Powershop ‘bleeding customers’ after Shell takeover

Powershop employees outside headquarters (Shell)
Image: Powershop

Thousands of Australians are cutting ties with energy retailer Powershop, which sold itself on its clean and green credentials, after an announcement it was being bought out by global oil and gas giant Shell, according to an ABC News report.

ABC News says it has gathered data from Powershop’s competitors that indicates it has likely lost at least 6,000 customers following the announcement.

“When I heard about the purchase by Shell, I was frustrated and sad,” former Powershop customer Claire Harvey told the ABC.

Related article: Meridian to sell Australian power business for $729m

“Shell is still in the fossil fuels and oil business. I know they’re trying to branch out and transition into a greener, cleaner future. But they’re still in that space.”

Powershop was founded in 2007 has amassed approximately 185,000 customers in Australia.

It credentials in the renewable energy space included being Climate Active Certified—a standard certified by the Australian Government that shows when a company is guaranteed as being carbon neutral.

“Green power is essentially an offset scheme,” Victoria University energy economist and director of the Victoria Energy Policy Centre Bruce Mountain said.

“Many of these (small operators) really want to make a difference and they’re not in it for the buck.”

As well as being Climate Active Certified, Powershop’s website also notes that its parent company, Meridian, invests in renewable energy projects including wind and hydro.

The ABC approached Powershop to confirm the reported number of customers it had lost, however, a Meridian spokesperson said they couldn’t comment on the deal.

Related article: Spotlight on: Meridian and Powershop Australia CEO Jason Stein

“The Powershop team are busy supporting their customers and will continue to provide the high levels of interaction and service that they always have during the transition,” they said.

“It is natural that some customers want to understand how and whether they can expect ongoing support as ownership changes and we are working with those customers.”

Read the full report here.

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