter for each with PV benefits.


In many cases yes. My last change was a 30% saving on prime time use, a modest saving on ‘after hours’ ($0.01 kwh), and deuce on service after all BS and discounts applied. The effort is actually quite minimal. YMMV.

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Changing is indeed very easy. One phone call to the new provider or online. We’ve moved home, changed supplier often enough to have that down to a fine art.

Identifying the best supplier and being confident that the agreed rates will not suddenly change may be far from trivial.

Getting past the BS on each retailers web site that only wants to feed you misleading discount rates and estimated average bills is not a one minute activity. Noting here Choice has recently announced it is discontinuing it’s service to find the best electricity deal due to the high cost of providing the service in a complex market place.

I have recently done battle over the phone with AGL and Origin following solar PV installs. Starting point only. Powershop using iselect on line seemed to be a better supply option, however the iselect web site did not apply feedin benefits to the bill estimate. There is a significant difference between the three on this basis. And notably iselect’s site produced slightly different cost estimates for EG Origin compared to the current bill despite being fed exactly the same inputs?

It seems the best way to find the best deal remains putting out a few hours to canvas carefully all the contenders on the phone and then recheck the facts if you can find them on line? A manual comparison of the options.

p.s. The relative difference between the rates for purchased power and the solar feed in tariff are now the most significant influence on the final bill to be paid.

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Comparing service providers is really no different to buying a car, fridge, and other products. If the item has reasonable value to you then some time spent comparing will pay off. If it was just a kettle to boil water then sure a very fast choice probably is enough time spent but for something of more considerable value then the time spent could/should well and truly pay for itself.

I am not happy with the system we have to purchase our electricity but for the sake of debate if it was vanilla you would only really need one retailer, then hear the cries of “Monopoly” “We want choice” and other similar veined utterances. As the saying goes “Damned if you do and damned if you don’t”.


Amaysim has offered a cheap teaser deal to get customers to sign up. They will be charging $1 for the first month’s usage and then a set amount per month after (set amount of power) with the kWh cost after that limit between 37 cents and 40 cents depending on which plan you sign up to. This ongoing cost is much higher than other kWh rates available through other suppliers. On the Amaysim plans you get a set amount of electricity for a set fee and then you have to pay a top up of again a set amount. Click Energy is the Electricity retailer subsidiuary of Amaysim that was found to have mislead customers about costs and paying bills early.

To read a couple of articles (first about the new deal and second about the fine for misleading):

I apologise to anyone who hits a paywall on trying to visit the SMH site but hopefully most if not all will be able to read them. If using Win 10 the News app should allow you to read the first article without facing a possible paywall.