Sustainable Living

Join the Power Revolution

It takes 5 minutes to switch to a cleaner, greener power company.

Did you know Victoria has the dirtiest coal-burning power plants in Australia? That’s something we want to change and one reason Environment Victoria has joined forces with Powershop to offer nothing less than a revolution in your power.

Why? Because big power is raking it in, exploiting the planet and the public – and you and I are paying the price.

Powershop is different.

The big three power companies – AGL, Origin and Energy Australia – are among the biggest climate polluters in the country, each owning massive coal-burning power stations and investing in or supporting coal seam gas.

Powershop own and back renewables, loves solar and offsets all the power it sells as 100% carbon neutral without you paying a premium.

We all want cleaner, greener power, and we think it’s time to switch to a better power company that want it too.

Don’t just take our word for it…

Check out the Green Electricity Guide from Greenpeace and the Total Environment Centre. Powershop have been rated number one every time it’s been published.

Plus, when you switch to Powershop with us, Environment Victoria receives a financial contribution towards its Power Revolution campaign to shift Victoria from dirty brown coal to clean renewables.

In the last two years we’ve seen Victoria’s dirtiest power station close and thousands of megawatts of clean energy built in our state, with more in the pipeline. That’s the start of the Power Revolution we need.

So… SWITCH NOW, let your power do the talking and tell the big three it’s time to get serious on climate.

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Why I switched

I want to be part of the solution and make my voice count by supporting a company that generates 100 percent renewable energy and does not invest in fossil fuels.

Mark Wakeham, Powershop customer, former CEO Environment Victoria

 

I switched to Powershop because they’re more budget friendly for families with monthly bills. The whole family gets involved with energy saving with an easy-to-use website and app for your phone.

Rebecca Snowdon, Powershop customer

About Power Revolution

Powered by every switch, our Power Revolution campaign will pressure governments to retire old coal power stations, remove unfair polluter handouts, support clean green renewable energy, reinstate an ambitious emissions reduction target, and ramp up mine rehabilitation so a disaster like the Morwell mine fire never happens again.


 

Powershop and Environment Victoria: FAQ

  1. What is the connection between Powershop and Environment Victoria?
  2. What benefit does Environment Victoria receive if I switch?
  3. How is Powershop different from other energy retailers?
  4. How long has Powershop been operating?
  5. What does ‘online power company’ mean?
  6. Where Is Powershop available?
  7. Is it cheaper? Aren’t renewables more expensive?
  8. Where does my electricity come from?
  9. What is the source of Powershop’s electricity?
  10. How is Powershop ‘greener’?
  11. So why would I buy GreenPower?
  12. What is the Renewable Energy Target (RET)?
  13. If I switch to Powershop with Environment Victoria’s Power Revolution campaign, am I purchasing 100 percent green electricity?
  14. What do I need to do to switch with Power Revolution?
  15. What if I’m on a contract and want to switch?
  16. Do I need to contact my existing power company?
  17. What if I live in a share house?
  18. What if I have rooftop solar? Can I switch and how will this affect feed-in tariffs?
  19. Can I switch my gas account too?

 

What is the connection between Powershop and Environment Victoria?
Environment Victoria has joined forces with Powershop, Victoria’s greenest energy retailer, to call for a revolution in power supply. Together, we’re offering 100 percent carbon neutral electricity.

When you switch to Powershop, Environment Victoria receives a financial contribution towards its campaign to shift Victoria from dirty brown coal to clean renewables. Switching through us has double the impact: your money moves from fossil fuels to renewables, and Environment Victoria lobbies on your behalf for the same change at an industry and political level.

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What benefit does Environment Victoria receive if I switch?
When you switch to Powershop through Environment Victoria’s Power Revolution campaign Environment Victoria will receive a financial contribution from Powershop.

All funds generated as part of this campaign will go towards helping Environment Victoria’s campaign to make the government and industry switch to cleaner energy.

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How is Powershop different from other energy retailers?
Powershop is the first energy retailer that operates entirely online. It aims to empower customers by ensuring they know how much electricity they are using, and what it costs, as they use it.

Powershop goes above and beyond to support renewable energy. In June 2014 independent clean energy website Renew Economy analysed energy retailers’ response to the review of the Renewable Energy Target, and found that Powershop was ‘the only retailer to call unequivocally for the current target to be retained’.1

Today that target is delivering new renewable projects and creating jobs right across the country.

Powershop is backed by Meridian Energy, a 100 percent renewable energy producer with no investments in fossil fuel resources.

Powershop is also Australia’s first and only 100 percent carbon neutral electricity retailer. This means that all of its emissions are offset with the purchase of certified emission reductions, which help countries to develop sustainably and reduce emissions.

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How long has Powershop been operating?
Powershop launched in Victoria in late 2013 and since then has gained over 50,000 customers. The company began in New Zealand where it is well established. Powershop now operates in New South Wales and South East Queensland too.

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What does ‘online power company’ mean?
Powershop does not issue any paper bills. You can monitor your electricity use and pay your bills online or on your mobile with an easy-to-use app. You can even pre-purchase power and lock in bigger discounts by buying in advance.  This information helps you to use less power.

You can also choose to support renewable energy projects by buying GreenPower packs for specific renewable energy projects through the online shop. For example, you can purchase energy from Powershop’s own wind farms, sugar cane biomass projects, or community-owned renewable energy projects.

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Where Is Powershop available?
Powershop Australia is currently available to people living in Victoria, New South Wales and south east Queensland.

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Is it cheaper? Aren’t renewables more expensive?
Renewable energy is actually pushing the price of electricity down. This is because once a renewable energy plant is built, it is very low-cost to run.

When the wind is blowing, for example, other power generators will switch off because their energy is too expensive for the market. This pushes down the wholesale cost of electricity for everyone, so by supporting renewables, you’re helping to reduce energy prices.

You can use the Victorian government’s switching tool Energy Compare to compare prices for all suppliers.

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Know your electricity in Australia — GreenPower, the RET and being carbon neutral

Where does my electricity come from?
No matter which energy retailer you buy your electricity from, it all comes from the same central pool of electricity because energy retailers in the Eastern states of Australia all buy their electricity from the National Energy Market (NEM).

Electricity is produced by generation facilities that are connected directly to the NEM. Energy from renewable sources and from fossil fuels are both fed into the NEM. The government mandates that a certain percentage of the electricity in the NEM comes from renewable sources through the Renewable Energy Target (RET).

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What is the source of Powershop’s electricity?
Powershop buys its electricity, like all retailers, from the NEM. However, Powershop is owned by Meridian Energy, a 100 percent renewable energy company that owns and runs the Mount Miller and Mount Mercer wind farms, and hydro assets too.

Mount Miller is situated on the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia and produces around 180 gigawatt hours of renewable energy per year and powers 36,000 households. Mount Mercer is near Ballarat and generates 400 gigawatt hours of renewable energy per year, enough electricity to supply around 80,000 households. These wind farms produce more renewable power than Powershop’s customers consume.

Every dollar spent purchasing power from Powershop supports renewable energy generation in Australia, you can see all of Powershop’s renewable assets here.

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How is Powershop ‘greener’?
Powershop is ranked number one in the Green Electricity Guide from Greenpeace and the total Environment Centre. It’s greener for the following reasons:

  • Powershop is owned by Meridian Energy, a 100 percent renewable energy company, meaning it invests the money it  makes in renewable energy development, not fossil fuels.
  • Powershop is 100 percent carbon neutral, so for all the electricity its customers use on the National Electricity market, some of which is unavoidably from non-renewable sources, it buys an equivalent amount of United Nations recognised carbon certificates to offset those emissions.
  • Powershop actively supports the Australian Renewable Energy Target (RET) and the VRET in Victoria.
  • Finally, Powershop actively encourages its customers to improve their energy efficiency by using the Powershop app, which informs you how much energy you are using monthly, weekly or even daily. See here for more information on the app

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So why would I buy GreenPower?
Powershop offer a 100 percent GreenPower option to all customers. It does cost a little bit more because when you purchase GreenPower you are investing in increasing the demand for renewable energy in Australia.

Every retailer in Australia is required to purchase a number of Renewable Energy Certificates to comply with Australian legislation. These certificates are what help drive renewable energy development in Australia. See ‘What is the Renewable Energy Target (RET)?’ for more information.

When you buy GreenPower, you force your retailer to buy more Renewable Energy Certificates than mandated, increasing the demand for renewable energy and driving further investment in renewables in Australia.

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What is the Renewable Energy Target (RET)?
The Renewable Energy Target is a policy that encourages the development of renewable energy in Australia. It does this by requiring certain businesses, mainly electricity retailers, to purchase a certain number of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). RECs are created by renewable energy power stations, such as wind farms, that are accredited by the Clean Energy Regulator.

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If I switch to Powershop with Environment Victoria’s Power Revolution campaign, am I purchasing 100 percent green electricity?

When you switch through Power Revolution you are automatically put onto the standard offer. This is 100 percent carbon neutral, but if you also want to support the Australian renewable energy industry you can choose to buy Powershop’s certified GreenPower product.

GreenPower does incur a small additional charge per kilowatt hour, which contributes to surrendering Renewable Energy Certificates on your behalf.

Click to see all Powershop’s current tariffs.

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Switching

What do I need to do to switch with Power Revolution?
Firstly, to ensure that Environment Victoria receives the contribution from your switch, you need to click here to sign up online.

If you just sign up with Powershop on their website, there will be no way for them to know that it was through Environment Victoria. To switch is easy: all you need is your email address, the property address that you want to switch and backup payment details. Powershop will do the rest.

If you do call them to switch, make sure you tell them it’s via Environment Victoria.

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What if I’m on a contract and want to switch?
Powershop does not lock customers into contracts or charge exit fees. If your current retailer charges exit fees, Powershop will even cover you if you are charged for switching (up to $75). Switching online takes under two minutes and you will not have to have that awkward conversation with the energy retailer you are dumping!

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Do I need to contact my existing power company?
No, Powershop takes care of the entire switching process for you. You may receive a phone call or letter from your existing power company asking for you back, but remember, you’ve made the right choice.

When your previous retailer asks you why you switched, you can say with pride it was to support renewable energy with Australia’s only 100% carbon neutral electricity supplier.

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What if I live in a share house?
It’s your job to get your buddies on board! You will all need to use the same provider, but we’re pretty confident that once you tell them all the good bits, they’ll be happy to switch.

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What if I have rooftop solar? Can I switch and will this affect feed-in tariffs?

Powershop loves solar and you can find all the details and feed-in tariffs here

If you are unsure what your feed-in tariff is and would like further information, please contact Powershop on 1800 462 668 or email info@powershop.com.au. Don’t forget to mention Environment Victoria when contacting Powershop!

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What about Gas?


Can I switch my gas account too?
Powershop offer gas in most of Victoria, so if you do have gas you can have both your gas and electricity billed from one supplier when you switch your electricity with Power Revolution.

To be clear, Environment Victoria does not gain any financial benefit from you switching Gas suppliers — it’s entirely your decision if you want to switch. Gas is not yet available in New South Wales or South East Queensland.

You may also want to consider looking at switching from gas to full electric — a January 2015 report from the Alternative Technology Association found that in most cases and for most households across Australia, switching from gas to efficient electric for space heating, water heating and cooking produced less greenhouse gas emissions.2

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Footnotes:

1. http://reneweconomy.com.au/2014/who-is-the-greenest-energy-retailer-in-australia-90911

2. http://www.ata.org.au/ata-research/emissions-down-in-switch-from-gas-to-electric-report

 

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