A chat about green energy with Catherine Anderson, CCO of Powershop.

When did Powershop start?

Powershop launched in Australia about five years ago seeing that Australians deserved a better power company.

Why did it start?

We saw a huge gap in the market for a power company that was willing to help its customers use less energy and save money, all while helping to protect the planet. Powershop gives our customers all the info they can handle so they can track their usage in the Powershop app or their online account to ultimately use less energy and save more money – exactly how it should be.

Who started it?

Powershop was launched by Australasia’s largest renewable energy generation company, Meridian Energy. A small team launched the brand in Australia and it’s grown to over 110,000 customers in only five years. We now have team members in VIC, NSW and SA.

What is its purpose?

Powershop is here to change the energy industry for good. In an industry typically marred by confusing deals and bad service, Powershop is:

  • Australia’s greenest power company (Greenpeace, 2018),
  • the best app in the business,
  • brilliant, award-winning customer service based in Melbourne and New Zealand, and
  • an ethical approach to business (we’ll never door knock your home or cold call you right in the middle of dinner – we don’t like it happening to us so we won’t do it to you!)

How has the company changed over the years?

All the good stuff that we launched with is why we exist and is the backbone of our business. Doing everything to be fair and transparent for our customers, our parent company only generating renewable energy, award-winning customer service, ethical business approach – it’s all still there. The only thing that has changed is that we’ve grown and done more. We’ve raised almost $500,000 for community groups to save money on their energy, we’ve worked with amazing partners like Oxfam, we’ve launched new initiatives to help customers get in control of their power bills, and much more.

What remains the same?

Protecting customers, protecting the planet and trying to do better.
It won’t ever change.

What’s your favourite part of your job?

Listening to new (and sometimes outlandish) ideas from the team I work with. We have a working culture where everybody is expected to be improving things and coming up with new ideas to make our customers’ lives better. Some of these ideas have resulted in customers saving hundreds of dollars a year, raising money for community groups, new technology innovations and much more.

How has what you do changed over the years?

Quite a bit. I’ve been lucky in that Powershop is a place that supports its staff and wants them to grow and succeed. My role has expanded over the years to now being in the lucky position of working across sales, marketing and customer service. Having visibility over almost all of our customers’ journey is an honour. Having the capacity to think strategically, make decisions that are in the interest of our customers and work alongside some incredibly smart people – it makes days working at Powershop very enjoyable.

What do people not know about power that they should know?

Unfortunately, it’s a pretty confusing industry in terms of how energy is generated and gets to our homes. One issue is that this makes looking at your energy bill quite confusing for many households. The amount shown on a bill is made up of various different things such as energy charges, supply / daily charges, retailer costs (including being able to manage wholesale market risk for customers), any green charges and GST. It can be hard for customers to compare offers and make sure they’re on the best deal. We’re always happy to help customers understand their bills.

Can you explain how green energy works.

I sure can! At Powershop, our parent company only generates energy from renewable resources (hydro and wind energy). This is often known as “green energy” as it’s generated from renewable resources as opposed to fossil fuels such as coal. We send the energy we generate to the grid. Others send energy to the grid too from other sources (including coal) and it all gets mixed together and sent to homes and businesses. There’s another concept called GreenPower – this is a Federal Government scheme where customers can opt in to pay a premium for their electricity. The GreenPower scheme aims to drive demand for new large-scale renewable energy generation.

You guys are 100% certified carbon neutral. What does that mean and what is the process to get this certification?

Our parent company only generates renewable energy in Australia. However, because we can’t control the type of energy that goes to your home or business (it all gets mixed together), we made the decision to offset 100% of the carbon associated with our customers’ energy usage, which is what makes our energy “carbon neutral”– and we do this at no extra cost to our customers. That means Powershop customers are having a positive impact on the planet just by joining Powershop! We’re the only power company in Australia to be certified as a 100% carbon neutral organisation by the Australian Government.

Why should people choose Powershop?

If you’re after a better power company. One that doesn’t rip customers off for their loyalty. One that is doing everything they can to help protect the planet.

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