Woman says plan promotes "environmental vandalism”
A TERRANORA woman has labelled an Origin Energy capped-price plan "environmental vandalism”, believing it encourages people to become "electricity abusers”.
Origin's Predictable Plan was released in March 2016 and is still advertised in media. The company says those who sign on can lock in set monthly payments irrespective of their usage.
The bill amount is based on a customer's consumption history.
Kay Ball said a telemarketer called her out of the blue to ask whether she wanted to sign on to the Predictable Plan. She said she listened to the sales pitch and was immediately appalled.
"If you're a person who tries to be thrifty with electricity, like me then you can sign up for this and become an electricity abuser and waste electricity,” Ms Ball said.
"I'm sure I could safely double my electricity if I wanted to, so I refused it because I thought it was environmental vandalism.”
Ms Ball found the campaign unusual after there had been a shift in how people thought about electricity and the environment in recent times, with most messages encouraging people to more conscious of their carbon footprint.
Origin Energy media manager Stuart Osbourne refuted Ms Ball's claims.
"We designed Predictable Plan to address a long standing customer need - the difficulty is setting a household budget without knowing how much your next energy bill will be,” he said.
"The product is not designed to change behaviours or promote more energy use than a household would typically use.
"We trust our customers to be responsible with their energy use, and find most are environmentally aware and not prone to wastage.”
Mr Osbourne said Origin monitored customer usage closely, and shared that data with them. He said if they increase their energy use substantially it would be reflected in their quote for their next Predictable Plan.
"Customers also have the option of purchasing GreenPower as part of their Predictable Plan,” he said.