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Red Energy Review: How Does Red Energy Compare to Other Providers?

Behind The Big Three (AGL, Origin Energy, EnergyAustralia) Red Energy, and its sister provider Lumo Energy, is among the most well known and popular energy providers in Australia. Between them, Lumo and Red Energy boast over one million customers, with that number growing despite the trend for residential Australians to switch to smaller and less well-known providers. If you’re thinking about switching to a new energy provider, Red Energy might be an interesting option for you, so continue reading below to learn more about Red Energy and how they are as a provider.


Review of Red Energy plans and rates

Red Energy retails gas and electricity to the National Electricity Market, selling both fuel types to New South Wales, the ACT, Victoria, Queensland, and South Australia.

What Red Energy plans are available to me?
  Living Energy Saver Qantas Red Saver Red EV Saver Red Taronga Saver
New South Wales        
ACT        
Victoria        
Queensland        
South Australia        
Western Australia        
Tasmania        
Northern Territory        

Unlike other energy providers, who offer different plans with different discounts and rates, Red Energy has the same usage and supply charges no matter what energy plan you choose for your state, with the difference being in other incentives you might get.

Red Energy electricity rates*
  NSW ACT VIC QLD SA
Discount off the reference price 15% discount N / A 3% discount 7% discount Equal to the reference price
Daily supply charge 83.578c / day 97.350c / day 109.989c / day 103.4c / day 117.7c / day
Usage rates 23.969c / kWh 21.681c / kWh 24.420c / kWh 22.44c / kWh 34.958c / kWh
Estimated annual cost $1,240 / year $1,223 / year $1,378 / year $1,410 / year $1,828 / year

*Rates based on electricity distributor for each capital city (2000, 2600, 3000, 4000, 5000 postcodes respectively). Rates may vary. Estimated annual cost based on estimated average usage for the reference price in each city. Valid December 2020.

Red Energy gas rates*
  NSW ACT VIC QLD SA
Daily supply charge 64.889c / day 85.778c / day 72.072c / day 82.5c / day 74.8c / day
Usage rates (block tariff) 3.289c to
1.936c / Mj
3.179c to
2.178c / Mj
2.653c to
1.812c / Mj
5.687c to
2.497c / Mj
4.07c to
1.98c / Mj
Estimated annual cost $520 / year
(25.1Mj / day)
$1,330 / year
(98.1Mj / day)
$1,000 / year
(92Mj / day)
$590 / year
(16.5Mj / day)
$520 / year
(16.5Mj / day)

*Rates based on electricity distributor for each capital city (2000, 2600, 3000, 4000, 5000 postcodes respectively). Rates may vary. Estimated annual cost based on estimated average usage for the reference price in each city. Valid December 2020.

Red Energy offers four different energy plans, the availability of which depends on the state you live in. All Red Energy plans come with flexible billing and payment methods, including the option for e-billing, as well as no lock-in contracts and zero exit fees. Red Energy’s electricity and gas plans are:

 Living Energy Saver: Red Energy’s simple, no-contract electricity and gas plan with Red Energy’s standard rates. Some customers might be eligible for Red Energy Rewards depending on the state they live in.

 Qantas Red Saver: Earn bonus Qantas Points during signup, and 2 points for every $1 on your gas and electricity bills when you pay on time. Also get bonus Status Credits for each fuel type you choose.

 Red EV Saver: Exclusive to electric vehicle owners with a smart meter. Get free electricity between 12pm and 2pm on Saturday and Sunday in addition to Red Energy’s standard rates the rest of the week

 Red Taronga Saver: Enjoy 365 days of Zoo fun with one adult and two kids when you sign up. Customers have the chance to win the “Ultimate Wildlife Experience” by paying their bills on time.

Red Energy Review: The good and the bad

If you’re interested in Red Energy, it might be important to understand more about how they operate as an energy provider. Here, we break down Red Energy to help you decide if they are the best energy company for you.

Red Energy rates and discounts

Unlike other energy providers, Red Energy offers the same discount off the reference price and the same rates for all their energy plans in one distribution network. This means that if you live in Sydney, no matter what Red Energy plan you choose, you’ll be paying the same energy rates. The only thing that changes are the other incentives Red Energy offers.

Red Energy rates vary depending on the state. If you live in New South Wales, Red Energy offers a competitive discount off the reference price while those living in South Australia will not get any discount off the reference price if they switch to Red Energy. However, it isn’t just the cost that customers of Red Energy like. Their additional incentives such as additional Qantas Points, free electricity for EV users on the weekend, or even free trips to the zoo, might draw some in.

Red Energy and renewables

 GreenPeace: Red Energy scores a 3 out of 5 on GreenPeace’s 2018 Greenest Electricity Guide. GreenPeace cites the fact that Red Energy owns mostly renewable assets (thanks to being owned by renewable energy generator Snowy Hydro) and the fact that Red Energy offers lower than average rates for GreenPower carbon offset, as positives. However, Red Energy does not hold a public position against coal, and no involvement in community energy initiatives, as reasons for why their score isn’t higher.

 Solar: Red Energy claims to offer solar PV systems to customers, but currently have little information available about them. In addition, Red Energy doesn’t offer a solar-specific electricity plan, and their solar feed-in-tariff is an average rate in each state.

 Snowy Hydro: Like sister company Lumo Energy, Red Energy is owned by one of Australia’s largest renewable energy generators, Snowy Hydro, meaning that almost all of Red Energy’s energy generation is done through renewable means.

 GreenPower: Red Energy offers 100% GreenPower carbon offset to customers, at one of the lowest rates on the market. If you want 100% carbon offset, Red Energy offers 100% GreenPower for 5.83c/kWh

Red Energy billing, payments, and financial hardship support

Red Energy offers many ways for customers to pay their bills including:

  • Online
  • Over the phone
  • In person at any Australian Post office
  • BPAY
  • By mail
  • Direct debit

If you’re a Red Energy customer experiencing financial difficulties, Red Energy also offers different ways to get control of your energy bills. Customers can get help with their bills by requesting:

  1. A payment extension on a one-off bill you need a little extra time to pay
  2. A payment plan to get control of unpaid bills
  3. EvenPay: Smooth out your energy bills with predictable weekly, fortnightly, or monthly direct debit payments and align bills with your salary or benefits landing in your bank account

Contact Red Energy by calling 13 18 06 to find out what financial support might be available to you

Red Energy customer service and regulation

If you’re interested in seeing how Red Energy does with customer calls and complaints, the Australian Energy Regulator releases their Retail Market Report each year, showing how energy providers have improved (or worsened) in the energy market in terms of market share, number of customers, customer calls, and complaints. According to the AER, Red Energy improved in their calls from customers between 2017-18 and 2018-19 in the following ways:

  • Red Energy improved the number of calls taken within 30 seconds from 51% to 66%
  • The average wait time for customers who called Red Energy dropped from 102 seconds to 33 seconds
  • The number of calls abandoned before being answered went from 8% down to 2%
Red Energy customer complaints 2017-18 and 2018-19
  2017-18 complaints to retailer 2018-19 complaints to retailer 2018-19 complaints to energy ombudsmen
New South Wales 10,539 complaints
5.2% of customers
12,9455 complaints
5.5% of customers
1,257 complaints
ACT O complaints 1 complaint
2.5% of customers
0 complaints
Queensland 2,660 complaints
5.5% of customers
2,086 complaints
4.3% of customers
150 complaints
South Australia 228 complaints
5.1% of customers
372 complaints
7.1% of customers
60 complaints
National total 13,427 complaints
3.95% of customers
15,404 complaints
4.85% of customers
1,467 complaints

*Victoria is not represented in the AER Market Retail Reports.

As you can see, only Red Energy in Queensland improved the number of complaints it received between 2017-18 and 2018-19 while the number of Red Energy customer complaints increased in New South Wales, the ACT, and South Australia. Overall, the number of complaints Red Energy received between 2017-18 and 2018-19 increased by almost 1%.

Customers reviews of Red Energy

It’s always important to see what other customers think of any product or service you might be interested in, like choosing an energy provider. Like most energy providers, customer reviews of Red Energy are pretty negative. It’s important to remember that customers are more likely to leave a negative review than a positive one, and this only accounts for a small percentage of all Red Energy customers.

Product Review customers give Red Energy 1.9 out of 5 stars, with a total of 742 reviews. This includes:

  • 110 five-star reviews
  • 511 one-star reviews
  • Customers cite difficulty speaking to customer service, and high bills as reasons for their negative reviews

MoZo customers give Red Energy 8 out of 10 stars for their electricity and 6.9 out of 10 stars for their gas services out of a total 337 reviews, these ratings include:

  • 8 out of 10 for their price, bill clarity, and customer service for electricity
  • 7 out of 10 for bill clarity and customer service for natural gas
  • Customers say their energy prices are about average to other energy providers, and easy sign up are reasons why they like Red Energy, but it can be difficult to contact customer service

The verdict: Is Red Energy a good energy provider?

It’s hard to argue with over a million customers between Red and Lumo Energy, but does that mean the Snowy Hydro subsidiary is a good energy provider? While Red Energy offers simple plans, and seems to be improving its customer call times, it’s still lacking in customer reviews and the number of reported customer complaints. Depending on where you live, Red Energy might be a good value as an energy provider, and their additional incentives might be appealing to some, so if you’re interested in Red Energy you can easily sign up online or over the phone and switch energy providers today.

Pros of Red Energy
 Simple plans: All Red Energy plans offer the same rates, meaning you just need to choose what additional incentives you might want. If you live in NSW, this might be a good deal for you
 Customer wait times: Red Energy improved their customer call experience between 2017 and 2019
 Billing and payment: Red Energy offers flexible billing and payment methods, as well as additional financial support if you’re experiencing financial hardship
Cons of Red Energy
Customer complaints: Red Energy got more customer complaints in 2018-19 than 2017-18
Customer reviews: Reviews of Red Energy are pretty low, but average when compared to other energy providers
Renewables: While owned by renewable energy generator Snowy Hydro, Red Energy does not offer a solar energy plan for customers, and their solar panels page is difficult to navigate
Energy rates: If you live in NSW, Red Energy might be a good deal for you. But, if you live in any other state they service you will probably find better electricity rates elsewhere
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