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Energy Locals Review: Should You Switch to Energy Locals?

Energy Locals is one of the few energy providers in Australia that sells their electricity at wholesale rates, giving customers access to some of the lowest electricity prices available on the market. This might sound enticing to some, but are the potential savings worth it? If you’re interested in Energy Locals and their unique and innovative business model, keep reading below to learn everything you need to know about Energy Locals.


Energy Locals review of plans and rates

Energy Locals is one of the few wholesale electricity retailers on the market, meaning they sell the electricity they purchase from generators, to the consumer at cost. In order to access these wholesale rates customers, in turn, pay a monthly membership fee. This means that Energy Locals does not profit off the amount of energy their customers use and, as an energy company with a strong focus on renewable energy and community projects, this means they are motivated to reduce your energy usage and help save you even more.

Energy Locals wholesale electricity plans are among the cheapest electricity plans on the market with their wholesale rates, and additional discount if you pay on time. Below, you can find an outline of Energy Locals plans, as well as their electricity rates for each state they retail in, so you can better compare and choose the best electricity plan for you.

Energy Locals electricity plans

Energy Locals has two plans available to their customers in Australia. Energy Locals retails in:

Both Energy Locals plans give customers 100% carbon neutral power, at no extra cost, free membership to their wholesale rates for the first four months, and a guarantee to always be lower than the Default Market Offer.

 

Energy Locals electricity plans
Online Member Local Member*
  • Online-only account management via portal, live chat, or email
  • Lowest membership fees
  • Direct debit required
  • Phone, chat, & email Energy Locals customer service
  • No credit card fees
  • Flexible payment methods

*Victorians only have access to the Local Member electricity plan (called Local Saver in Victoria) with a $15.99/month membership

Pricing wholesale electricity It’s important to note that all energy providers are required, by law, to compare their energy plans to the reference price within each distribution network. Due to the fluctuating nature of the wholesale energy market, wholesale electricity retailers such as Energy Locals must estimate the savings customers will receive. During times when there is little demand on the grid, energy prices might be much lower, while during spikes in demand, electricity rates might be higher than stated.

Energy Locals rates

Thanks to their wholesale pricing, Energy Locals has some of the cheapest electricity rates on the market. Here, you can find Energy Locals rates by state, as well as the estimated savings and annual cost based on the Default Market Offer for the distribution network.

Energy Locals electricity rates NSW
Online Member Local Member
Discount off the reference price 20% discount
+ 4% pay-on-time discount
16% discount
+ 5% pay-on-time discount
Membership $12.99 / month $17.99 / month
Daily supply charge 53c / day 53c / day
Usage rates 21c / kWh 21c / kWh
Estimated annual cost $1,168 / year $1,228 / year

Rates based on single-rate tariff for the Ausgrid distribution network. Average annual cost based on average annual yearly usage of 3,9000kWh per year and includes membership fee. Rates may vary. Valid December 2020.

Energy Locals electricity rates ACT
Online Member Local Member
Discount off the reference price 15% discount
+ 3% pay-on-time discount
12% discount
+ 3% pay-on-time discount
Membership $12.99 / month $17.99 / month
Daily supply charge 61c / day 61c / day
Usage rates 20c / kWh 20c / kWh
Estimated annual cost $1,685 / year $1,745 / year

Rates based on single-rate tariff for the Evoenergy distribution network. Average annual cost based on average annual yearly usage of 6,534kWh per year and includes membership fee. Rates may vary. Valid December 2020.

Energy Locals electricity rates VIC
Local Saver
Discount off the reference price 4% discount
Membership $15.99 / month
Daily supply charge 57c / day
Usage rates 24c / kWh
Estimated annual cost $1,360 / year

Rates based on single-rate tariff for the Citipower distribution network. Average annual cost based on average annual yearly usage of 4,0000kWh per year and includes membership fee. Rates may vary. Valid December 2020.

Energy Locals electricity rates QLD
Online Member Local Member
Discount off the reference price 14% discount
+ 3% pay-on-time discount
10% discount
+ 5% pay-on-time discount
Membership $12.99 / month $17.99 / month
Daily supply charge 73c / day 73c / day
Usage rates 19c / kWh 19c / kWh
Estimated annual cost $1,296 / year $1,356 / year

Rates based on single-rate tariff for the Energex distribution network. Average annual cost based on average annual yearly usage of 4,6000kWh per year and includes membership fee. Rates may vary. Valid December 2020.

Energy Locals electricity rates SA
Online Member Local Member
Discount off the reference price 20% discount
+ 3% pay-on-time discount
17% discount
+ 4% pay-on-time discount
Membership $12.99 / month $17.99 / month
Daily supply charge 62c / day 62c / day
Usage rates 27c / kWh 27c / kWh
Estimated annual cost $1,462 / year $1,522 / year

Rates based on block-rate tariff for SA Power Networks. Average annual cost based on average annual yearly usage of 4,0000kWh per year and includes membership fee. Rates may vary. Valid December 2020

Energy Locals review: The good and the bad

Electricity rates are an important factor in choosing an energy provider, but they aren’t the only factor. Here you can find a breakdown of other aspects - both the good and the bad - about Energy Locals so you can make the best informed decision about your energy provider and switch today.

Energy Locals, renewable energy, and community service

 GreenPeace Green Electricity Guide: Energy Locals ranks third overall, in GreenPeace’s 2018 Green Electricity Guide, with 4 out of 5 stars. GreenPeace likes that Energy Locals takes a strong public stance against fossil fuels and their support for community energy projects and local energy trading (P2P energy trading) as well as Energy Locals above-average solar FiT, and the fact that they don’t have contracts to buy energy from fossil fuel power stations. However, GreenPeace does state that Energy Locals does not promote energy efficiency and is not involved in demand management and response. It’s important to note that since 2018 when the Green Electricity Guide came out, EnergyLocals has been investing in Virtual Power Plants, which promote electricity demand management.

 Community initiatives: Energy Locals supports many different organisations, initiatives, and charities, and customers can register a fundraiser for everything from schools, sports clubs, or social clubs.

 Solar: Energy Locals does not directly install solar panels for customers, but can help point you in the right direction for finding a registered solar installer. In addition, while their solar feed-in-tariff might not be the biggest available on the market, when coupled with their wholesale rates customers could potentially save hundreds per year.

 Innovation: Energy Locals is an innovative energy provider, investing in unique solutions to give all Australians better access to sustainable and low-cost energy. This includes their partnerships with Tesla and the South Australian Virtual Power Plant for Housing SA recipients, as well as partnering with Enosi to deliver P2P energy trading to neighborhoods and communities.

Energy Locals billing and payment methods

As is the case with most smaller energy providers, Energy Locals does not offer the same variety in billing and payment methods that some of the larger energy providers do. The ways you can pay your Energy Locals bill also depends on the energy plan you are on:

 Energy Locals Online Member: If you’re on the Energy Locals Online Member plan, you have to agree to direct debit during the signup process.

 Energy Locals Local Member: If you’re on the Local Member plan, you have the option of paying by direct debit (which is recommended), online with a credit or debit card, or via BPAY with Energy Locals BPAY Biller Code and your reference number found on your energy bill.

If you’re having trouble keeping up with your Energy Locals bills, you can also request SmoothPay to even out your energy costs into fortnightly or monthly payments.

Energy Locals financial hardship support

Energy Locals offers financial hardship help to customers who might need it. If you’re experiencing one of the following issues related to financial difficulty, you might be able to seek additional help. These include:

  • A history of late payments
  • Broken a payment plan
  • Requested a payment extension
  • Received a disconnection warning or have been disconnected for a non-payment
  • You’ve been referred to the program by a community worker
  • You explain your financial hardship situation to Energy Locals
  • You’re eligible for a relief grant or emergency assistance
  • You’ve experienced sudden personal circumstances where support might help (such as job loss or death in the family)

It’s important to contact Energy Locals as soon as possible, to ensure you get the financial support you need to keep up with your energy bills. If you’re accepted into Energy Locals Hardship Program, Energy Locals will:

  • Ensure you’re on the right energy plan
  • Tell you about government energy concessions, schemes, or rebates that might be available to you
  • Help you reduce your energy consumption
  • Work out a payment plan with an amount you can afford

Energy Locals might also contact you first, if you have a history of missing payments or they believe you might need additional support.

Energy Locals customer service and regulation

Every year, the annual Retail Markets Report from the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) and the Retail Energy Competition Review from the Australian Energy Market Commission show how energy providers have fared over the past year. This includes how energy providers have improved (or worsened) their customer service and customer complaints. According to the 2019-20 Retail Markets Report, Energy Locals call responsiveness experienced the following:

  • The number of calls taken within 30 seconds improved from 80% to 82% between 2018-19 and 2019-20
  • The average wait time before a call was picked up reduced from 34 seconds in 2018-19 to 27 seconds in 2019-20
  • The number of calls abandoned went from 2% in 2018-19 to 4% in 2019-20

In addition, the number of customer complaints to Energy Locals and their local energy ombudsman are as follows:

  • The number of customer complaints to Energy Locals went from 234 in 2018-19 to 232 in 2019-20, which represents 1% of their energy customers
  • The number of customer complaints about Energy Locals to their state’s energy ombudsman went from 59 complaints in 2018-19 to 99 complaints in 2019-20

Customer ratings and reviews of Energy Locals

As a small, and relatively new, energy provider, there are a limited number of customer reviews of Energy Locals. However, across the board, Energy Locals is reviewed better than the average energy provider.

Product Review customers give Energy Locals 3.7 out of 5 stars, with 74 total reviews. This includes:

  • 43 five-star reviews and 19 one-star reviews
  • Pros: Customers cite that they like Energy Locals commitment to renewable energy and local initiatives as well as the fact that they are 100% Australian based. Customers also like that they usually start getting lower energy bills, and enjoy the high feed-in-tariff
  • Cons: Some customers have stated that they have had difficulty switching to Energy Locals, with no communication or errors in the communication process

TrustPilot only has three customer reviews of Energy Locals, two of which are “Excellent” and one of which is “Bad” (however it should be noted that the one “Bad” review is also from Product Review). The two positive reviews, however, like the transparent bills, as well as great rates they got from Energy Locals.

Should I switch to Energy Locals?

Energy Locals is an innovative energy company, offering wholesale electricity prices, 100% carbon neutral energy, and community-based initiatives. But, should you switch to Energy Locals? While overall, Energy Locals is a great energy provider it is important to note that every household and every households’ needs are different and by comparing energy providers, you can find the one that is best for you.

Pros of Energy Locals
 Wholesale electricity rates: Energy Locals sells electricity at-cost, so you only pay wholesale rates for your electricity
 Renewables: Energy Locals is 100% carbon neutral, not only in the electricity they sell to their customers but the electricity they use to run the company
 Community driven: Energy Locals puts a strong focus on community initiatives, and gives back to charities and organisations across Australia
 Innovative: Energy Locals is one of the few energy providers investing in not only a Virtual Power Plant by partnering with Tesla and the South Australian government, but is also among the first to push for P2P energy sharing
 Customer reviews: Many energy providers’ customer reviews are unfavorable, yet Energy Locals has consistently favorable reviews
Cons of Energy Locals
 Solar: Energy Locals does not install solar panels, however they can help you find an accredited solar retailer.
 Billing & payments: Energy Locals does not have the same variety in bill payment methods that many other energy providers offer, and if you choose their Online Member energy plan you can only pay by direct debit
 Wholesale electricity rates: If wholesale rates spike, you might get hit with higher than average electricity costs. However, Energy Locals guarantees to be lower than the Default Market Offer
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