Got a question?
Here’s where you’ll find the answers to some of the questions we get asked the most about Powerclub
Here’s where you’ll find the answers to some of the questions we get asked the most about Powerclub
Powerclub saves you money by providing access to electricity at wholesale prices. We don’t profit from your usage and we exist solely for the benefit of our Members. We’re the Club bringing the community together with a better way to buy, sell and use energy.
We function on the basis that when people join, they become a part owner, just like a shareholder in a conventional company. Powerclub is bringing forward new ideas, new methods and new approaches that enable our Members to take control. Our aim is to make the energy industry work for people, not against them.
Fundamentally our philosophy is to be the People’s Innovator.
Powerclub is bringing a new way for Australians to buy, sell and use energy. We function on the basis that when you join the Club, you become a part owner, just like a shareholder in a conventional company. We are the first Australian energy retailer to be set up as a company limited by guarantee. This company structure may not suit other retailers because it means they cannot pay dividends and they cannot issue shares. Traditional energy retailers, like most companies, are designed to benefit shareholders first – this means that all business decisions are skewed to their shareholders advantage, not the customer.
The problem with the traditional business structure is their objective to be profitable to benefit shareholders while seemingly putting their customers’ needs first. For example, cost-shifting is a common tactic where a discount is applied to only one component of a bill, such as usage. This enables a retailer to advertise an attractive discount but apply it to a much smaller part of the bill. Retailers also use cost-shifting to create an attractive discount or solar FiT while off-setting their losses by increasing other charges.
There are many discounting tactics used to attract new customers, such as raising the standard offer price so that their other offers by comparison, have a much bigger discount. They promote the “bigger” discount when the offer itself is often the same and sometimes even more expensive than it was previously.
A retailer can also choose to run an acquisition or loss-lead campaign to boost customer numbers. These contracts are often very attractive however they are generally short term. They intend to get their money back from you in the long run. This is where customer inertia plays directly into their hands. Some retailers with customers on Standing Offers will make hundreds of dollars per customer per year above wholesale costs.
Powerclub is different because each Member is empowered with the right to vote. The Powerclub Board of Directors is voted in by Members which ensures everyone has a voice. Voting is a fundamental right of every Powerclub Member that enables them to choose who represents them.
You can read more about the rules that companies limited by guarantee must abide by on the ASIC website - https://asic.gov.au/about-asic/contact-us/how-to-complain/companies-limited-by-guarantee-disputes-about-members-rights/
Powerclub is the people’s innovator. While other retailers distort the truth, what you see is what you get with Powerclub. We are the first to break the mould and offer something truly customer-focused and we are the first to design innovative technology that puts our Members directly in control – no tricks attached.
The app, Powerwatch, will alert Members when wholesale prices are high and recommend ways to reduce energy usage at that time. The Powerbank acts as a buffer to smooth the highs and lows of the wholesale energy market - covering the difference when prices are high and replenishing when energy prices are low. Armed with more knowledge and choice, Powerclub Members have the power to exploit the wholesale market by using energy when it’s cheap and avoiding excess usage when it’s more expensive, potentially saving you hundreds of dollars on your annual electricity bills.
Under the Powerclub constitution, if we receive more revenue than what we need to pay for our staff, operational costs and licenses, the excess will be returned to Members or reinvested into Powerclub for their benefit.
Powerclub uses the latest technology, a lean approach and low overheads to be more efficient than most other retailers. We provide Members with access to wholesale electricity prices and our services at cost, so you only pay for the energy you use, the services you get and nothing more. To support our operational costs, we include 26.8c in the daily Supply Charge and 0.825c (less than one cent) per kWh used.
Powerclub’s CEO and Founder, Stuart McPherson has a vision to create a fairer system and a business that Australians can trust. “I wanted to change the energy industry by offering something that is completely open and honest so that Members would know, for a fact, they weren’t getting ripped off.”
Powerclub’s mission is to empower Australians with more knowledge and choice – to challenge the status quo and change the Australian energy industry for the better. That’s why we exist solely for the benefit of our Members.
It’s not rocket science... Just innovative thinking.
We set out to create something new – an ethical energy retailer that is entirely focused on its Members, not the company bottom line. That’s why we have structured Powerclub as a company limited by guarantee. A company limited by guarantee cannot pay dividends and does not issue shares, which means that no single person can have a controlling interest in the company and each Member is empowered with the right to vote.
Powerclub provides Members with access to wholesale electricity prices, charges and operational expenses at cost, so you only pay for the energy you use, the services you get and nothing more. To support our operational costs, we include 26.8c in the daily Supply Charge and 0.825c (less than one cent) per kWh used. Powerclub does pay a license fee to use the innovative business processes which are made up of your annual membership fee of $39 + GST (or $79 + GST for businesses) and interest made on Powerbank. This is paid to and may be a profit to the IP Owner.
If Powerclub receives more revenue from our charges than what we need to pay for our staff, operational costs and licenses, the excess will be returned to Members or reinvested into Powerclub for their benefit.
Why do we do all this? Because we're sick of paying too much for energy too!
The wholesale energy market is where energy products such as electricity and natural gas is traded.
The Australian wholesale energy market is managed by the Australian Energy Market Operator, or AEMO. You can go to the AEMO website any time and see the current wholesale prices on their Data Dashboard. You will find it here:
It’s simple really – Join the Club.
To join Powerclub, you will pay an annual membership fee of $39 (or $79 for business) and open your Powerbank account by depositing an amount which we will tailor to your personal usage. Powerclub provides Members with access to wholesale electricity prices, charges and operational expenses at cost, so you only pay for the energy you use, the services you get and nothing more.
That means no steep overheads. No shocking bills. No tricks. No worries.
Networks are the companies that own the poles and wires that deliver power to your home. They charge various tariffs for delivery which are included in your Powerclub bill.
There are two basic types of network tariffs you can choose from:
Peak: which charges you at a flat rate, regardless of the time of day that you use it.
Time-of-use: splits the price into peak (2pm – 8pm), shoulder (between 7am – 2pm and 8pm – 10pm) and off-peak (between 10pm – 7am) and you are charged different delivery rates for each of these time periods.
Some people also have a controlled load meter which makes power available at times of low demand between 10pm – 7am and have special low delivery rates.
How would a tariff make any difference?
With Powerclub, you will always pay for power at wholesale rates regardless of what tariff you choose but each tariff will charge you different rates for delivery.
The delivery you choose could make a difference
You can’t change networks at your property, but you can choose a different network tariff. Each tariff charges different rates for periods of the day. You can choose a tariff depending on what works best for you
Everybody uses power differently, so depending on when you use most of your power, one tariff may give you cheaper delivery than another. Powerclub will show you what your energy usage looks like to help you work out the best tariff for you. It costs nothing to change provided you don’t do it too often. If you qualify for multiple tariffs you are entitled to swap from one to the other.
Under electricity laws and rules, retailers must have a Standing Offer. This is used as a default offer if someone does not choose to go onto a cheaper market offer. A significant percentage of homes are on Standing Offers. This is where customer inertia plays directly into traditional retailers’ hands. Some retailers with customers on Standing Offers will make hundreds of dollars per customer per year above wholesale costs.
Powerclub’s Standing Offer states that “… We do not recommend this to our Members and suggest those on this plan transfer as soon as possible to a Powerclub plan offering wholesale access. If wholesale access does not suit your needs, we recommend choosing the best market offer from another retailer …”
The Powerclub Standing Offer is more expensive than our normal offers which include Powerbank and we want to discourage anyone being on our Standing Offer or any other retailers Standing Offer as much as possible.
Your energy bill is made up of different charges to cover the cost of generation, renewables and efficiency schemes, operational costs and transmission cost. The actual cost of your electricity usage is less than half of your total bill. Many of the items in your bill are fixed and compulsory charges to keep our country powered up.
So, let’s break down what you're paying for? Your bill consists of four main components:
Cost of electricity – the wholesale cost of producing electricity
Network Fees – the cost of the poles and wires that deliver electricity
Schemes – such as state and/or national renewable schemes
Retailer Costs – such as operational costs, charges and profit margins.
Powerclub and other retailers all incur the same charges for network fees and schemes. What differs is Powerclub’s method of buying wholesale energy direct from the market on your behalf. Retailer costs also vary considerably as do the plans they offer.
Powerclub, uses the latest technology, a lean approach and low overheads to be more efficient than many other retailers. We provide Members with access to wholesale electricity prices, charges and operational expenses at cost, so you only pay for the energy you use, the services you get and nothing more. Our operating costs are covered through 26.8c included in our daily Supply Charge and 0.825c per kWh (less than a cent) included in your usage rates.
Simply put - your Powerbank will smooth out wholesale energy prices. Wholesale energy will normally vary between minus 1c - 10c per kWh but on rare occasions can go as high as $15 per kWh for very short periods of time. Traditional retailers must take steps to insure themselves against these wholesale market fluctuations – an expense they pass onto their customers.
Powerclub puts you in control by using your Powerbank as a buffer to smooth out the highs and lows of the wholesale energy market - covering the difference when prices are high and replenishing when wholesale prices are low. It's designed to grow over time to slowly increase the level of coverage you receive from it.
To open your Powerbank, you will make a one-off deposit which is tailored based on your estimated annual usage, multiplied by the level of coverage you need. These levels range from $40 per 1000 kWh to $80 per 1000 kWh.
Your Powerbank will always remain your money - if you choose to leave the Club one day, you will take the balance of your Powerbank with you.
Opening your Powerbank account is easy. Your one-off deposit is tailored based on your estimated annual usage, multiplied by the level of coverage you need. These levels range from $40 per 1000 kWh to $80 per 1000 kWh.
It’s important to note that if your initial annual usage estimate is under, you will not be sufficiently covered to deal with normal wholesale market fluctuations and will need to top up the difference into your Powerbank. Some States, such as South Australia, have a more volatile wholesale market and will require more than the minimum Powerbank to cope.
Your Powerbank is designed to grow to a maximum of $120 per 1000 kWh over time which will give you the highest level of coverage over wholesale market fluctuations. To help it grow, we include a 10% buffer into your fixed price forecast which tops up your Powerbank every month. When your Powerbank has grown sufficiently to cover any wholesale event, the overflow will be given back to you as savings on your energy bill.
Your Powerbank is always yours. If you choose to leave Powerclub one day, we will refund you the balance.
While depleting your Powerbank is highly unlikely, an unusual circumstance could cause prices to spike well above normal. Powerclub has created the Members app, Powerwatch, to give you more knowledge and control over these wholesale price fluctuations.
But things can happen that we can’t plan for. For example, in January 2019, an extremely unusual circumstance caused the wholesale energy price in Victoria to jump to over $10 per kWh for 5 hours. This was triggered by a heat wave combined with a scheduled maintenance of a primary generator which put pressure on supply. Analysis of this event showed that some Powerclub Members with solar could have made money out of this event, while others with high consumption during that period who took no action to reduce their consumption may have needed more than the minimum in their Powerbank.
There has never been an incident to date that would deplete a full Powerbank. To minimise your risk, open your Powerbank account with the full $80 per 1000 kWh.
The Powerwatch app will alert you when wholesale prices are high and if you have a smart meter, advise you of ways to reduce your energy use at that time. A price spike typically doesn't last very long so it's important to act fast. Taking control of your usage will ensure you don't deplete your Powerbank by paying too much for power.
We will also monitor your usage patterns. If we consider you to be at risk of draining your Powerbank, we will get in touch to recommend some actions you could take. If by coincidence, you happen to be entering the market at a particularly volatile time, Powerclub may request that you top-up your Powerbank to make sure you’re fully covered for the current market conditions.
Powerclub exists for the benefit of its Members. If we believe your current Powerbank balance to be insufficient coverage, we will contact you to suggest actions you could take.
Wholesale energy will normally vary between minus 1c - 10c per kWh but on rare occasions can go as high as $15 per kWh for very short periods of time.
The Powerwatch app will alert you when wholesale prices are high and if you have a smart meter, it will advise you of ways to reduce your energy use at that time. A price spike typically doesn't last very long so it's important to act fast. Taking control of your usage will ensure you don't deplete your Powerbank by paying too much for power.
By shutting down unnecessary appliances during a $10 per kWh price spike, you could save yourself $40 an hour or more depending on your consumption levels. By learning to exploit the wholesale market, using energy when it’s cheap and avoiding excess usage when it’s more expensive, you could potentially save hundreds of dollars on your annual electricity bills.
There are many tried and tested ways to reduce your energy consumption, lower your carbon footprint, protect the environment and save money. Here are our top five tips to lower your energy usage:
Choose the right lights
Replace your bulbs with LED lights. They last longer, are more durable and are the most energy efficient using 75% less power than incandescent bulbs. They also have no mercury, and last about 25 times longer.
Don’t waste power
Turn off lights and don’t use heating or cooling when you don’t need it. Some devices are known to pull small amounts of energy, even when they are turned off such as computers, TV’s, microwaves, printers and scanners. Power down and unplug idle electronics to prevent phantom energy loss.
Check the energy star rating
Star ratings are a government and industry initiative to encourage you to buy more energy efficient products. Appliances with a high star rating use less electricity and will cost you less to run. Energy efficient products include air conditioners, freezers and fridges, dryers and washing machines, computer monitors, TVs and more. So, when it comes time to upgrade or replace your appliances, check out the ratings of the replacement as it may impact your energy consumption for many years to come.
Heating and cooling
The average home uses 40% of their energy on heating and cooling and that doesn’t include hot water. Your family’s comfort is of the utmost importance, but you don’t have to break the bank in doing so. Find the right heating and cooling systems for your home that will be cheaper to run and better for the environment. How you operate and maintain your system will also have a big impact on reducing your energy bill. We recommend that you never over heat or over cool as those extra degrees cost a lot more than you might think.
Take back control with Powerclub
Wholesale energy prices change every five minutes and there are circumstances that cause prices to spike above normal fluctuations. If you have a smart meter, you can use the Members app, Powerwatch, to check the current market price. We will alert you when prices are high and advise you of ways to minimise your usage during these times.
You can also use the Powerclub Member's portal which will display graphs showing the normal highs and lows across the day. This will help you plan the best time to use appliances that use lots of power.
Energy shouldn’t break the budget. Being conscious of price fluctuations will help you make better choices at the right time. Making small changes to how you use energy can make a big difference to your annual cost of power.
Want to chat to a real person? Our Team Members are on standby to answer your questions and help you save your energy for life - not huge energy bills.
Give us a call on 1300 294 459
You can also shoot Powerclub HQ an email and we will get back to you during normal office hours - firstname.lastname@example.org
We're dishing out the dirt with energy saving tips, advice and insights so you can save your energy for life - not huge bills