The concept for the Better Power campaign came from GetUp members, who told us they wanted fresh ways they could use their power as consumers to move to a cleaner electricity company and drive change in the energy market.
We select companies that have strong environmental and consumer-friendly credentials – ones that embrace renewable energy, are affordable for everyday Australians and have a commitment to advancing Australia's clean energy industry rather than relying on coal and other fossil fuels for their power generation.
Our key partner in New South Wales, Victoria and South East Queensland is Powershop – Australia's only certified carbon neutral energy retailer, and one which is backed by a 100% renewable energy generator.
Australia's energy sector is dominated by big, polluting companies that have a bad track record when it comes to acting in the interests of consumers. The energy industry is the biggest contributor to carbon emissions in the country, making it critical to address the sector if we are serious about combating pollution from outdated, polluting technology.
Around 70% of Victorians, 95% of Queenslanders and 90% of people in NSW get their household energy through one of only three companies – AGL, Origin Energy, or EnergyAustralia. These three companies are among the worst polluters in the country, with all three owning massive coal-fired power stations and investing in or supporting coal seam gas (CSG). Not only that, but each has been fined significant amounts of money for misleading consumers or for using predatory marketing techniques on their customers. Yikes!
Household electricity is the core business of these companies, and every person who switches to a Better Power company sends an important message that everyday Australians aren't going to stay with companies that thrive on outdated, polluting fossil fuels at the expense of our natural environment.
Powershop is backed by Meridian Energy, Australasia's largest 100% renewable energy generator. It is a modern power company that's designed to empower its customers with online tools and apps and save them money in the process.
Meridian is a multi-billion dollar company listed on the ASX and NZX. It owns and operates nine wind farms and seven hydro stations across Australia and New Zealand. It is 51% owned by the New Zealand government. Meridian owns and operates two wind farms in Australia, including the 64-turbine Mt Mercer wind farm just outside of Ballarat and the Mt Millar wind farm in South Australia. In combination, these wind farms generate enough electricity to power more than 100,000 households a year.
Powershop is Meridian's online energy retailer and the first power company in the Australian market to allow households and small businesses to see how much power they are using, what it costs before they pay for it, and to pay for it how and when they want to. It already has over 78,000 customers across Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.
Powershop impressed GetUp with its environmental credentials and its commitment to a sustainable, clean energy sector. It is Australia's only carbon neutral retailer, offsetting all the emissions its customers may produce via their electricity consumption. Not only that, it's owned by a 100% renewable energy generator with a commitment to only ever invest in renewables like wind and hydro, and never in dirty and polluting fossil fuels like coal and coal seam gas.
In fact, Powershop and Meridian feed more renewable energy into the grid than the total amount of electricity their retail customers use, meaning together they make a carbon and renewable positive contribution to Australian market. Because of its investments and its commitment to renewable energy, Powershop was twice ranked greenest electricity retailer in Australia by Greenpeace (Green Electricity Guide 2014 & 2015).
Powershop also has a strong focus on customer service and consumer issues, and has been ranked among the cheapest in Victoria by the government's Essential Services Commission and the St Vincent de Paul Society's Tariff Tracker, with highly competitive rates across the markets they operate in.
No. No matter how green your power company is, you will receive a mix of energy from different sources. This is because every energy retailer in eastern Australia must purchase their electricity from the Australian Energy Market. This mixes up all the energy fed into the grid by power generators, from both renewable and non-renewable sources.
This doesn't change when you move to Powershop – you will still be receiving a mix of renewable and non-renewable energy directly to your home or business. Powershop compensates for this by offsetting the carbon produced by your electricity consumption free of charge, making it the only carbon neutral energy retailer in Australia.
Powershop does this by purchasing United Nations certificates equivalent to the carbon emissions associated with the total electricity usage of its customers. The UN certificates are sourced from international renewable energy and carbon reduction projects in developing countries that are helping to reduce carbon emissions globally.
On top of this, by switching to Powershop you are directly endorsing and supporting their parent company Meridian's commitment to only ever invest in renewable energy sources, and never in fossil fuels like some of the other power companies. As a Powershop customer, you can be confident you're helping Meridian in its work to invest in, grow and operate renewable energy generation in Australia.
Customers also have the option to purchase 100% GreenPower from Powershop. Again, this doesn't change the energy you receive off the grid but it does directly support Meridian's renewable investments, and add additional renewable energy into the grid, over and above the mandated amount in the Renewable Energy Target.
Powershop and its parent company Merdian's wind farms are accredited for 100% GreenPower, which its customers have the option to purchase. By buying 100% GreenPower, customers are supporting further investment in renewable energy in Australia, and helping speed up the transformation of Australia's energy system to cleaner renewable energy.
GetUp has a 100% GreenPower offer with Powershop but you won't automatically be switched to it when you sign up. You need to select it online after you've switched or request it over the phone.
We believe that buying 100% GreenPower is the best thing you can do to support renewable energy in Australia, and we encourage GetUp members who switch to sign up to Powershop's GreenPower offers.
Powershop sells a range of GreenPower products, and customers can buy GreenPower from community energy projects, landfill gas, energy from sugar milling and other wind farms in addition to its own two Australian wind farms.
There is a higher charge for GreenPower because when you buy one of their GreenPower products, Powershop will purchase additional Renewable Energy Certificates to help support those renewable energy projects. Click here to find out more about how GreenPower works.
Buying 100% GreenPower is a great way to support renewable energy in Australia. Electricity generation is one of the main sources of Australia's carbon emissions, so by buying GreenPower you will be supporting the construction of renewable energy generation right here in Australia and helping to cut carbon emissions.
As Powershop is backed by a 100% renewable energy company they don't provide gas. If you need gas in your home you can use the online tool to switch your electricity and remain with your previous provider for your gas.
Every time someone switches to Powershop through the Better Power campaign, GetUp receives a commission that helps fund our pro-renewable energy and anti-coal seam gas campaigning. This commission is provided by Powershop at no cost to switchers, who receive the same rates and benefits as other customers.
Those who switch can also show their support for our partner organisations by signing up to Powershop through one of our partnership links. When someone switches through these links, 2/3 of the standard commission is passed on to our hard-working partners to help their critical work in the field of environmental sustainability and advocacy.
Powershop has competitive offer for solar customers, without any of the hidden penalties or alternative contracts that some retailers force on households with PV panels.
Those who have been on solar for a long time and are on an older tariff scheme may not find their offer is portable to Powershop, and should get a full comparison by emailing BetterPowercompare@powershop.com.au before deciding whether to switch.
Customers entitled to the Premium Feed-in Tariff (PFiT) or the Transitional Feed-in Tariff (TFiT) will not lose access to their entitlements.
If you are entitled to the old “one for one” Standard Feed-in Tariff (SFiT) that was available to households before 31 December 2012, you will lose access to it by switching retailers, and will revert to the current 8.2c feed-in tariff.
The NSW Solar Bonus Scheme ended on 31 December 2016. Powershop customers in NSW get a feed in tariff of 8.2c kWh.
South East Queensland
Solar customers who are eligible for the Solar Bonus Scheme in Queensland will not lose their entitlements by switching to Powershop. Queensland customers will get 8.2c kWh, with an additional 44c kWh for those on the Solar Bonus Scheme.
Your payment for any energy produced from your solar panels will be applied as a credit to your Powershop account. If the amount you receive for your energy production outweighs the cost of the power you've consumed off the grid, the excess credit is carried forward on your account. Customers can apply to have their credit paid out to them at any time.