Australians love to support home-grown businesses. But when it comes to our energy retailers, it’s not always clear which ones really are Australian-owned and which are simply part of bigger international organisations. As an example, you may be surprised to learn that, despite its name, EnergyAustralia is not actually an Australian-owned company.
Shopping locally supports the domestic economy and fosters local job opportunities by keeping the profits in Australia. While being foreign-owned isn’t a bad thing by any means, our research over the years has found that many consumers lean towards Australian-owned brands when comparing similar products or services.
To help you out, let’s take a look at some of the biggest energy companies operating in Australia and find out which are really Aussie-owned.
|Click Energy||Partly Australian-owned|
|Dodo Power & Gas||Australian-owned|
|Mojo Power||Partly Australian-owned|
|Online Power & Gas||Australian-owned|
|Powershop||Australian and New Zealand-owned|
About these energy providers
AGL is one of Australia’s oldest companies, with a history dating back to Sydney in 1837. Today AGL says it remains Australian owned and operated.
Alinta Energy is currently owned by an American private equity firm called TPG Capital. The company has sought expressions of interest from anyone who might like to purchase Alinta, with the current front runners being AGL, as well as a few Chinese energy companies.
Click Energy is owned by a number of Australian and overseas private equity investment companies. Its four prominent investors are the Angeleno Group, based in the United States, Robeco Sam, based in Switzerland, plus Australian-based Cleantech Ventures and ES Link.
CovaU is a wholly-owned subsidiary of TPC Consolidated Limited (formerly Tel.Pacific Limited), which is an Australian company based in Sydney.
Dodo Power & Gas
Dodo Power & Gas is part of Vocus Communications – an Australian-owned telecommunications company based in Sydney, which also owns brand including iPrimus. It was formally part of the M2 Group.
Ergon Energy is a Queensland Government-owned corporation. Ergon Energy and all its subsidiaries are Australian-owned.
EnergyAustralia is wholly-owned subsidiary of the Hong Kong-based energy company CLP Group. Originally, EnergyAustralia was a state-owned enterprise of the New South Wales Government, but was acquired by CLP-owned TruEnergy in 2011. The NSW Government kept the distribution service of the old business, which was subsequently renamed ‘Ausgrid’.
Red Energy and Lumo Energy
Red Energy and Lumo Energy are the retail subsidiaries of Snowy Hydro – an Australian energy generation and retailing company which also maintains the snowy mountains hydroelectricity scheme.
Mojo Power was born and raised in Australia, making it an Australian energy company in that respect. A couple of its key investors, however, include South Cross Venture Partners and Soft Bank China Capital, both of which are multinational capital venture firms.
Momentum Energy says it is 100% Australia-owned, as part of Hydro Tasmania – one of the country’s leading clean energy businesses.
Online Power & Gas
The Online Power & Gas website doesn’t provide too much information, however it insists the company is wholly Australian-owned.
Origin was founded as recently as 2000 following the demerger of the energy business from the building and construction arms of Boral Limited. Origin says it has remained Australian owned ever since.
Powerdirect was purchased by AGL in 2007. Being that AGL is Australian-owned, so too is Powerdirect.
Powershop is owned by Meridian Energy which is Australian and New Zealand-owned. Meridian says it’s Australasia’s largest pure-renewable generator.
Simply Energy is the Australian retail arm of Engie (formally known as GDF Suez) – a French-based multinational energy company with a network spanning 70 countries.
The Sumo Power website claims that it is a 100% Australian-owned company and that its employees are local, based in Melbourne.
Synergy is owned by the Western Australian -Government with no other private interest. There is no suggestion of Synergy being privatised anytime soon.
Does it matter?
While it’s good to know about the ownership of your energy providers – and where your money goes when you pay your bill – it shouldn’t dictate your decision in terms of which company you choose. Sure, it’s good if your money stays in Australia and is invested in the local community, or renewable energy solutions. But it’s also important that you pay a fair price and receive good customer service. A foreign-owned energy company is just as capable of providing those things.