Powershop’s more taketh, less giveth.

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Meridian Energy’s electricity retailer Powershop announced overnight an update to their retail electricity prices. Effective 1 March 2016, these changes will affect the rapidly expanding Victorian customer base, now over 60,000 customers. As you sweat over the updated pricing tariff schedule, as a Powershop customer, want to know how it will affect you?

TrueDemand has conducted analysis to answer this very question. We examined all five distribution network regions that cover Victoria – Ausnet Services, CitiPower, Jemena, Powercor and United Energy (Vic Govt webpage to locate yours) – for all three tariff types offered (Flat, TOU 5 day (Time-variant Peak and Off Peak periods) and Flexible (Time-variant Peak, Shoulder and Off Peak periods). The assessment compares Powershop’s current retail price with the proposed prices effective 1 March 2016 for a typical 4 MWh p.a. customer. Along with different pricing, Powershop will change their online discounts from 30% to 34% “to try and help absorb as much of the increase as we can”, said Powershop in the Pricing update to customers. They also announced an increase in their solar feed-in tariff from 6.4 c/kWh to 7.2 c/kWh. Our assessment compares before and after the applicable discounts.

If you forget to purchase the online discount and you accept their standing offer, expect to pay for your forgetfulness. If supply charges haven’t risen for your tariff, you’ll be hit by higher energy charges (and vice versa). In some cases, both supply and energy charges have risen, an example being a CitiPower Flexible tariff product which sees supply charges increasing by 10% and energy charges more than 20%. On average across all tariff types and network regions, supply charges before discounts will rise by 7.6% and energy charges 7.5% higher for this 4 MWh p.a. customer.

Powershop_Before_Discounts

But assuming you are a diligent Powershop customer and you always buy online to receive the highest discount available, how will you be affected? If you’re in Jemena and United Energy, you’ll see a decline in your supply charges (with an increasing energy charge). Overall however, across all segments, supply charges are 1.4% higher and energy charges 1.3% higher for this customer profile.

Powershop_After_Discounts

Analysing the tariff charge types are useful to determine where the changes will occur, but we’re predominantly interested in the total bill changes. We used the same consumption profile for assessment and comparison.

Before discounts, there no winners, only losers. After discounts, five segments (out of 15) are better off, the remainder worse off. The CitiPower Flexible tariff type exhibiting the largest increase. Be aware this assessment is for a particular customer’s profile. Your bill will be higher or lower depending on your energy usage, the amount during peak, shoulder, off peak times, etc and requires a detailed assessment specific to your consumption.

Powershop_Total

Our results indicate a significant change across some tariff types, less so in others. Supply charges are rapidly increasing, a trend amongst electricity retailers in Victoria. There are however actions you can take to reduce your bill. The independent Vic Govt “Switchon” website  allows you to compare the different products. However if you’re after a more detailed and nuanced assessment, try our TrueDemand “Tariff Optimisation” service where we utilise your smart meter data and help you understand your options. Understand these tariff changes and get on top of your energy situation.

 

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About Author

Paul Szuster

Paul Szuster

Paul Szuster is the Director of TrueDemand. Paul is a civil engineer with specialisations in the application of renewable engineering, developing technological solutions and robust energy economic analysis. His clients have included small and large businesses, households, and energy economic firms. He has worked mainly in Australia along with teams in Britain, US, and Singapore. He has a Bachelor of Civil/Structural Engineering (1st class Honours) at the University of Adelaide and a Master of Engineering in Sustainable Energy (with Distinction) at RMIT University.