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Powerclub Energy Review
Access wholesale power prices and take control over your energy as a Powerclub member.
Powerclub is the only member-owned energy retailer in Australia, and it gives its members access to wholesale electricity prices in return for an annual membership fee. Powerclub operates in every state except Tasmania.
It's further differentiated from other retailers by claiming that it doesn't operate for a profit and by promising to pass on wholesale solar export prices, too.
Get a cost estimate for Powerclub (July 2020)
The following tables give you an idea of how much Powerclub might cost you for electricity. You can choose your state and apply securely online.
Disclaimer: The following price estimates are a general guide only. Prices are based on a residential customer in NSW who consumes 3,900 kWh a year on a single rate tariff in the Ausgrid network. Prices last checked on December 2019 and are subject to change. Always check the providers site before applying - Your actual bill may vary, depending on your usage.
Disclaimer: The following price estimates are a general guide only. Prices are based on a residential customer in Melbourne, Victorian who consumes 4,000 kWh a year on a single rate tariff in the CitiPower network. Prices last checked on December 2019 and are subject to change. Always check the providers site before applying - Your actual bill may vary, depending on your usage.
Note: For residents outside of South East Queensland, residents don't get to choose their provider as energy is regulated by the Queensland Competition Authority.
Disclaimer: The following price estimates are a general guide only. Prices are based on a residential customer in Queensland who consumes 4,600 kWh a year on a single rate tariff in the Energex network. Prices last checked on December 2019 and are subject to change. Always check the providers site before applying - Your actual bill may vary, depending on your usage.
Disclaimer: The following price estimates are a general guide only. Prices are based on a residential customer in South Australia who consumes 4,000 kWh a year on a single rate tariff in the SA Power Network. Prices last checked on December 2019 and are subject to change. Always check the providers site before applying - Your actual bill may vary, depending on your usage.
How does Powerclub work?
Powerclub operates differently to most standard energy retailers. Here are its three main features:
Customers with Powerclub will pay a $39 annual membership fee ($79 for businesses) in return for being able to access wholesale electricity prices.
Wholesale energy prices are the prices that energy is actually sold to power companies, which then usually resell it to customers at a fixed rate. Wholesale prices are adjusted every 30 minutes, making them somewhat variable.
When you sign up, you are required to open a Powerbank equal to $40 times each 1,000 kWh of electricity you consume per year. Powerclub will charge you a set average rate for your power on your bills.
When wholesale prices rise above that average, credit is deducted from your Powerbank to compensate. When prices are lower, extra credit is added to your Powerbank. This insulates members from variability and ensures their bill is the same every month. Your entire Powerbank is refunded if you cancel your energy plan with Powerclub.
If you're planning to install solar and storage batteries, you can sign up to Powerclub's VPP program. This lets you be part of a network of homes and batteries that sell electricity back into the power grid during periods of high demand, receiving 100% of the revenue made from the sale. Find out more about Powerclub's VPP here.
What plans are offered by Powerclub?
Powerclub has just a couple of energy plans on offer, with just two major market offers for NSW, VIC, QLD, SA and the ACT. All of them are month to month with no lock-in contracts, but they all require you to pay a $39 membership fee and set up a Powerbank as explained in the previous section.
The Powerbank Home Flat plan offers electricity at wholesale rates. While you will be paying a set usage rate for electricity, your Powerbank will be busy absorbing the variability of wholesale energy prices. This plan is billed monthly.
The Flex plan is nearly the same as the Flat offer, except instead of a flat-rate tariff, it employs a time-of-use tariff. This divides the day up into peak, off-peak and shoulder periods. Electricity costs are higher during peak periods and lower during off-peak.
This plan is called a market offer, but really it's Powerclub's standing offer. It's exactly equal to the reference price in each state except Victoria, where it's equal to the Victorian Default Offer instead. You'll usually only end up on this plan if you don't purchase another one.
A quick review of Powerclub
In 2019, it won several awards for its innovative approach to electricity retailing.
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Does Powerclub offer solar?
While Powerclub does not provide solar installation, it does provide feed-in tariffs for any excess solar you may push back into the power grid. Here are the rates by state:
- NSW: 10c/kWh
- VIC: 12c/kWh
- QLD: 8.5c/kWh
- SA: 11.5c/kWh
- ACT: 10.54c/kWh
In reality, though, Powerclub tracks how much you've earned based on the wholesale prices at the time you've fed in solar. At the end of the year, if the wholesale balance is higher than the flat rate, Powerclub will pay you the difference.
How green is Powerclub?
While Powerclub was founded too recently to be included on the 2018 Green Electricity Guide, it does not offer any GreenPower options and there's no way to guarantee what percentage of your energy comes from renewable sources.
This may change in the future, but currently, Powerclub does not have many particularly green measures in place. The only exception is its Virtual Power Plant program that encourages people to install solar and storage to reduce reliance on non-renewable sources of power in Australia.
Can I manage my plan from my phone?
Yes. Powerclub has developed the Powerwatch app. This not only lets you manage your energy plan, but it also lets you track wholesale electricity prices in real time and sends alerts when usage rates spike suddenly.
The idea is that you can reduce your consumption during rate spikes and therefore lower your energy bills over time.
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