Blog | 1st Dec, 2021

Switching energy providers? Why not go cooperative!

Following news that Powershop is being bought out by the fossil fuel giant Shell, many of you are asking about alternative ethical energy retailers to switch to, so we thought we’d let you know about a non-profit cooperative energy retailer called CoPower.

Environment Victoria has not entered any commercial arrangements with CoPower, but we are recommending them because they have the right values and are deeply committed to climate action.

Make the switch

How is CoPower different?

CoPower, in partnership with Energy Locals, stands alone as the only 100% community owned and democratically managed energy retailer in Australia. Their mission is to “tackle poverty, take action against the climate crisis and build community.”As a non-profit cooperative, they are not out to exploit their customers, and any surplus they do generate goes to supporting their mission.Just like with Powershop and other energy retailers, you can choose to purchase 100% GreenPower, and what’s more CoPower has committed to investing in community owned renewable energy as they grow. If you choose to get more involved, you can even have a say about exactly where the surplus is spent – energy democracy in action!Unsurprisingly lots of people are switching to them from Powershop all at the same time and their call centre is extremely busy, so they have requested you to sign up online if you are comfortable doing so. You can learn more about CoPower on their ‘About Us’ page here.Finally it’s important to say that we appreciate the dedication of the terrific staff at Powershop, and recognise that many of them will be just as disappointed by this announcement as we are. This was not their decision. Please make sure you tell them why you are switching, but be polite, the person reading your message may well agree with you.

What about gas?

We know that for many people it’s not a simple step to make the switch away from gas – and that’s why we’re campaigning to make it easier. In the meantime, you can use Victorian Energy Compare to find gas suppliers.

It’s worth remembering that while the overall ethics of a company are important, the climate pollution from gas will be the same no matter what. There’s no such thing as clean gas – even though companies will try to tell you that!