AGL Review Guide: Pros and Cons of Being an AGL Customer
As one of The Big Three (alongside Origin Energy and EnergyAustralia), AGL is one of the biggest energy companies in the country. With so many customers, you might be considering AGL as your next energy provider, but is AGL a good choice? Find out everything you might want to know about AGL, by reading more below, and decide if AGL is the best energy provider for you today.
Overview of AGL
AGL, one of the biggest energy providers in Australia, provides a number of different home solutions to their more than 3.95 million customers across the country. This doesn’t just include electricity and gas, but also includes home broadband, smart home packages, and solar home solutions.
|New South Wales|
AGL offers numerous electricity and gas plans, these include:
- AGL Essentials: Fixed rates for 12 months with a total discount
- AGL Essentials Saver: A simple home energy plan with variable rates
- AGL Solar: A smaller total discount, with a higher solar feed-in-tariff
- AGL Electric Vehicle Plan: Exclusive for EV owners, who not only get a great discount on energy rates, but additional credits (up to $480 over two years) to help save while charging their car
All AGL plans come with an additional $50 sign-up credit per fuel type, flexible billing and payment methods that include free e-billing or traditional paper billing for $1.75, a 12 month benefit period that will be automatically extended, and the ability to change plans or leave AGL with no additional fees.
AGL Rewards All AGL customers have access to 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 your can save on groceries and fuel, shopping, and dining experiences.
Our AGL review: The advantages and disadvantages of AGL
Here, you can find our detailed review of AGL, with all of the information you need to make an informed decision about whether they are right for you. Looking at information such as AGL prices, billing and payment flexibility, financial support, and their investment in renewables, we detail the good and the bad about AGL.
AGL services: Not just energy
AGL offers a variety of home services for customers, not just electricity and natural gas. This includes broadband services, smart home packages, and programs for electric vehicle users.
AGL internet plans: AGL offers three NBN broadband services at NBN25, NBN50, and NBN100 speeds with unlimited data and the option to BYO modem. When you bundle your AGL energy plan with an internet plan, you could save an additional $15 per month.
AGL smart home: AGL has six smart home starter kits available, giving you the option to choose Google Nest or Amazon Alexa as your smart home system. AGL smart home packages start at $108, and you can choose to pay it off either all at once, over 12 months, or over 24 months.
AGL and 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 car, insurance, and maintenance, as well as the installation of a charging station by a qualified electrician. In addition, AGL will be launching it’s Smart Charging Trial to 300 EV owners in early 2021, 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 plan, AGL Essentials, is 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 and renewables
As one of The Big Three, AGL had the unfortunate, alternate title of “The Dirty Three”, meaning they, along with Origin Energy and EnergyAustralia, were some of the worst for emitting carbon emissions. However, with recent pushes for more renewable energy across Australia, is this still the case?
GreenPower: AGL is a GreenPower accredited energy provider, meaning customers can opt to pay a little bit extra every month to offset their carbon emissions. AGL customers can opt for 10%, 20%, or 100% carbon offset, thus reducing the impact of their energy usage on the environment. Unlike some other energy providers, AGL customers do need to pay for their GreenPower, which might be a deterrent to some.
Carbon Neutral: Outside of GreenPower, AGL also offers a carbon neutral option by Climate Active for as little as $1 per week.
GreenPeace: The Green Electricity Guide, with its most recent iteration in 2018, listed AGL as the “most improved” energy provider on their list, coming it at number five with 3.5/5 stars. GreenPeace cites AGL’s investments in wind and solar farms, as well as commitments to close their existing coal-fired plants by 2050.
Solar PV systems: AGL is an accredited solar retailer, and offers two solar PV system bundles with an included solar battery, starting at $15,244 (or $268 per month) with $0 deposit. However, unlike Origin Energy’s solar packages, AGL’s payment plan is not interest-free.
Solar energy plan: AGL is one of the few energy providers that offers both a discount off the reference price and a higher solar feed-in-tariff with their solar energy electricity plan. While Origin Energy offers the highest solar FiT on the market with their Solar Boost Plus plan, you need to purchase your solar PV system through Origin. AGL has no such requirements, while still offering a comparable solar feed-in-tariff.
AGL billing and payments
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
AGL My Account is available both online, and via their AGL app. With AGL my account you can better manage your electricity, gas, and solar through:
- Usage and consumption tracking including projected bills
- Easy billing and payments with one-touch pay
- Account management to update your details, manage payment methods, and keep an eye on multiple property accounts
AGL My Account also lets you:
- Track your solar exports
- Request a payment extension
- Manage and use your AGL Rewards
- Add another authorised person onto your account
AGL customer service and regulation
The Australian Energy Regulator releases their 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 2018-2019, AGL has improved on their already better-than-average customer service between 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 in the following ways:
- Between 2017-18 and 2018-19, AGL improved the number of calls taken within 30 seconds (from 78% to 87%)
- The average wait time for a call reduced from 37 seconds, to 17 seconds
- The number of calls abandoned before being answered improved from 3% to 2%
In addition, AGL has slowly been improving in their number of customer complaints, according to the AER Market Retail Report for 2018-2019.
|2017-18 complaints to retailer||2018-19 complaints to retailer||2018-19 complaints to energy ombudsmen|
|New South Wales||45,050 complaints
5.6% of customers
5.2% of customers
4.7% of customers
3.7% of customers
|South Australia||15,441 complaints
4.5% of customers
4.1% of customers
|National total||77,148 complaints
4.933% of customers
4.33% of customers
*Victoria and Western Australia are not represented in the AER Market Retail Reports.
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 1,664 reviews. This includes:
- 1,435 one-star reviews
- 62 five-star reviews
- Complaints include difficult customer service, not receiving their bonus credit, and excessively high billing
TrustPilot customers give AGL 1.6 out of 5 stars with a total of 656 reviews on their page, which is broken down into the following numbers:
- 30% five-star reviews
- 34% one-star reviews
- Complaints include difficulty getting into contact with AGL, and bill shock
MOZO customers give AGL 6.7 out of 10 stars with 1,669 total customer reviews. This includes:
- 6 out 10 stars for price
- 6.4 out of 10 stars for bill clarity
- 6.6 stars out of 10 for customer service
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 and as shown above, according to the AER, the total number of complaints AGL has received is reducing while their call center times have improved.
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.
|Pros of AGL|
|AGL Services: AGL doesn’t just offer electricity and gas. If you’re interested in electric vehicles, smart home features, or internet bundles, AGL offers all of them in one place|
|Billing and payment methods: AGL offers flexibility to pay your bills in a way that works for you. Whether it’s with Bill Smoothing or Pay My Way, you can keep on top of your energy bills in many different ways|
|AGL My Account: AGL My Account gives you the ability to manage and control your energy account either online or with the AGL app. There you can pay bills, manage your services, see your usage, and request payment extensions|
|Renewables: AGL was voted “Most Improved” energy provider according to GreenPeace’s Green Electricity Provider report, with the energy provider promising to reduce their coal-fire plants in the near future.s|
|Customer service and regulation: The Australian Energy Regulator notes that AGL has slowly been improving their customer calling experience, while reducing the total number of complaints against them.|
|Cons of AGL|
|Rates and prices: AGL offers mid-tier rates, which do include generous discounts but are not the cheapest electricity prices you can find on the market|
|AGL customer reviews: AGL customers give the energy provider less-than-stellar online reviews. However, these are comparable to other energy providers, and don’t reflect all customers thoughts on AGL|