Retail price reductions: who’s charging what in 2019

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A number of energy retailers have unveiled the discounts their customers will have access to for 2019, including AGL and Origin Energy.

Red Energy and Lumo Energy

Snowy Hydro’s retailers Red Energy and Lumo Energy will offer all their electricity customers on standing offers an automatic and unconditional discount of 10 per cent commencing January 1, 2019.

Customers in Victoria, South Australia, New South Wales and Queensland will receive energy savings on their electricity bills of between $195 and $270 per year for an average user.

There are no conditions – customers will not have to wait twelve months to be eligible for the discount, nor will they have to be a concession customer, a pensioner or a health care card holder.

AGL

AGL will cut electricity and gas prices in Victoria by 1.6 per cent on 1 January 2019 to save households an average of $23 a year, with the average saving for small businesses estimated to be $60 a year.

Gas prices will come down by 0.9 per cent for residential customers and 1.2 per cent for small businesses. This will result in an average saving of $11 for household gas customers and $56 for small business gas customers.

This comes two weeks after AGL introduced a new safety net protection that provides automatic discounts of up to 10 per cent for electricity customers who have been on standing offers for more than a year.

The move follows cuts to AGL electricity prices in SA, Queensland and NSW in July.

Origin Energy

Origin Energy will provide concession card holders in New South Wales, ACT, Queensland and South Australia on standing offers or non-discounted plans an automatic 10 per cent discount on electricity usage charges from 1 January 2019.

The 10 per cent discounts in NSW, ACT, Queensland and South Australia will see more than 230,000 concession card holders save an average of $169 off Origin’s already low standing offer rate.

In Victoria, Origin will continue the offer introduced last year, providing substantial discounts of 26 per cent to concession card holders and 17 per cent to customers on standing offers or non-discounted plans.

Customers in Origin’s hardship program, Power On, will continue to receive the tariff freeze that has been in place since mid-2017, saving them on average $695 through guaranteed discounts and lower prices.

The discounts come on top of $80 million (pre-tax) worth of network charges and green scheme costs that Origin absorbed to hold prices flat for Origin electricity customers in NSW earlier this year.

EnergyAustralia

Earlier this month, EnergyAustralia announced that from January 2019 it would automatically apply 15 per cent discounts on electricity and gas usage for its eligible concession-card customers on default or “standing offer” tariffs.
It has since announced that it will keep electricity prices flat for customers in Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory in 2019, and that they will be reduced for Queensland customers.
The average annual residential gas bill for EnergyAustralia’s Victorian customers will however increase 4.2 per cent for 2019, or by around $69. The rise reflects the higher cost of buying and transporting gas due to restricted supply in Australia’s east-coast market.
EnergyAustralia Chief Customer Officer, Chris Ryan, said households could avoid the rise in gas bills, and keep rates for gas, as well as for electricity, flat for next year, by switching to the company’s Secure Saver plan, which for a limited time will allow customers to lock-in 2018 rates for the next two years.
Mr Ryan said Secure Saver was like “hitting the pause button” on some of the cost-of-living pressures people are under and would save the average gas customer around $138 over a two-year benefit period, based on the current price changes.

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