Urth Energy Review
Urth Energy entered voluntary administration in February 2017. Existing customers were transferred to AGL and Origin Energy.
Urth Energy describes itself as a “boutique national electricity retailer with a difference”, offering a range of services for both residential and business customers, with a strong focus on solar energy.
Urth Energy, which is 100 per cent Australian-owned, and which operates in Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia, states that its main focus is finding ways to help its customers save money on their energy bills through renewable solutions, mainly solar PV.
“Urth Energy is currently delivering smart energy products to Australian energy customers small and large, with contracts that deliver bona fide renewable energy generation,” Urth states of its offerings.
Placing an emphasis on good customer service, Urth Energy adds that one of its biggest strengths is the fact that it takes the time to understand its customers’ individual needs, which it says allows it to deliver tailor-made, customer-appropriate energy solutions.
“The company is focused on renewable energy initiatives that reduce customers’ electricity consumption and expense,” Urth states. “This, coupled with a company structure of lower overheads, allows for cheaper electricity solutions to be passed on to customers. It is Urth Energy’s mission to promote renewable energy savings, sharing the profits with customers.”
What does Urth Energy offer?
Among Urth Energy’s offerings is a suite of some of the most solar-friendly retail electricity plans on the National Electricity Market, the retailer claims. Urth’s residential offerings include its:
Urth Energy states that the Urth Trader allows homes and businesses to sell their excess solar energy on the wholesale market (minus a 15 per cent admin fee), while also having access to Urth Energy’s competitive retail rates.
Under the Urth Trader, Urth pays a variable rate for the customer’s excess solar energy based on the wholesale electricity price on the National Electricity Market.
“Urth Energy is closing the gaps and providing the platform that allows every household with solar to access the same wholesale energy market as a billion dollar generator,” Urth states. “This allows them to benefit from peak pricing events and have an unprecedented level of transparency into how their excess solar energy is valued.”
Among the main features of Urth Trader, Urth states that the offering includes:
- No limit to the size of the solar PV system
- Receive the spot price for exported solar, instead of a low fixed rate
- Electricity contract with very competitive rates for standard grid electricity
- Product transparency and meter flexibility
- No exit fees or penalties
Urth Energy offers solar customers a range of feed-in tariff rates under its Urth Fit and Urth Fit20 product offerings.
- Urth Fit20: Solar customers receive 20c per kWh for solar power exported for customers who have their new solar system installed by one of Urth’s solar company partners. The 20c/kWh rate is paid up to a deemed amount depending on your system size. Beyond this amount, customers receive a rate of 10c/kWh for any additional export. Eligible systems sizes are up to 50kW for businesses and 5kW for residential customers.
- Urth Fit: Customers with an existing solar system in place are paid 6.5c/kWh for their exported solar power. This is addition to any legacy solar feed-in tariff payments.
Urth Energy supply and install a solar system on the customers’ property. The electricity this system produces is then sold back to the customer at a cheaper rate than what they would have paid had they purchased grid energy.
Urth Energy will own the solar system and be responsible for its maintenance. This essentially means that Urth Saver customers receive cheaper rates with minimal effort on their part.
This product is designed for multi-tenant buildings. Urth Energy creates what it calls an embedded network which Urth Energy says will provide energy savings.
“The aggregation of the electricity consumed to a single bill enables Urth Energy as an accredited energy retailer to bulk buy electricity, thus creating savings for the building owner and tenants alike,” Urth states. Urth adds that, should they wish, tenants have the opportunity to source their electricity from another retailer.
Urth Energy creates an embedded energy network for multi-tenant buildings such as shopping centres and retirement villages and couples it with a solar system where possible. Urth Energy will effectively be responsible for managing the sites’ electricity and in exchange will pay a 15% royalty fee to the site owner. In addition, the Urth WinWin guarantees a 10% reduction in electricity costs to all tenants – It’s a win-win.
Urth provides a range of information via its website’s customer support page, with consumers also able to search for specific topics via its website’s search function.
Consumers can contact Urth by both phone and email, submit an enquiry via Urth’s online contact form, or use Urth’s website live chat function, with consumers interested in joining Urth having the option to sign up online.
In terms of bill payment, Urth’s payment options comprise via:
- Credit card, online or via phone
- Direct debit
- In person at an Australia Post office