Powershop: An energy retailer with a smiley face

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Victoria is the most competitive energy market in Australia, with more than 20 different electricity providers to choose from. Since price regulations in the state were lifted in 2009, more and more retailers have joined the power race, and one of the newest is also making the most noise.

Powershop has topped our customer satisfaction ratings in New Zealand for four years in a row and now it is also making a big impression in Australia, winning our 2015 award for Victoria.

Powershop has shot to prominence, in part because of its fairly whacky marketing campaign which includes a power socket smiling face in various topical guises. But to find out a bit more about the company, we asked a spokesperson a number of important questions – including how its electricity plans work.

Q) Powershop certainly presents a different proposition. Can you give us the basic details on how your Powerpacks work and why you think this approach is more beneficial to customers?

A) Powershop is unlike any other electricity provider. We have no lock-in contracts or hidden fees, and our online tools and smartphone app offer customers access to real time data that shows you how much energy you’re consuming, as well as what it’s costing you.

With Powershop, you also have control over when and how you pay for your power. Rather than only paying for power when the bill arrives, using our online shop to purchase Powerpacks gives you more flexibility and choice. There are different types of packs to suit all types of energy usage and you can buy a combination of different Powerpacks – there are GreenPower packs, limited time specials that are even further discounted, and Future Packs so you can save more and stock up on power when it suits you.

Q) Powershop has been praised for the number of customers it has on 100% GreenPower plans. What are you doing to attract customers to this option and why do you think it’s proving so popular?

A) We are very proud about of our support of GreenPower. From October to December last year, almost a quarter of our customers selected to purchase GreenPower. This is six times more than the industry standard. We know that our customers want to be able to support renewable energy in Australia, so we’ve given them a super easy and flexible way to do so with GreenPower.

In fact, we’re the only energy company to provide its customers with the opportunity to purchase as much or as little GreenPower as they want. If you only want to buy GreenPower, you can set this as your default product in your online account settings, or you can buy GreenPower packs from our online shop whenever you like or whenever it fits your budget.

Powershop is also the first and only electricity company in Australia to achieve carbon neutral certification under the Federal Government’s National Carbon Offset Standard, which means all of Powershop’s customers are using carbon neutral certified electricity – at no additional cost.

Q) Powershop certainly has a unique marketing approach and has also been commended for how it communicates with customers. Can you tell us about the success of this approach and how it has been received by consumers?

A) Our approach has always been customer first, with a focus on transparency and putting the power back into customers’ hands – where it belongs. We recognise that historically the energy industry has had a bad rap… and we’re trying to make it better with transparent communications and by offering customers flexibility through our payment options.

We encourage our customers to provide feedback or ask questions and we don’t shy away from responding in a public forum. If you head to our Facebook or Twitter pages, you’ll see that we’re there to chat openly with customers and to help answer questions. If you’re a small business, you have access to an account manager – based in Australia – who’s there for you 24/7 to help you get the best deal possible. We get it – electricity can be a boring grudge purchase – but we want to help Australians become more aware of their energy usage and its impact on our wallets and the environment.

Q) Powershop currently retails in Victoria and New South Wales, but are there plans to expand to other parts of Australia. If so, when?

A) We are always open to the possibility, but at the moment we’re focusing on Victoria and NSW and how we can deliver an even better, cheaper, greener service to our customers.

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