Simply Energy Solar Sharing Scheme wins Canstar Blue Innovation Award

As Australia continues to make a concerted effort towards sustainability, many companies are driving innovation across the energy retail market. With more consumers now using grid electricity, the onus has fallen on innovators to find new ways to create and consume energy with less carbon footprint.

Simply Energy’s approach to providing greener energy solutions through its socially responsible Solar Sharing Scheme has seen the provider win a Canstar Blue Innovation Excellence Award. Our expert judging panel were particularly impressed by Simply Energy’s program that enabled cheaper bills both as a staff benefit and as a community initiative.

What is the Simply Energy Solar Sharing Scheme?

In February 2021, Simply Energy teamed up with global manufacturing firm Hunter Douglas to launch Australia’s first staff solar sharing scheme. The scheme allows Hunter Douglas employees at the Rydalmere factory in Sydney to financially benefit from any excess electricity generated outside operational hours from the company’s 800-kilowatt (kW) rooftop solar system. This means that participating staff members can pocket savings on their monthly electricity bills.

Simply Energy’s Solar Sharing Scheme is made possible through a power monitoring platform developed by tech pioneer Enosi, which enables users to match their electricity supply to specific renewables across the grid. Put simply, the initiative provides Hunter Douglas employees with credits on their power bills while sourcing energy from a renewable source – the factory’s rooftop solar panels.

“This presents a huge opportunity for our commercial customers wanting to pass on benefits to their staff and members, as well as our residential customers who may have previously been locked out of the solar market – a win-win for all,” said Ryan Wavish, General Manager – Simply Energy Solutions.

To participate, Hunter Douglas employees in New South Wales will need to sign up to the ‘Simply Choice’ offer and have a smart meter installed at their residence, while their employer must remain a commercial customer of Simply Energy. Discounts on bills may vary as it depends on how much electricity Hunter Douglas is exporting from its warehouse roof, matched by the customers’ use. If an employee leaves the company, they won’t receive any further bill savings from the 2,000+ panel system, but they can remain a Simply Energy customer.

Simply Energy Solar Sharing Scheme ad

Why do we like Simply Energy’s Solar Sharing Scheme?

Investing in solar usually offers businesses a wide range of benefits, from lowering overhead utility costs to helping achieve company sustainability targets. And while this scheme is limited to only a handful of Sydneysiders, there aren’t too many digital solutions of this scale going around. With a few retailers now offering access to similar services like virtual power plants or solar gardens, Simply Energy’s Solar Sharing Scheme takes a path of its own. It does so by having two target markets – a commercial customer with a large investment in renewable energy and a residential customer looking for a cheaper, greener energy offer.

“The Solar Sharing Scheme is a market-leading innovation facilitated by Simply Energy that enables consumers to easily tap into the financial gains of solar power while doing their bit for the environment,” said Canstar Blue’s Energy Editor, Jared Mullane.

“More than just a standalone product or service, this program offers an entry point for customers who may not have access to solar at home. Not only is this a gateway for consumers to save on electricity costs, it’s also a notable feat for businesses like Hunter Douglas looking to promote their green credentials.

“Simply Energy stated in its submission to Canstar Blue that the Solar Sharing Scheme has generated a lot of interest across the market, and it’s easy to see why. While it may have limited reach for now, the power provider has opened a door in creating a solar sharing ecosystem that rewards all parties involved.”

Simply Energy is the Australian retail arm of French utilities giant Engie. According to Engie’s website, its venture in Australia and New Zealand has 1,000MW of low-carbon generation capacity as well as large-scale renewable assets, such as wind, solar, and industrial-sized battery storage.

Simply Energy Plans

The following table shows a selection of electricity plans on offer from Simply Energy in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, and South Australia. Use our free comparison tool to compare plans from a range of other providers in your area.

Here are the Simply Energy plans on our database for NSW. These are products from a referral partner†. These costs are based on the Ausgrid network in Sydney but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 3900kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

Here are the Simply Energy plans on our database for Victoria. These are products from a referral partner†. These costs are based on the Citipower network in Melbourne but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 4000kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

Here are the Simply Energy plans on our database for SE QLD. These are products from a referral partner†. These costs are based on the Energex energy network in Brisbane but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 4600kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

Here are the Simply Energy plans on our database for South Australia. These are products from a referral partner†. These costs are based on the SA Power network in Adelaide but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 4000kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

What are our Innovation Excellence Awards?

Canstar Blue Innovation Excellence 2022 Energy

Canstar Blue’s Innovation Excellence Awards involve our expert rating methodology, unique to Canstar, which compares submissions we receive from energy providers throughout Australia. Canstar Blue’s Innovation Excellence Award winners represent a selected group of innovative products within the Energy industry over the most recent year which have all been reviewed, assessed and ranked based on the degree of innovation and impact it could have on consumers.

Innovation Awards Methodology available on request.