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Origin Energy review

Origin Energy is one of the largest electricity and gas retailers in Australia. Here's what you need to know before deciding whether to switch to Origin Energy.

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CHOICE staff
CHOICE staff
Last updated: 28 March 2022

Origin Energy sells electricity to almost 2.3 million households, or over 27% of Australia's residential customers, according to 2020-21 figures. While they do invest in some renewable energy generation, they are Australia's fourth biggest climate polluter due to their large Eraring coal-burning power station in NSW and gas extraction and burning activities.

Established in 2000, Origin Energy is a publicly owned company based in Sydney, with call centres in Australia and oversears. The company owns and operates coal, natural gas, solar and wind power generator plants.

It runs six natural gas fired power stations and one baseload station to provide everyday energy use. It also owns five peaking stations for peak power use, generally during the height of summer and winter months. Origin claims to be Australia's largest buyer of utility scale solar.

Origin is one of the few energy retailers that is carbon neutral for its product. However, it's still among the lowest-scoring retailers in our green energy assessment. Its electricity tariffs vary according to your state and the chosen plan, and may include fixed-rate tariffs, discounts, a carbon-neutral option and solar feed-in tariffs.

It was fined by the ACCC in 2020 for an alleged false or misleading representation in a price increase letter sent to residential electricity customers in Victoria.

Contact details for Origin Energy

Which states does Origin Energy supply?

CHOICE Expert rating on Origin Energy

CHOICE verdict on Origin Energy

Environmental

  • Origin Energy is among the worst performers in our green electricity assessment, with 1.5 stars out of 10.
  • It invests heavily in CSG (colloquially known as fracking), and lobbies for support in this area. Origin is attempting to open up parts of the NT to fracking operations and are aiming to expand oil and gas mining in Queensland's fragile Channel Country region.
  • It also plans to burn coal until 2032.
  • However Origin Energy does invest in some renewable energy and also heavily invests and supports demand response management.
  • It has above average export solar pricing and is carbon neutral for its product.
  • Origin Energy also supports local energy trading.

Customer service

  • 32,567 (1.4%) of Origin Energy's customers lodged complaints in 2020-21.
  • 64% of calls made to Origin Australia are answered within 30 seconds. 
  • Some callers are left waiting longer – the average wait time is 82 seconds though this is an improvement on 2019-20s' wait time of 145 seconds. 
  • 3.9% of callers hang up before their call is answered.

Origin Energy's energy sources

While Origin provides some information on its website we could not find a clear breakdown of its energy sources for 2020-21. The figures below are from our 2019-20 survey.
We care about accuracy. See something that's not quite right in this article? Let us know or read more about fact-checking at CHOICE.