Is Origin Energy the right supplier to power your Australian business? We talk prices, availability, green credentials, pros and cons, and more…
- No lock-in contracts or exit fees for small businesses
- Offers good discounts for new business energy customers
- Says it won’t cut off businesses who are struggling to make payments due to COVID-19
- You can choose to offset 100% of your carbon emissions with GreenPower…
- …But Origin isn’t as green overall as other suppliers
- Not available in the Northern Territory or Tasmania
- The best discounts are reserved for new customers, or those who threaten to leave
Origin Energy supplies Australian businesses (as well as homes) with gas and electricity, and can also help to set environmentally-conscious companies up with a solar energy supply. Origin is one of the country’s most well-known energy suppliers – but how well do you know its plans, prices, and pros and cons for businesses?
Thoroughly comparing business energy suppliers is important, but we know that it can also be very time-consuming. That’s why we’ve done the research for you, putting Origin under the microscope and presenting our findings so that you can easily work out whether it’s the best energy supplier for your Australian company.
Origin Energy is available to businesses in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, and the Australian Capital Territory.
That said, within these states there are some areas that Origin doesn’t supply, and some to which Origin can only supply electricity, or only supply gas. You can check your business’s address on Origin’s website to see what’s available for your premises.
What are the benefits of using Origin Energy?
To get us started, let’s take a look at some of the best things about Origin Energy. If you’re looking for key reasons to go with this business energy supplier, here they are:
✓ Good discounts
The first thing that cost-savvy business owners will want us to note is Origin Energy’s discounts.
With two of Origin’s three price plans for businesses, you’ll get a certain percentage knocked off the reference price as standard. With Origin Business Go, that discount is 12%, and with Origin Business Go Variable, you’ll get a discount of 10%. You should be wary, though, that these discounts will only last for the first 12 months of your contract.
To learn more about Origin Energy’s pricing plans for businesses, skip down to the next section, which explores how much this supplier costs in greater detail.
✓ No lock-in contracts or exit fees
Origin is flexible with its business energy contracts – you won’t be tied into your contract and, if you choose to switch suppliers down the line, you won’t be charged any exit fees to do so. This seems like a simple thing, but it’s one of those benefits that can give you peace of mind – which, for a business owner, is worth its metaphorical weight in gold.
✓ Carbon offsetting
In 2021, going green isn’t just fashionable: it’s necessary. So it’s good to know that Origin Energy can help you in that (though it’s certainly not the most environmentally friendly supplier out there – more on that later).
By adding GreenPower to your Origin business tariff, you can choose to have Origin offset 25%, 50%, or 100% of the carbon emissions associated with your chosen tariff. So, the option of a carbon neutral energy supply is there… but it does come at an extra cost of up to 2.8 cents per kWh. Skip down to our pricing section for more details.
✓ Solar energy expertise
Origin does some excellent work in the solar sector, helping businesses to get started with their own solar energy generation.
If you’re interested in making the most of that Aussie sunshine, Origin’s process is pretty simple. The company’s solar experts will consult with you, discussing your business’s electricity needs and roof size, as well as Origin’s suitable commercial solar products. They’ll then give you a quote and, if you’re happy, a contract.
Next up, Origin’s solar experts will inspect your premises, and install and activate the system. Helpfully, they’ll also handle any applications you may need to submit to your local council. Overall, the process should take approximately nine to 15 weeks.
Origin also promises to provide ongoing support via a dedicated team. You can opt to pay for your solar system on a 24-month term or a five-year term.
Another pro that stands in Origin’s favour is that it operates a feed-in tariff, which means you can sell any unneeded electricity that your solar system generates back to the grid. We have it on good authority that the amount Origin will pay you for your excess electricity (in other words, its export solar pricing) is above the state average.
▶ Read more: The Best Business Electricity Suppliers in Australia
How much does Origin Energy cost for businesses?
For small businesses, Origin Energy currently provides three plans:
- Origin Business Go, a 12-month fixed rate tariff
- Origin Business Go Variable, a 12-month variable rate tariff
- Origin Business Basic, a no-frills, fixed price tariff with no end date
Origin gives the following prices for these three energy plans (NB: these prices are based on a business that’s based in Sydney, and they include the discounts that we mentioned earlier in this review):
|Daily supply charge||Peak usage charge (per kWh)||Estimated yearly small business cost*||Daily supply charge||Peak usage charge (per MJ)|
|Origin Business Go||$1.5806||28.98 cents||$6,372||71.28 cents||3.82 cents|
|Origin Business Go Variable||$1.6165||29.63 cents||$6,517||69.84 cents||3.74 cents|
|Origin Business Basic||$1.7961||32.93 cents||$7,240||72.00 cents||3.85 cents|
*For a small business using 20,000 kWh per year, on a flat rate tariff in the Ausgrid network. Includes GST
As we mentioned earlier in this review, by adding GreenPower to your plan, you can choose to have a certain percentage of your tariff’s carbon emissions offset by Origin. This comes at an extra cost – let’s take a look at those prices:
|Percentage emissions offset||Additional price (per kWh)|
Prices accurate as of May 2021
Is Origin Energy right for my business?
What’s best for one business may not be best for the next – it all depends on your company’s values, needs, and budget. Chances are, you’re asking at least one of the three key questions we’ll address in this section.
“I want the greenest energy possible – will I get that with Origin?”
You might be satisfied with Origin, but there are greener options out there. As we’ve discussed, Origin is pretty strong in some areas of environmental friendliness. Let’s recap:
- You can choose to offset 25%, 50%, or 100% of your carbon emissions by adding GreenPower to your tariff
- Origin invests in demand response management and supports local energy trading
- Origin can help you to set up a renewable solar energy system for your business, and will pay more than average for your excess solar electricity
However, when you look into the sources of Origin’s energy supply, things start to look a little questionable. This is mostly because Origin’s baseload station – in other words, the one that provides power day and night, and which Origin invests heavily in – runs on coal seam gas (CSG), which is extracted via a controversial and environmentally harmful process known as fracking.
It’s not all bad, of course: Origin does also work with two hydropower stations and two solar farms. In 2021, though, it was reported that just 16% of Origin’s energy comes from these renewable sources. This looks pretty poor when compared to suppliers such as Powershop and Diamond Energy, both of which supply electricity from 100% renewable sources.
That said, Origin has made commitments for a greener future, including plans to chop its carbon emissions in half by 2032. By 2050, the company also plans to have exited its coal investments, and achieved net-zero emissions.
“I’m looking for the cheapest energy rates – is Origin the answer?”
This is a difficult one to answer definitively. Energy rates change depending on where in the country you’re based – the cheapest business energy supplier in Victoria, for example, may be beaten on price by another supplier in South Australia.
We can say that Origin Energy’s discounts stack up well and make its prices pretty competitive. But is it the cheapest energy supplier for your business? In this review, we can’t answer that with certainty.
What we can do, though, is point you in the direction of our free quote-matching service, which is designed to help you find the cheapest, most suitable business energy supplier for your company.
Simply answer a handful of questions about your energy needs (it only takes a minute), and our trusted broker will seek out the very best offer for you, and provide you with a personalized quote. It’s quick, easy, and free, and it saves Expert Market customers an average of $1,837 per year on their business energy bills.
“Customer service is important to me – is Origin a good choice?”
Origin has a Melbourne-based business service team, whom you can contact via phone, live chat, or social media. Now, the best way to find out how helpful, friendly, and efficient a customer service team can really be is to contact them yourself. But the next best thing is to read reviews from customers who have been there, done that, and got the t-shirt.
So, to get a flavour of Origin’s customer service prowess, let’s explore some real insights from real customers…
What do Origin Energy’s business customers say?
First up, a caveat: when sourcing customer reviews of energy suppliers, it’s famously difficult to discern business customer reviews from residential customer reviews. So, we’ve handpicked the following reviews because they tell us the most useful things about the experience that Origin gives to its customers, which should be relevant regardless of the type of customer they’ve come from.
Now that’s been cleared up, let’s get into the nitty gritty. Across the web, Origin’s reviews are… mixed. On Trustpilot, the supplier has a fantastic overall score of 4.3 out of 5, from over 800 reviews. Similarly, on Finder, it scores 4.1 out of 5, from over 40 reviews. Meanwhile, over on productreview.com.au, it scores a miserable 1.4 out of 5, from over 2,100 reviews. So it’s not quite a clean sweep.
But what exactly are these customers saying? Here are some of the most helpful comments we found:
David, Trustpilot, May 2021
Sean, Finder, March 2021
“After comparing the four sets of figures (my expiring contract, the original emailed proposal and the costs I had been told on the phone), I was to learn that the latest emailed contract was the most expensive. Had I not double checked, I would have been paying a lot more. After yet another phone call to Origin Energy, and being told that the incorrect figures had indeed been used, hopefully the situation will be remedied.”
Barbara, productreview.com.au, May 2021
Origin Energy’s discounts and flexible contracts make it a solid option for cost-conscious small businesses, while its extensive expertise in solar energy makes it a good choice for companies that are keen to benefit from their own renewable energy supply.
On the whole, Origin’s Melbourne-based customer service is rated highly by customers, although some loyal customers have found that they’re not offered rates that are as good as those given to new customers (unless they threaten to leave, in which case they get the best prices).
If your brand is environmentally conscious, Origin may not be the best choice, owing mainly to its investment in fracking, and its pretty measly renewable energy supply. That said, you can choose to offset the emissions associated with your tariff using GreenPower.
Of course, Origin is far from the only business energy supplier in Australia. If you’d like some help in finding the very best supplier for you, you should try our free quote-matching service. Just answer a few questions about your business and its energy needs, and our trusted broker will seek out the best supplier, with the best rates, for you. They’ll then provide you with a bespoke, no-obligation quote. Our service is quick, easy, and saves Expert Market customers an average of $1,837 per year on their energy bills.