The competition for your power dollar is becoming more and more fierce.
One energy company is saying they're going to shake things up.
The first shot was fired today with Origin Energy's price promise - if they can't beat a competitor’s bill, they'll give you $50 dollars.More stories from Today Tonight
“For any new customer who's currently with a different retailer, if you come across to Origin, if we can't offer you a better deal, then we'll give you a $50 gift card,” Origin Energy's general manager of corporate affairs, Phil Craig said.
“In Victoria we've got a rate free offer - call us and we can set your rate to a fixed rate for two years,” Craig said.
“We say our offers are the best offers out there. People should come to Origin and see what they can get.”
Craig says it's all about helping out in tough times.
“There's a lot of cost pressure there at the moment for families and households. What we're trying to do is find a way we can find offers, payment terms and hardship schemes, and relieve some of that pressure.”
Admirable sentiments, but do we trust them? The price promise ends on the 30th of June - one day before a draft Government report suggests our bills are set to rise between $300 and $400 a year.
So does the offer stop on June 30 because, like other energy companies, on the July 1 Origin will be raising their prices by up to sixteen per cent?
“It is a coincidence that we have our advertisements in the newspaper today, at the same time as the draft decision,” Craig said.
However former spin doctor to Kevin Rudd, Lachlan Harris says Origin are looking for good news in an arena which, for customers, is mostly bad. And that's why he set up One Big Switch.
“It is a suckerfish strategy classically. And what that means is that you get a big whale of a story, and you try to make an announcement off the back of it, and it will trail along off that, which is the price rise,” Harris said.
“My only advice is to make these wars work for us. What we've got to do is create the lowest price possible, the group discount prices which these businesses have to compete with. We can do that. Come to onebigswitch.com - it's 100 per cent free, and only takes minutes,” Harris said.
And if One Big Switch are then undercut by Origin's price promise deal, Harris says he is not fazed.
“People are starting to say ‘hold on, if i can get cheaper prices with my telephone and communication systems, why can't that be replicated with my power’,” he pointed out.
“I think this is a really exciting time for consumers.”
Marketing commentator Barry Urqhuart says the price wars we are already seeing in other arenas, such as our supermarkets, are now coming to power companies, because people are fed up.
“At the end of the working day, there's a lot of Australians decidedly ‘unrich’ because of the power bills they're paying on a monthly basis.”
Today we received an email from AGL announcing that from next week they will be offering New South Wales customers the opportunity to save $500 off the regulated tariff on a three year deal for an average energy user.
CEO of makeitcheaper.com.au Tim Wolfendend says any deal that rattles the market is good, but remains a little cynical about the Origin offer.
“It is going to be a fantastic deal for those customers who've got a great deal already. Unfortunately most customers don't, so at the end of the day Origin will be able to undercut the current prices by a few cents, and save giving the customer this $50 dollar rebate. At the end of the day all that glitters isn't gold,” Wolfenden concluded.Contact details
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