It can be hard to predict how much your electricity plan will cost from month to month, particularly when the seasons change. But now there’s a new way to pay for electricity and it’s like your mobile plan.
From today, we are trialling subscription-style electricity plans in New South Wales. Unlike traditional rate-based plans, which charge customers based on the amount of electricity they use, each new subscription plan has a simple, regular monthly price – just like a phone plan.
Customers can choose between two plan types: Easy Plan, which provide a fixed amount of included energy usage each month, and Easy Plan Plus, which – for a few dollars extra – includes all usage, giving you the benefit of protection from unexpected high energy bills: a common occurrence during summer and winter.
Mark Collette, EnergyAustralia’s head of customer business, said the new plans were developed in response to customer feedback. “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 says.
“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.”
Mark says the mobile-phone industry had ‘cracked the pricing code’ by offering simple, flat pricing with safeguards in place to prevent bills from escalating.
Here’s how the new energy plans work:
Customers with smart meters can choose from five different plan sizes: XS, S, M, L and XL. Each plan includes a fixed amount of energy to be used over a 12-month period. The energy is divided equally over the year and customers are charged a flat rate each month.
If a customer goes over the included monthly energy allowance, the Easy Plan will be automatically ‘topped up’ with additional energy (equal to an average day’s 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 and they can easily change plan sizes once a month if they find they’re topping up or rolling over too often.
Easy Plan Plus
Customers who want greater protection from unexpected high energy bills can choose Easy Plan Plus, which allows for fluctuations in electricity usage without the need for top ups.
Customers can personalise their plan’s flat monthly fee based on the amount of energy they use and where they live. Easy Plan Plus gives customers confidence that if they use more energy than normal, they won’t pay extra.
While there are no energy limits imposed, a fair-use policy applies.
Key benefits of the new plans:
- 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, manage your account
- A plan that can adapt to your usage needs: Customers can change plans 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.
- To be eligible: Customers must pay by direct debit and receive bills and other correspondence by email. Easy Plans are subject to a fair use policy.
- No catches: There’s no lock-in contracts, complex tariff rates or confusing discounts
Find out more about On by EnergyAustralia here: www.experienceon.com.au