Powershop Energy Review
From French-owned EDF to German-backed E.ON, the UK has welcomed many foreign suppliers since the energy market was privatised.
Now an online electrical retailer 51%-owned by the New Zealand government has become the latest arrival.
Powershop, supplies hundreds of thousands of homes in Australia and New Zealand, has teamed up with Npower to help Brits save money on energy by changing the way we engage with our bills.
Where most small energy suppliers try to compete by offering the cheapest gas and electricity, app-based Powershop targets mobile-savvy consumers by championing greater control over energy usage.
It promises to change “the way you buy your energy by giving you a better way of doing it”.
Keep reading our Powershop review to find out how they plan to do this and whether it could save you money.
To see if you could save money on energy, compare energy suppliers today.
Who are Powershop?
Founded in New Zealand in 2009, Powershop aims to simplify energy bills and tariffs, improve transparency and provide helpful customer service (sounds like many of the new suppliers in the UK).
By 2014, it had cornered 5% of the New Zealand market and launched in Australia.
The company now boasts over 90,000 customers in Australia and remains one of country’s fastest growing providers.
How does Powershop work?
Poweshop sell discounted bundles of electricity, called ‘Powerpacks’.
It wants to start supplying dual fuel in 2018.
These Powerpacks allow households to buy energy based on what they need, rather than an estimate of what they might use. Consumers can choose from different shapes and sizes online or by using the app.
Updating the app regularly allows users to see when and where they use the most power and adjust spending habits accordingly.
Powershop claims this will signal the end of unexpected energy bills.
It says its innovative approach will allow households to buy energy in the same way they fill up their car.
The company’s arrival fits in with wider changes in the UK market; a government-backed roll-out means most homes will have a smart meter by 2020.
Powershop charges no exit fees, so you can switch without paying a penalty – a big plus!
Because you buy your energy through Powerpacks, there are no fixed term contracts and instead of bills you receive monthly Powershop Account Review emails, detailing how much power you’ve used and how much it’s cost.
Switching to Powershop is the same as switching to any other energy supplier.
But to take advantage of the firm’s offering you need to be proactive.
Once you’ve moved your supply to Powershop, you can buy the company’s bundles – known as Powerpacks.
These are bundles of electricity that give savings against the standard rate and are tailored to your usage.
They’re divided into three types:
* Top up packs – the standard option
* Future packs – buy electricity to use later in the year. Buy when the price is low, for example, and you could save money across the year.
* Special packs – Surprise discount packs
Your direct debit will vary depending on how many Powerpacks you’ve bought and your usage, so it's best to review your Powershop energy usage so you don't end up spending more than you expect.
Forget to top up and Powershop will calculate the shortfall and cover the difference, basing the price on its standard rate.
Enter frequent meter readings to ensure to make sure you’re billed accurately.
What is the relationship between Powershop and Npower?
Powershop says it will use “Npower’s buying power” - it is, then, effectively a subsidiary of Npower.
Is Powershop cheap?
If you engage regularly, there’s little doubt Powershop could save you money on electricity bills.
The company’s Easy Saver Promise guarantees you could save up to £90 compared to the Big Six.
Ultimately, though, the best way to make sure you’re getting a fair deal is to compare energy prices online.
What about Powershop’s customer service?
As it’s just launched, Powershop’s UK customer service is an unknown quantity.
It does, however, have quite a pedigree down under.
An independent survey of customer satisfaction in New Zealand has scored it at an average of over 90% for the past 8 years and Powershop is also highly reviewed in Australia – social media tracking website serviceage.com ranks it 1st out of 15 companies.
If the company’s UK-based service hits anywhere near the same heights, customers will be well treated.
Powershop’s UK customer service phone number is 0800 009 3719.
If you’ve had a bad experience with Powershop, make a complaint on A Spokesman Said.
How renewable is Powershop’s gas and electricity?
It’s unclear currently where Powershop sources its electricity from.
The company has yet to release its fuel mix disclosure, so it’s impossible to say for certain how renewable its energy is.
We do know, however, that Powershop is heavily linked with Npower.
For Npower’s renewable credentials, read our Npower review.
What are the problems with Powershop?
Powershop is certainly an exciting prospect, but it’s not for everyone.
It currently only offers electricity, so if you want to switch to them you’ll need to sort out a different supplier for gas and risk missing out on dual fuel discounts.
The only payment option is monthly – there’s no prepay.
But the biggest drawback is that to get the best rates you’ll need to be fairly tech savvy and take the time to stay on top of your energy usage.
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