A Bright Idea: How Powerclub are Changing Energy

Creating an alternative to an essential industry like electricity needs a bright idea.

Hub Australia is the largest Australian owned coworking provider, creating premium workspaces for some of the best and brightest businesses, startups, thought leaders and teams in the country.

We asked our member Powerclub to share how they are bringing a new way for everyday people to pay for their electricity and monitor their usage.

What’s the background of Powerclub?

Powerclub founder Stuart McPherson was considering an investment in a commercial solar farm when he found the wholesale price of energy was, on average, between 3 and 5 cents per kWh. Meanwhile, people at home were paying about 30c . Stuart quickly realised the Australian energy system was flawed – this discovery helped jumpstart the idea of Powerclub.

Yet it took some time to find what changes he could make to improve the situation.

“Getting something approved and on the market takes real perseverance.”

Powerclub is not your average energy retailer. We are entirely focused on our Members, not the company bottom line – that’s why we don’t profit from your energy usage.

Innovations such as the Powerbank and Powerwatch are designed to give people more control, by bringing Members closer to their energy consumption – by cutting out the middleman, you get a better deal and a better product.

Tools like this enable a level of transparency lacking in the market.

Powerclub provides Members with access to wholesale energy prices so you only pay for the energy you use. We use the latest technology, a lean approach and low overheads to be more efficient than many other retailers.

We want to bring 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, as much as possible. 

How is Powerclub disrupting the market?

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.

When you join the Club, you become a part owner, just like a shareholder in a conventional company. We’re the first Australian energy retailer to set up as a company limited by guarantee which means we operate much like a charity or community club.

Powerclub is the people’s innovator. While other retailers distort the truth, what you see is what you get with Powerclub.

We’re the first to offer something truly customer-focused and the first to design innovative technology that puts our Members directly in control.

The Powerwatch app 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 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 on your annual electricity bills.

Which target market has been the best at adopting your new offering?

Around 70% of Australians are concerned about being able to pay their energy bills and customer sentiment for the energy industry is at an all-time low. In fact it’s less than the banking sector, and that’s saying something.

We’re all sick of paying too much for energy while big companies keep raking in billions in profit.

Powerclub is very new in the market. We have launched in NSW, QLD, SA and ACT and are about to take off in Victoria. While we’re seeing people from all walks of life join, we are focusing our attention on those most affected most by rising energy prices – young families.

With mortgages to pay, shopping bills, school fees, swimming lessons, gym class, homework tutors and everything else that comes with raising a young family, this group is feeling the pinch.

We’re here to make their lives – and the lives of every Australian – a little easier so they can save their energy for life, not massive power bills.

How does Powerclub hope to change the energy industry for the better?

Powerclub is here to shake up the industry – to challenge the status quo and change the way Australians buy, sell and use their energy.

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.

Powerclub is different because we are set up to benefit Members first. Being limited by guarantee means that if we receive more revenue than we need to pay for 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.

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