EnergyAustralia launches subscription plans

EnergyAustralia

EnergyAustralia will begin selling subscription electricity plans in New South Wales as part of a trial for what it says will make energy simpler and fairer for customers.

Inspired by mobile phone plans, EnergyAustralia is launching two subscription plans, Easy Plan and Easy Plan Plus, which are available to existing and new customers. 

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 diferent plan sizes with set amounts of electricity usage, or for a few dollars extra, 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.

“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.”

Related article: Vic energy regulator sets default offer price for 2020

Mr Colette 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 Colette 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 EnergyAustralia’s subscription plans work

Easy Plan

Under Easy Plan, customers with smart meters have the choice of five different “sizes” of electricity usage allowance: XS, S, M and XL – each size reflecting the included electricity usage each month over a 12-month period.

For example, a customer living in a three-to-four-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.

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 unexpected high energy bills: a common occurrence 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.

Related article: ACOSS pleads for energy efficiency improvements to homes

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 are no lock-in contracts, complex tariff rates or confusing discounts. Easy Plans are subject to a fair use policy.

EnergyAustralia trials new products through new customer innovation platform: ON

Easy Plan and Easy Plan Plus are the first products to be trialled on EnergyAustralia’s new customer innovation platform, On by EnergyAustralia.

The purpose of On is to give the company the capability to trial new solutions with customers. 

“We think of On as a series of controlled experiments. We’ll be using expert insight from our customers to learn and iterate our products and services based on their feedback before we make them widely available,” Mr Colette said.

Like Easy Plan, products made available through On will be initially made available to a limited pool of eligible customers.   

EnergyAustralia’s Easy Plan range is available from today in New South Wales only. Customers can sign-up online here.