Electricity retailer Powershop, which promotes itself as “Australia’s greenest power company”, operates online, in doing so employing a suite of internet-based tools designed to provide customers up-to-date information on their account, with the aim of keeping costs low.
Owned by the Meridian Energy Group, Powershop launched in New Zealand in 2009, before crossing the Tasman and setting up shop in Australia in 2012.
Differentiating itself from its competitors, Powershop – which is available for homes and businesses in New South Wales and Victoria – states that it “arrived with the aim of giving power and control back to customers”.
How does Powershop work?
Among its internet-based services, Powershop’s smartphone app and online usage tools allow customers to keep track of how much electricity they are using and how much it is costing them, while for customers with smart meters, usage information is sent in a weekly update.
In keeping tabs on their usage, Powershop customers can access their account at any time via mobile, tablet or computer, while customers with queries can contact Powershop via its call centre, and by email, Skype and via Facebook.
Being online only, Powershop emails its customers their monthly statements (no paper statements by mail are issued). And in line with its model of delivering increased customer control, with Powershop there are no lock-in contracts, no exit fees and no credit card fees.
While Powershop allows its customers to maintain a traditional account – using power over the course of the billing period and subsequently being issued a bill – it additionally runs an online store, through which customers can purchase “Powerpacks”, available in a variety of sizes and prices.
Powerpacks encompass a varying range of options, from the cheapest power deals available to 100 per cent accredited GreenPower or renewable energy derived from sugar cane. Further to this, customers can purchase Powerpacks for either immediate or future use. Being able to pre-purchase packs of power allows customers to plan ahead and secure the best prices for their future energy use. Discounts of up to 34% off your entire bill are possible if you pay on time and via the Powershop website.
Powershop will email customers a couple of days before their next bill is due to remind them to pay on time, while consumption of Powerpacks can be monitored online during the billing period.
GreenPower with Powershop
When customers purchase 100 per cent GreenPower products, this involves Powershop “voluntarily surrendering additional renewable energy certificates to encourage even further investment in renewable energy than the government mandates under the Renewable Energy Target. We also provide opportunities for you to choose which renewable industry you wish to support, including community energy projects, landfill gas, energy from sugar milling and other wind farms,” Powershop states.
“There is a higher charge for these products as we purchase the additional certificates from these renewable projects and therefore pass on the benefits of your purchases to them.”
Powershop is carbon neutral, with all of the carbon associated with its own operations and its customers’ electricity usage drawn from the National Electricity Market offset, with Powershop purchasing an equivalent number of United Nations Certified Emission Reduction certificates from sustainable energy projects around the world to do this.
In early 2016, Powershop was effectively named Australia’s ‘greenest’ energy company after achieving the highest score in the annual Green Electricity Guide from Greenpeace Australia and the Total Environment Centre.