AGL Review Guide: Pros and Cons of Being an AGL Customer
Pros and cons of AGL
Pros of AGL
- More services than just home energy.
- Flexible billing and payment methods.
- Easy account management with AGL My Account.
- Voted "most improved" in GreenPeace's 2018 Green Electricity Provider report.
- Best call response times of any major energy retailer (according to the AER).
Cons of AGL
- Mid-tier electricity and gas rates.
- Low customer ratings online.
- Still heavily relies on non-renewable energy generation.
AGL is one of the biggest energy providers in the country, offering not only electricity and gas to customers across the country but also additional home utility services including AGL internet bundles, smart home packages, and more. To find out if you should switch to an AGL energy plan, keep reading below to find out if AGL is the best energy provider for you.
Overview of AGL energy plans in Australia
With more than 3.95 million customers across the country, AGL is one of the biggest energy providers in the country. In terms of electricity and gas plans, AGL has multiple offers available including:
- AGL Essentials Plus: Get fixed rates for 24 months with a total-bill discount
- AGL Basics: A simple home energy plan with variable rates for 12 months
- AGL Solar: A higher solar feed-in-tariff but a lower discount off your energy rates
- AGL Electric Vehicles Plan (Exclusive for EV owners): Get a total discount off your energy bill plus up to $480 in credits over two years to save while charging your electric vehicle
All AGL energy plans offer flexible billing and payment options, including fee-free ebilling or traditional paper billing for $1.75, and no exit fees should you decide to cancel your contract. In addition, most AGL energy plans come with additional credits on your electricity and gas bill (up to $400 in credits over 24 months).
AGL Rewards All AGL customers have access to AGL Rewardshttps://selectra.com.au/energy/providers/agl/rewards when they sign up for a gas or electricity plan. As an AGL customer, you can register for AGL Rewards by accessing your AGL My Account. With AGL Rewards you can save on groceries and fuel, shopping, and dining experiences.
Where is AGL energy available?
Thanks to the nature of the energy market in Australia, AGL energy plans aren’t available in every state or territory. Below, you can find the states where AGL retails its electricity and gas plans.
|New South Wales|
Our AGL review: The advantages and disadvantages of AGL
If you’re looking to find out more about AGL before signing up, you can find our detailed AGL review below. Here you’ll find everything from AGL rates and offers to billing and payment options, to their financial hardship policy, and commitment to renewables, along with everything else you need to know about AGL.
AGL energy, broadband, and more
AGL offers more than just electricity and gas plans, including AGL broadband services, smart home packages, and programs for electric vehicle owners.
AGL internet plans: Save an additional $15 a month when you bundle your AGL energy plan with an AGL broadband plan. AGL has three NBN plans available at NBN25, NBN50, and NBN100 with unlimited data and the option to BYO NBN-enabled modem.
AGL smart home packages: AGL has six smart home starter kits available, with either Google Nest or Amazon Alexa. AGL smart home packages start at $108 and can be paid off immediately or over 24 months.
AGL electric vehicles: In addition to AGL’s electric vehicle plan, AGL offers more for EV users and those interested in EV. This includes AGL’s electric vehicle subscription plan, starting at $299 per week, which covers the cost of the car, insurance, and maintenance, as well as the installation of a charging station by a qualified electrician. AGL has also just launched its Smart Charging Trial to 300 EV owners, in an effort to reduce pressure on the grid.
AGL rates and discounts
AGL rates and plans are mid-tier, and virtually no different than it’s main competitors Origin Energy and EnergyAustralia. Their cheapest electricity offers are comparable to EnergyAustralia and Origin Energy’s discounts in New South Wales and South Australia, while offering slightly better rates in Victoria and South-East Queensland. However, customers in all states where AGL retails will probably find bigger discounts and cheaper rates with other electricity providers.
Cheapest electricity in Australia? Compare plans, look at rates, and find the best energy provider by comparing the cheapest electricity providers in Australia.
AGL renewable initiatives
As one of the three biggest energy generators and retailers in Australia, AGL, along with Origin Energy and EnergyAustralia, were some of the worst offenders for carbon emissions. However, with recent pushes for more renewable energy initiatives, is AGL still one of the most polluting energy providers in the country?
GreenPower: As a GreenPower accredited energy provider, customers can choose to pay a little bit extra every month to offset some or all of their carbon emissions. AGL customers can choose between 10% to 100% of their emissions to offset every month, thus reducing the impact of their energy usage on the environment.
Carbon Neutral: In addition to GreenPower, AGL customers can also choose a carbon neutral energy option through Climate Active, for as little as $1 per week.
Greenpeace: GreenPeace’s Green Electricity Guide, with its most recent edition from 2018, listed AGL as the “most improved” energy provider on their list, coming in fifth with 3.5 out of 5 stars. GreenPeace cites AGL’s investments in wind and solar farms, as well as commitments to close their existing coal-fired plants by 2050, as reasons for their “most improved” award.
Solar energy and solar panels: AGL is an accredited solar retailer, meaning customers who are interested in investing in residential solar energy can purchase a solar PV system bundle through AGL. AGL solar PV systems start at $16,529 ($290 per month) with $0 deposit.
AGL billing and payment methods
AGL offers flexible billing and payment options to its customers. These include:
- Pay with the AGL app or via AGL My Account
- Pay online using a credit card or PayPal
- Automatic direct debit payments
- BPAY through your financial institution
- PayPal using your PayPal account details
- SMS payments
- Send your cheque and payment slip by post
- In person at any post office
In addition, AGL helps make keeping up with your bills easier by giving you flexibility with when you pay, and how much:
- Bill smoothing: Make consistent payments to even out the cost of your energy
- Pay my way: Choose either weekly, monthly, or fortnightly to pay your energy bill in installments before the due date
- Scheduled payments: Choose a date to schedule a one-off payment via your AGL My Account
AGL financial hardship help
If you’re having trouble paying your energy bills with AGL, they offer many ways to help you keep on top of your payments. You can easily request a bill payment extension through AGL My Account, or looking into AGL Bill Smoothing for more manageable payments. If you need additional help, AGL’s Staying Connected Program offers:
- A tailored payment plan that considers your current financial situation
- Information about different payment options, as well as concessions and rebates that might be available to you
- Free and independent financial counselling support
AGL My Account
All AGL customers have access to AGL My Account, both online and via the AGL app. With AGL My Account, customers can manage their electricity, gas, and solar energy generation by:
- Tracking usage and consumption, including projected future bills
- Simplifying billing and payment through one-touch pay
- Managing their account, including updating details, managing bill payment methods, and keeping track of multiple properties on one account
- What else can AGL My Account do?
- Track solar exports
- Request a payment extension
- Manage AGL Rewards
- Manage authorised users on a single account
- Organise your energy relocation when you move house
AGL customer service and regulation
The Australian Energy Regulator releases its Retail Market Report every year, which shows how energy providers are doing in the National Electricity Market. According to the AER Retail Market Report for 2019-2020, AGL continues to rank as the best major energy provider according to Retailer Call Responsiveness.
|Percentage of calls taken within 30 seconds||Average wait times (in seconds)||Percentage of calls abandoned before being answered|
|Origin Energy||53%||145 seconds||10%|
Source: AER Retail Market Report 2019-2020. Table 5.1 Retailer Call Responsiveness
The AER Retail Market Report also tracks and measures the number of complaints about energy providers, to both the energy retailer and the energy ombudsmen.
In 2019-2020 AGL received 41,703 complaints from customers which represents 3% of their customers.
The energy ombudsmen received 5,376 complaints about AGL in 2019-2020 which is 13% of all retailer complaints
Customer ratings and AGL reviews
Choosing to purchase anything online often requires scanning the web for customer reviews, and choosing your energy provider is no different. Here, we outline what other customers think of AGL, according to various sources across the web.
ProductReview customers give AGL 1.3 out of 5 stars out of 1,774 reviews. This includes:
- 1,535 one-star reviews
- 63 five-star reviews
- Complaints include difficult customer service, not receiving their bonus credit, and excessively high billing
TrustPilot customers give AGL 1.5 out of 5 stars with a total of 668 reviews on their page, which is broken down into the following numbers:
- 30% five-star reviews
- 35% one-star reviews
- Complaints include difficulty getting into contact with AGL, and bill shock
AGL reviews online are very similar to other large energy providers, and it’s important to remember customers are more likely to post a negative review than a positive one. Online AGL reviews only account for a small number of customers.
AGL review verdict: Should I switch to AGL?
As one of The Big Three, AGL is a large energy retailer with millions of customers across the country. But, is AGL any good? While AGL might not be the most competitive energy retailer on the market in terms of price, they offer a lot more than most energy providers. If you have solar energy, and don't want to give up a discount off the reference price in exchange for a higher solar FiT, AGL might be a good fit for you, but if you're just looking for the cheapest electricity rates, or an energy provider with stellar customer reviews, you're probably better off comparing a bit more. No matter who you choose as an energy provider, Selectra is here to help make the process a little easier.