Media Release - Survey shows Victorians can reduce power bills

6 December 2012

More than half of Victorian households using Origin Smart have been able to reduce their energy usage, a recent survey of users has found.

Three months since launching in Victoria, Origin's free energy management service has helped almost half of its registered users avoid being shocked by their electricity bill by giving them greater visibility of where and when energy is consumed in their home, and how much it costs.

Origin Smart is the only mass market consumer service currently available in Australia that uses half hourly data from a household's smart meter and converts it into an easy-to-understand summary of the household's electricity consumption. It also provides customers with a forecast of their next energy bill using their current rates in Origin's billing system1. Households can also set personal goals for energy saving and access tailored energy efficiency tips.

Three quarters of users reported taking some kind of action as a result of what they had seen on Smart. The most popular energy saving actions registered were:

  • Minimising standby power - saving the average Victorian household around $75 per year;
  • Replacing incandescent lights with energy efficient globes - saving around $78 per year;
  • Only washing clothes with cold water and only running full loads; and
  • Air drying clothes more than using the tumble dryer.

More than 70 per cent of survey respondents agreed that Origin Smart makes it easier for them to see how much energy they are using around the home at different times during the day or week.

Origin Executive General Manager, Phil Craig said, "Origin Smart is a great new tool that gives customers visibility and understanding of their bill, and allows them to make choices on how they consume energy – and our customer feedback says it works.

"It's also pleasing to hear that one third of users are logging on to the portal at least once per week, which shows there is a growing appetite for consumers to understand more about their energy use," Mr Craig said.

Nearly 80 per cent of households are using the portal to help them predict the cost of their next energy bill, with almost half agreeing that their electricity bill was no longer a surprise as they can see how much energy they were using between bills.

The survey of more than 1,000 users also revealed that Victorians from a wide range of age groups were using the portal, from 18-year-olds through to 70-year-olds, with more than half sharing the information they have learnt with others, indicating that energy usage is becoming a matter of interest for a wide range of people.

Using Origin Smart, customers are able to:

  • See the electricity used and cost at their home as recently as 24 hours ago, itemised into 30 minute blocks – i.e. see yesterday’s usage today;
  • Predict the cost of their next electricity bill based on their current usage;
  • Set an energy budget and measure progress towards an energy saving goal;
  • Create a personalised energy savings plan to assist in reaching goals, including a range of energy efficiency tips; and
  • Access an 'Ask the Expert' forum for additional energy efficiency advice.

Origin Smart is free to Origin customers in Victoria, and to all consumers who become Origin customers, who live in Victoria and have an activated smart meter installed in their home.*

Victorians can register their interest, learn more about Origin Smart and view a short video highlighting the features of Origin Smart by visiting www.originsmart.com.au.

1 Bill prediction excludes rebates, some energy plan benefits and other adjustments
*Some additional eligibility criteria apply

For further information please contact:

Amy Stockfeld
Consumer Media & Partnerships Manager
Ph: 03 9652 5418
Mobile: 0429 381 463

About Origin Energy
Origin Energy (ASX: ORG) is the leading Australian integrated energy company focused on gas and oil exploration and production, power generation and energy retailing. A member of the S&P/ASX 20 Index, the company has more than 5,900 employees and is a leading producer of gas in eastern Australia. Origin is Australia's largest energy retailer servicing 4.4 million electricity, natural gas and LPG customer accounts and has the country's largest and one of the most flexible generation portfolios with approximately 5,900 MW of capacity, through either owned generation or contracted rights. Origin's strategic positioning and portfolio of assets provide flexibility, stability and significant opportunities for growth across the energy industry. Through Australia Pacific LNG, its incorporated joint venture with ConocoPhillips and Sinopec, Origin is developing one of Australia's largest CSG to LNG projects based on Australia's largest 2P CSG reserves base.

In New Zealand, Origin is the major shareholder in Contact Energy, the country's leading integrated energy company, operating geothermal, thermal and hydro generation facilities and servicing electricity, gas and LPG customers across both the North and South islands. Origin also operates several oil and gas projects in New Zealand and is one of the largest holders of petroleum exploration acreage in the country.

Origin has a strong focus on ensuring the sustainability of its operations is the largest green energy retailer in Australia and has significant investments in renewable energy technologies.

For more information go to www.originenergy.com.au.