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.
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Energy Company Ownership
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||Partly Australian-owned|
|Mojo Power||Partly Australian-owned|
|Origin Energy||Partly Australian-owned|
|Powershop||Australian and New Zealand-owned|
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About these Energy Companies
AGL is one of Australia’s oldest companies, promoting itself as ‘Proudly Australian since 1837’. Today, AGL is an ASX listed company, meaning that ownership is mixed among shareholders. Most major shareholders are Australian investment companies.
Alinta Energy was purchased in March 2017 by a Hong Kong-based holding company – Chow Tai Fook Enterprises. Based in Perth, Alinta was previously Australian-owned.
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 ASX listed telecommunications company which also owns other brands, including iPrimus and Commander. It is unclear what the proportion of Vocus is Australian owned.
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’.
Energy Locals claims to be a 100% Australian-owned company, with CEO and founder, Adrian Merrick, its largest shareholder. The company is based in Melbourne.
Globird Energy is claimed to be a 100% Australian owned company based in the Melbourne suburbs. The company describes itself as ‘fiercely independent’.
Mojo Power was born and raised in Australia, making it an Australian-owned 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% Australian-owned, as part of Hydro Tasmania – one of the country’s leading clean energy businesses.
Origin Energy was founded as recently as 2000 following the demerger of the energy business from the building and construction arms of Boral Limited. Origin has a rich Australian history, however as an ASX listed company, it is owned by shareholders across the globe.
Tango Energy (previously Pacific Hydro) is a Melbourne-based energy company and renewable energy generation business. While the company was founded in Australia, it was acquired by China’s State Power Investment Corporation in 2016.
Powerdirect was purchased by energy giant AGL in 2007. Being that AGL is partly 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.
QEnergy is a Brisbane-based electricity retailer that specialises in business energy retailer, while also servicing homes across most states. It is Australian-owned and operated.
Red Energy & Lumo Energy
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.
Sumo Power 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 if your energy company is Australian-owned?
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.