CHOICE membership

Who is the greenest energy provider?


#1

Our green electricity guide reveals the most environmentally friendly energy providers and shows how the big ratilers stack up against each other.

Do you factor in the environment when choosing your energy provider?


#2

Energy retailers eh… what are they good for? All they do is add an extra layer of paper shufflers who do little other than send you a bill, adding more cost to the consumer!

Of some relevance regarding electricity retailers is this article:

I’m going to nominate electric off-gridders for the greenest energy providers, and yes, I am one of them :slight_smile:


#3

A PhD won’t help unless it is in psychiatry … they recruit their bill makers from the loony bin …


#4

Love your reply …so apt!


#5

You list Powershop as being near the top.
Whilst I like getting through to a non Indian customer service person quickly Powershop has a few drawbacks, the main one being that they do not credit the feedback credit for the month into your account so ou have no idea of what the true bill is. Choice may want to ask why this is so. Certainly it has nothing to do with lack of information.
The other issue is that bills are very short of concise information, which you have to scour your account to find, and the bills are monthly. Really painful for time poor people.
Not sure if Powershop is playing the game with its customers and have been thinking of moving on.


#6

Which state or territory are you in, @rambotrader ? I’m in NSW, and that hasn’t been my experience with Powershop’s statements.


#7

We are in NSW in an Ausgrid area.


#8

Why not? Not as though this is not available!
The issue with Powershop is it looks like a case of smoke and mirrors. Over-frequent billing so that customers just give up? Feed in tariffs lagging so that customers cannot easily check?
It may be conspiracy theory but surely a user friendly company would be up front in providing information so that customers can work out if they are with the right business or not. Monthly billing hides the real cost of electricity because the bill appears lower compared to a 3 monthly cycle, but even with a big solar system on the roof the bills are looking ‘high’.
Of course there is one easy solution for this and unless there is more transparency forthcoming I’ll be making that choice.
I notice you did not discuss any of the above Scott.


#9

Same here. I only asked as I thought they might bill differently in other areas. I wasn’t trying to defend Powershop or debate the pros and cons of their offerings. I received our monthly account review email minutes before I read your post, so our feed-in data was fresh in my mind.


#10

Fair enough. My unhappiness is with what looks a lot like trying to confuse customers so that they do not look at their bills. There is absolutely no reason where the feed in tariff rebate cannot be shown on the bill because it is, like electricity readings, fully electronic. As such if they can send you an electricity account they can include the solar component.
Cheers


#11

Powershop has been mentioned in a few other discussions in the Community. In order to obtain the greatest discounts on power, customers are expected to be hands-on with monitoring their energy consumption, solar generation if applicable, and paying for their mains electricity in advance.

A very large amount of your data is available when you log on to their website or use their smartphone app. Their monthly statements (delivered by email as a pdf format attachment) can be very lengthy, as they include a separate page with a tax invoice for each power pack that you have purchased, a page detailing your meter readings for consumption, another for your solar feed-in, and more.

I can see that there is a real potential for confusion, and I would suggest that Powershop are not for everyone. For example, they have quite complex rules that determine the order in which pre-paid power packs are used. Over time, I have found that I have sometimes waded back through many pages of data to see that there are some old packs still not fully used. Having said that, I have not yet found any errors.


#12

Powershop…I’ve been with them for years and very happy.


#13

Ditto…been with them for years and saving heaps. Very helpful. Real people answer the phone promptly and very pleasant. Never had a problem. Easy, convenient, reliable…I promise do not have any shares with them or work for them. Cheers!


#14

You omitted funding media through their voluminous advertising, and providing yet a(nother) shonky industry to keep Choice staff ‘entertained’.


#15

Green energy retailers?
It would be interesting, and perhaps enlightening to have an open daily review of the electricity flows (purchases) across the greater networks for each of the self labeled green retailers.

Large users have the ability to strike deals directly with generators or through wholesale supply rates tied to generation sources. Some like smelters are useful baseload users however they were all offered discounted deals to set up and operate. The rates they negotiate are preferential. Will the supply authority feed them expensive peak power in the evenings or off load the expensive peak power to consumers? When it comes to consumers is there any cheap power left?

It is factual that many smaller industries and business may see direct increases at peak times where they are on demand and power factor based tariffs. The real question is about transparency. There is very little.
Given the major portion of most consumer usage is peak load, mostly in the evening how great a percentage of this peak really comes directly from a green generating source?

That some enterprises span Government, generation, distribution and retail all with a common owner in two or more areas it would appear an impossible ask?


#16

I love powershop! I like being able to buy power when I have the money, not when I get a huge bill every 3 months. I use the app to keep up with my usage and solar. I don’t have any problem finding the feed-in tarriff. They clearly label it and it’s usually on it’s own page.
Full disclosure… I do have shares in the parent company (Meridian energy in NZ) but didn’t realise that until after I had been with them for a while.


#17

This is a bit of a saga, but I thought it might be instructive…

I have just been offered an opportunity to sign up/switch to Powershop in an email from GetUp! - to celebrate Powershop now being available in South Australia: email (lightly edited & italicised) is copied below.

It seemed to be a good offer, but as a Choice member, I decided to dig deeper, to make sure that it was a good deal: as a South Aussie, paying the highest electricity prices in the country, I am very interested in cutting costs on my bill.

On Fri, 8 Mar 2019 at 13:07, Darren - GetUp!
wrote:

Dear Patricia,

South Australia is breaking records for all the wrong reasons. Heatwaves and extreme weather are getting worse and more frequent. Meanwhile, we don’t have a national policy to cut climate pollution.

The Big Three electricity retailers are the first, second and fourth biggest carbon polluters in Australia. That means if you’re buying your electricity from AGL, EnergyAustralia or Origin, you’re a customer of a company that’s driving devastating climate change.1

But there is an alternative. Already, more than 20,000 GetUp members have made the switch to a greener power company, reducing demand for dirty power and sending a clear message that people want clean, green energy.

GetUp has partnered with Powershop since 2014 — ranked Australia’s greenest power company by Greenpeace three times running and is now available in South Australia. 2

Join the Better Power campaign today, ditch your dirty energy company for good and receive $100 off your account each year for three years*.

Powershop are Australia’s first and only certified carbon-neutral retailer. They are backed by a renewable energy generator and actively support community renewables.

Together, we have switched around 20,000 members from Australia’s biggest polluters, taking an estimated $66 million off their bottom lines.3

We’ve offset an estimated 120,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide, and raised around $2.4 million for GetUp’s climate and clean energy campaigning through the financial contribution Powershop provides for every person who makes the switch.

Patricia, will you join us? Switch away from the dirty energy companies to Powershop and as a special GetUp offer receive a $100 discount off your account every year for three years.*

Thanks for all you do for the environment,

Darren, for the GetUp team

*To be eligible for this offer, you must be one of the first 1,500 South Australian residents to sign up to Powershop by 31 March 2019.
Once you have been switched to Powershop (Switch Date), we will apply a $100 discount to your Powershop account. If you remain a Powershop customer for 1.5 years (550 days) from your Switch Date, we will apply a second $100 discount to your account and a final $100 discount will be applied three years (1095 days) from your Switch Date.
These discounts can only be used as a discount off your Powershop account and cannot be refunded or redeemed for cash. The discounts are not available in conjunction with any other promotional offers available through Powershop from time to time.

References

National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting — Clean Energy Regulator, February 2017.

The Green Electricity Guide, Greenpeace, 2018

AGL Energy: I can see clearly now, Credit Suisse Research and Analytics, 19 March 2015

So I started crunching figures, comparing Powershop with my current provider, Diamond Energy: I discovered that it was not such a good offer after all…

I sent the email below to GetUp! (& copied in Powershop, Diamond Energy & Choice Community) - to date, I have only had a response from Diamond Energy…

There was also no disclosure from GetUp! in their email to me, about the financial benefit they would receive from signing up customers to Powershop: I had to go to the FAQs on their website to discover

" Every time a GetUp supporter switches to Powershop through Better Power, GetUp receives a payment that helps fund the Better Power campaign to support renewable energy and campaign against dirty coal and coal seam gas.

A bit more digging around & I discovered that Powershop is owned by Meridian Energy - which is majority owned [(51.02%, 2016)] by the Government of New Zealand.

And that “ Hydraulic fracturing (fracking) has been carried out in New Zealand for over 27 years, mostly in Taranaki and also in coal seams in Waikato and Southland.[1] Concerns have been raised about its negative effects and some local government jurisdictions have called for a moratorium on fracking but this has been rejected by the government.”

Which would seem to make a bit of a mockery of the Better Power campaign

en.wikipedia.org

Hydraulic fracturing in New Zealand

Hydraulic fracturing (fracking) has been carried out in New Zealand for over 27 years, mostly in Taranaki and also in coal seams in Waikato and Southland. Concerns have been raised about its negative effects and some local government jurisdictions have called for a moratorium on fracking but this has been rejected by the government. The environmental effects of fracking are regulated by the Resource Management Act (RMA) through the requirement for resource consents. Fracking has been carried o…

Here is my response to the GetUp! email (copied to Powershop, Diamond Energy & Choice Community)

  • Subject: Re: Something Big is Coming
  • I was interested in this offer, but now I am quite concerned, and in the interests of transparency from GetUp!, I believe you may be doing a financial disservice to some of your South Australian supporters.
  • The offer may be very attractive to customers of AGL, Origin etc but I believe you should also include Diamond Energy as an option to make " the switch to a greener power company, reducing demand for dirty power and sending a clear message that people want clean, green energy."
  • I have just compared the prices for Powershop (in South Australia) with my existing provider, Diamond Energy (second in the Green Electricity Guide to electricity providers in Australia, 2018. When I switched providers some years ago, P/shop was not available in SA).
  • Financially I would be penalised with Powershop: despite the $100.00 bonus p.a. - for 3 years only & only available to 1500 people (see T&C) - the high daily supply charge would wipe this out - plus, I would be up for more : $1.19.12/day [P], compared with $0.86.95 [DE].
  • The solar feed in credit is lower: $0.52.5 kWh [P], $0.56 [DE].
  • The basic tariff for general usage is $0.38.43 kWh [P] compared with [DE] sliding scale tariff [$0.33.26- first 100 kWh/pm usage up to $0.39.87 for usage over 833 kWh/pm] - which encourages power conservation.
  • Disclaimer: I am an existing (happy) customer of Diamond Energy but I have no financial or other interest in the company.

So I will not be switching providers!

P.S. I read with interest, the comments above, re Powershop’s bills being difficult to read…

Diamond Energy is an Australian owned company with very good customer service and easily read and understood bills – and solar credits are automatically deposited in my bank account. An example below (NOT mine! Someone in my family…)

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I have also included a couple of links that may be of interest: the 2018 Green Electricity Guide (for a bit of light reading… ) and the link to the Choice Green Electricity review.

Check out the Green Electricity Guide

Is your :zap: electricity provider :zap:really as ? green? as they say they are? The truth exposed…

.


#18

Isn’t this part of the Getup email a disclosure?


#19

Thank you - I missed that.


#20

That’s $120.00/person - it seems that the customer is paying that to GetUp! in the supply charge…