Hi all, I’ve been looking at changing my electricity supplier in NSW and using energymadeeasy.gov.au Powershop comes out on top. It doesn’t look like the standard pay-at-the-end-of-the-month/quarter relationship (buying power along the way), so I’m interested in it but just wanted to know how easy it is to manage and whether you’ve saved what you thought you were going to. Thanks in advance.
Recent convert here, can confirm it’s so easy. You have the option of treating it like a pay-at-the-end-of-the-month service, although they’ll charge you rates that are closer to their competitors if you do. You get discounts of about 15% for pre-purchasing top ups, and they’ll also throw in discounted packets every couple of weeks. I think you can also buy power for specific months in advance, so if you want you can buy power for winter during the summer, and balance out your bill across the year.
And because you can input your own meter readings, you can track your usage and electricity costs, which is great if you’re a stingy data nerd like me. My housemates are freezing but we’re saving so much money.
I changed to Powershop about 8 months ago.
The app is fantastic for tracking your usage. I’m in Victoria & have a smart meter, which means the data updates automatically every day & is very relevant. You can add notes about what was happening at any time (e.g using air con) which I find handy.
They send a monthly email with all the details regarding usage & purchases for the previous month which is great for people like me who like data.
On the cost side, it is about on par with my previous retailer so far. Powershop have a different approach for pricing, charging a set unit price ($ per kWh incorporating the service to property charge) which varies each month. This can be frustrating as it feels to me like a bit of a gamble - do I buy power now or wait until the month ticks over when I might get it for less (or more!)?
Another downside I’ve found is if you use a lot more electricity in a month than they estimate (e.g. unlike most others, we use a lot of electricity in winter because we use the reverse cycle air con for heating), the unit price is quite high & so you end up paying more. For example, my unit price went from 32c last month to 23c this month. Presumably the longer you’re with them the better they get at estimating your usage, and this will be reflected in the unit price.
The unit price is set based on a number of factors, one of which is peak/shoulder/off peak use. However this doesn’t give the same immediate effect of other retailers who charge you less for each kWh used off peak. With Powershop each kWh costs you the same amount, regardless of when you use it.
I also have solar panels & they send me an update (& credit my account) each month, which is better than other retailers who only did it each three month billing cycle. They’re currently working on how to further improve the information provided to solar customers.
I’m going to stay with them for at least another six months & then compare over the year.
Thanks for the tip, I am sure everyone can take a look at this Supplier and see if their Plan suits their household.
This is great insight @Jo_E. I only heard about Powershop just last week and I’ve been thinking about switching as soon as I heard about it!
I’m a bit confused about the power buying process (total newbie here!) Can you please explain how it works day to day? Do I need to be a maths whiz? ?!
Thanks @Jo_E . I wonder if the change in unit price is a Victorian thing only as I can’t seem to find any information on this in the NSW documents. Let me know ow it goes. I’ve switched now, so we’ll see how we go.
I have switched to Powershop about 1 year ago. So far so good. Their app is great and I get notifications of ‘special’ deals so I can pre-purchase power at the lowest rate. In Vic I usually buy power at just under 20c per kwh. Web site is good and I can see my power use stats. I am about to do my EOFY budget and I will see how this arrangement stacks up (also get a good solar buy back price).
Hi. Their app is great. You have an on-line account and you choose the rates that best suit you and decide on the amount you want to pre-purchase. You also get notifications of small special rates that you can top up your account. Good graphical interface and notifications keep you informed of your account status. Very similar to Myki!
Thanks @mark.kasprzyk ! Very helpful, and the per kwH rate is good, if I can get that for peak times!
We’ve been with Powershop since last November. Great being able to monitor your usage vis the phone app each morning. Works out much cheaper than Origin because you can have days when you don’t pay the daily charge. You can also pay well in advance at reasonable rates.
Downside is that they vary their charge depending how much power you’re using. The more the cheaper. Equally, if you use less it becomes more expensive. Factoring in the daily rate I suppose but it isn’t entirely predictable.
We have definitely paid less for our power since changing over.
We’ve also become more careful about switching off appliances and rationing our use of electric heaters (having a heater on low in our bedroom one night pushed the cost of power for the day to $7 cf our usual $2 something).
Fiddly so probably best suited to people who enjoy managing detail!
Thanks @katepatrickoz - are you in Victoria or NSW?
Victoria - northern suburbs of Melbourne.
Thanks - I think the variable daily rate is only applicable in Victoria (at the moment) but will keep an eye out for it.
I have refused each invitation to Powershop as they are from New Zealand. I am very much in favour of supporting Australian industry where I can and despite their green , cheap claims , it is still sending Australian money offshore.
Yes, I use it. Very happy with it. You can monitor usage and buy power from your phone, and I think it is cheaper than our old provider.
I switched to Powershop a few months ago and have seen a reduction in my electricity costs. I enjoy using their app and purchasing power when there are specials. I don’t have a smart meter but can see significant benefit from having one with the Powershop model.
Powershop originated in NZ but does have an Australian presence as a business. It buys the power from local producers. My green energy is from Victorian wind farms. This way the Australian green energy industry gets a boost.
Hi @rachelbee. The Powershop website ( http://www.powershop.com.au/questions-answered/) has a section on ‘Using Powershop’ which explains about the power buying process. Basically, you can buy at the end the month like other providers, or you can buy as you go or in advance (or any combination).
The app is really easy to use - no need to be a maths whiz! From memory you can download it even if you’re not a customer & have a play with it to understand how it works. Hope that helps
Thanks @gperry, I will be interested to hear how you go. My understanding is that the unit price varies based on usage because it has to incorporate fixed costs like the service to property charge. Or do you pay that separately?
Are there any other readers in NSW who have been with Powershop more than a month & can answer the variable/fixed rate question? Thanks.