EnergyAustralia has begun selling subscription electricity plans inspired by mobile phone plans in New South Wales.
Two subscription plans have been launched, Easy Plan and Easy Plan Plus, as part of a trial to make energy simpler and fairer.
The plans mark a step away from traditional rate-based plans where customers are charged for their energy usage by the kilowatt-hour or the time of day the energy is being used.
Instead, like a phone plan, for a regular monthly price, customers have the option of two types of plans: one with different plan sizes with set amounts of electricity usage, or for an additional cost, a plan that includes all their usage.
EnergyAustralia’s Head of Customer, Mark Collette, said he wanted customers to use energy in their home efficiently and confidently.
“Certain factors have shaped energy pricing as we know it – but it’s time to think a little bigger,” Mr Collette said.
“Many aspects of energy plans cause headaches for customers. The terminology used, the different rates – customers shouldn’t need a spreadsheet or a glossary to understand their energy plan and bill,” he said.
“We asked customers what they want: they told us they want to be able to make an informed decision; they want increased control over their bills, they want to know how to use energy more efficiently in their households and lower their energy bills.”
Mark said other industries, such as the mobile industry, have cracked the code: with simple, flat pricing built around usage, and safeguards to prevent bills from escalating.
“We want to experiment with new ways to try to make energy simpler, smarter and more intuitive,” Mr Collette said.
“We have taken some of our customers through Easy Plans and overwhelmingly the response was positive. They told us they liked the sound of having a regular price each month and knowing there were measures to prevent bills from going up and up, especially during summer and winter when they generally use more energy.”
How the plans work
Under Easy Plan, customers with smart meters have the choice of five different “sizes” of electricity usage allowance: XS, S, M, L and XL – each size reflecting the included electricity usage each month over a 12-month period.
For example, a customer living in a 3-4-bedroom household in Western Sydney using around 10,150 kWh a year would pay a flat monthly fee of $214 a month over 12 months (reference pricing information is displayed further below).
If a customer goes over their included monthly usage allowance, they will be automatically topped up with additional electricity usage* for $10 per top-up. Any unused energy is automatically rolled over to the next month (or whenever the customer needs it) to ensure nothing goes to waste. Customers will receive regular usage alerts so they know how they’re tracking. Customers can easily change plan sizes once a month if they find they’re topping up or rolling over too often.
Easy Plan Plus
Easy Plan Plus is the perfect solution for customers who want to ‘set and forget’ but still have the benefit of protection from unexpectedly high energy bills: a common occurence during summer and winter.
With all electricity usage included, customers can personalise their plan’s monthly price based on how much electricity they use and where they live.
While there are no usage limits imposed, a fair use policy applies.^
Key features of the Easy Plan range
- A regular, monthly payment for a set usage allowance instead of pay-as-you-go usage, removing confusing discounts, varying tariffs and rates.
- What you see is what you get: simple to easy understand pricing means bills will be more straightforward plus the convenience of direct debit and having 24/7 online access to MyEnergy to manage your account.
- A plan that can adapt to your usage needs: Easy Plan customers can change plan sizes once a month at no extra cost.
- Usage alerts: Easy Plan customers will receive weekly usage alerts to help them stay on top of their energy usage and make changes to their service if required.
- Eligibility: customers must pay by direct debit and receive bills and other correspondence by email. As this is a limited trial, other eligibility criteria apply.
No catches: There’s no lock-in contracts, complex tariff rates or confusing discounts. Easy Plans are subject to a fair use policy.^