Powershop have migrated from New Zealand and plan to completely change the way you think about your gas and electricity bill. This Birmingham based supplier claims to put your power back into your hands -both literally and metaphorically.
|Electricity: Natural gas, Nuclear, Coal, Renewables||New and innovative attitude to energy bills|
|Fuel mix score: ★★||Great discounts through Powerpacks|
|Domestic Market: England, Scotland, Wales||Mostly positive customer reviews|
|Customers: n/a (small energy supplier)||Smart Meters|
|Selectra score: ★★★||Some customers find the Powerpacks concept confusing|
What is Powershop UK?
Powershop is an electricity supplier which was originally founded in New Zealand in 2010. Powershop Energy had great success in New Zealand with 96% of their customers rating them good or very good in 2017 and winning best supplier in the Consumer Institute of New Zealand in 2011.
The company’s original plan was to change the way customers bought their electricity. Instead of the usual estimated bills they wanted to sell tokens in supermarkets. This idea was quickly discarded but they decided to sell “powerpacks via an online app.” The idea was a hit and the company quickly spread to Australia and to the UK in 2017, with the help of Npower.
The main concept of Powershop is that you can choose when and how you pay for your electricity and gas bills. You buy different powerpacks and use them against the cost of your electricity. The more powerpacks you use the more you can save.
Who is Powershop UK owned by?
Powershop UK is a subsidiary of Meridian Energy, which is a government owned electricity generator and supplier in New Zealand (the government owns 51% of the company). The UK branch is based in Birmigham and currently headed by CEO David Winter.
Is Powershop part of Npower?
Poershop was brought to the UK by a partnership with Npower. While the company is not owned by Npower, a franchise agreement between the two company's was struck in order to allow Powershop to operate in the UK.
Login and account management
The Powershop online account is a very important part of their service. Not only can you use it to manage your energy like most suppliers but it is also where you can buy powerpacks.
The majority of customers find the online portal useful and easy to use. When logged in with your username and password, you can carry out a number of day to day tasks such as:
- updating your account details
- submit meter readings
- check credit balance
To access the Powershop UK login page, head to the company's website and click the blue 'My Account' button located in the top right hand corner. Enter the email address and password linked to your account and you are logged in.
The Powershop UK app is the perfect complement to the online account. With the app you can quickly check how much energy you are using by month, week, or even by day.
The app also has easy to understand barcharts where you can see how much energy you’ve used and compare it to how much you are estimated to use. Your usage is updated in real time so it’s really easy for customers to see patterns in their energy usage and give them the tools to help reduce their bills.
You can download the app either from the Google Play Store or the App Store for Android and Apple devices respectively. The app has 4.4 stars on the Play Store and the majority of customers are satisfied with how it works, especially with how it displays their usage. One niggle is that the app doesn’t show how much energy you get in the powerpacks, just the currency value.
Customers on the Powershop Pro tariff are expected to provide Powershop meter readings at a much higher frequency than normal. In fact, Powershop UK recommend that you take your meter readings once a day and submit them either through the online portal or through the mobile app. This makes sure than your billing is as accurate as possible.
As each of the Powerpacks offered are tailored to each customer’s usage the more accurate your readings are, the greater your savings will be. Although the process is very quick and easy and doesn’t take more than a few minutes, some customers may find this excessive and prefer to submit their meters once a month which is the usual average.
Luckily, customers with smart meters do not need to take manually readings and can select a frequency of monthly, daily or half-hourly in their smart meter settings. This means your meter readings will automatically be sent to Powershop at the frequency you choose.
Always intrigued by a new idea, here at Selectra we wanted to give a Powershop Energy review and discover whether their new Powerpack concept of paying for your electricity really can save you money.
What we are hearing from customers is that you must “engage to save” and how you interact with the app will dictate how much money you will save on your energy bills. Buying powerpacks can give you up to a 33% discount.
47% of their customers love the method and find the app engaging and fun. Many customers also claim to have saved a considerable amount on their bills and on their website they claim an average customer will save up to £346 compared to the big six, when using their ‘top shopper’ rate.
However, an equal number of customers are dissatisfied with the service with 37% saying that they are unhappy with the new method of paying the bills. The majority of these customers found that using the app, providing meter readings every day and spending time buying the powerpacks was too much effort. Some customers say that you must buy all the powerpacks and the future packs in order to really achieve the savings level claimed on the website.
Some Powershop UK customer reviews say that the financial pressure of buying the powerpacks and the uncertainty of what the bills are going to be has put them off. Some customers have added that if you join in winter it can be especially difficult as you have no way to buy the powerpacks in advance and so get hit with paying the standard rate, which is quite expensive.
Powershop have tried to address these issues by introducing Powershop Lite. With powershop lite customers can pay a fixed sum, much as they do with any other company and save the hassle of buying the energy packs. This deal is unfortunately only available for new customers and is not available for current customers of either Powershop UK or Npower which may disappoint some.
We’d say that Powershop has created an interesting new way to pay energy bills. It could be a great choice and offer considerable savings for those who are switched on about their energy bills and don’t mind spending time and effort buying the powerpacks. We’d also only recommend Powershop for those who can afford to buy the powerpacks upfront. It’s definitely not a tariff for those who are living month by month and don’t have some disposable income.
How good is Powershop UK?
Powershop UK reviews online are mostly positive. In Which's 2019 annual survey, Power shop performed very well, coming in joint 5th out of 35 suppliers. With a customer score of 77%, it achieved top marks (5/5) for bill accuracy, and a solid 4/5 for digital tools, bill clarity and value for money.
Customer reviews about Powershop UK are slightly more mixed on Trustpilot. The supplier has an overall score 2.8/5, which translates to a rating of ‘Average’. 45% of reviews rank the company as ‘excellent’, praising its customer service and pricing. However, 38% rate it as ‘bad’ (the worst rating). Most of these poor customer reviews centre on the concept of the Powerpacks, hinting that the new way of paying for gas and electricity that Powershop UK promote takes some getting used to and is not for everyone.
Tariffs and prices
In an attempt to keep things simple, there are only two Powershop UK tariffs available. One is a fixed-rate tariff available for single rate and Economy 7 meters, while the other a variable-rate tariff.Powershop Lite
- Fixed-rate tariff (unit rates fixed for length of contract)
- Fixed-term contract - unlike most suppliers, customers can choose how long they want to fix the contract for e.g. 1 year or 2 years.
- No exit fees
This is a variable-rate tariff (meaning your unit rates can change), that has three different tariff options:
- First Year Promise - for the first 12 months, customers pay a fixed amount based on the usage details provided when getting a quote.
- Baseline Tariff - this is the rate customers pay if they don’t purchase any Powerpacks. This works out as the most expensive option.
- Top Shopper Tariff - this is the rate customers pay if they take advantage of all the Powerpacks available to them. Using the discounts Powerpacks provide means this will work out as the cheapest option.
Is your energy tariff too expensive?You can save hundreds of pounds on your energy bill just by switching supplier. Talk to one of our energy experts and see how much you could save. Call 020 3936 0059 or get a free callback now.
What are powerpacks?
Powerpacks allow you to pay for big chunks of energy at one time. When you purchase a Powerpack, you buy an amount of energy at a discounted price. This can then be applied to your bills to make them cheaper. You can apply a Powerpack to one bill, or spread the amount out over time to reduce multiple bills.
Different PowerPacks are released every month and offer different saving opportunities. Watch the video below for more information on how they work and help you save.
Is Powershop expensive?
Focusing on the Powershop Pro tariff, price depends on which level of the tariff you opt for (First Year Promise, Baseline or Top Shopper). In the table below we have calculated the price for each option for a household in London using a medium amount of energy. As expected, the Baseline is the most expensive option and the Top Shopper the cheapest.
|Powershop Pro Tariff option||Annual cost|
|First Year Promise||£1066.22|
|Top Shopper Tariff||£915.81|
To give you an idea of how Powershop UK’s prices compare to other providers, we compared its most expensive option (Baseline) to the most expensive tariff offered by British Gas. The prices come in more or less the same, showing that the Baseline tariff is not a good option if you want to save money on your bills.
|Energy Provider||Annual cost|
|Powershop UK (Baseline tariff)||£1182.06|
|British Gas (Standard tariff)||£1183.33|
To benefit from Powershop UK, you need to take advantage of its Powerpacks and opt for the Top Shopper tariff.
Customers on the Powershop Lite tariff are protected form any price rises for the duration of their contract, whether that be 1,2,3 etc years. However, customers on the Powershop Pro tariff are not given the same protectection. After the First Year Promise ends (after the first 12 months), prices can rise and fall in line with the wholesale price of energy.
For example, the Baseline tariff could increase by £10 a month if Powershop UK rises its prices. In this case, already purchased PowerPacks won't equal as many savings as orginally thought, but future PowerPacks will be created with the price increase in mind.
Powershop Energy doesn’t currently offer business tariffs as it is focusing on the domestic market. If you are interested in a business energy tariff, give our energy experts a call on 02039 360059. They can help you compare your options and find the best plan for your business.
How does Powershop billing work?
Powershop prefers that you pay by direct debit and all of their billing is done by email and on the online portal. Rather than waiting for a bill to arrive, the Powerpacks mean you can pay for your energy when you want to.
If you are on the Powershop Pro tariff and you use more energy than you’ve bought with the Powerpacks, Powershop will send you an email telling you by how much you have overspent by and give you the opportunity to buy more before they charge you at the standard price. If you don’t do anything, when you are billed it will be done at the standard rate. To see all the powerpacks you have bought you can view your account summary online under the Transactions tab.
If you are on Powershop Lite tariff then you will be billed nmonthly and won’t have to buy any of the Powerpacks.
Fuel mix - Is Powershop energy green?
Fuel mix refers to the energy sources providers get their electricity from, e.g. natural gas, renewables and coals. As Powershop UK customers are supplied by energy from Npower, their fuel mix is the same as Npower’s.
Unfortunately, the company performs quite poorly in terms of renewable energy, getting less than the national average of its electricity from sustainable sources. Most Powershop energy comes from natural gas.
Powershop is now installing smart meters in the households of its customers. Current customers will need to complete an eligibility test to see if they can have one installed. This test can be completed via your online portal. If eligible, you will be able to book an appointment to have a Powershop smart meter fitted.
If you have a smart meter installed by another provider, it will continue to work with Powershop UK if it is a second generation smart meter (SMETS2). If you have a first generation meter, it will likely lose its smart meter abilities when you switch and function as a normal meter.
Warm Home Discount
The Warm Home Discount scheme is a programme backed by the UK government to assist in paying for your energy bills. Customers can get up to £140 discounted from their energy bills during the period of October to April.
Powershop Energy doesn’t currently participate in this scheme as it is only madatory for suppliers with over 250,000 customers. However, customers might find that they will save more than the £140 with Powershop UK with the discount offered by the Powerpacks.
There are a number of different ways customers can contact Powershop UK, including phone, email and via social media. In the table below we have listed all available Powershop contact details.
|Powershop UK contact number||0800 252 7540 (Monday-Friday: 9am-5pm)|
|Powershop UK address||Powershop UK, 5th Floor, 125 Colmore Row,
Birmingham, B3 3SD
You can also request a call back or response through email via the Powershop UK website. Fill out the contact form with your name, email address, phone number, house number, postcode, and explain your question/problem, and a customer service agent will get back in touch at a time that suits you.
Powershop are very transparent about their complaints record and clearly mark how you can complain on their website. The company has a decent claims resolution record. From April to June 2018 they had a total of 171 complaints of which 22 were resolved in less than 24 hours and 156 resolved within 8 weeks. In this period from 100,000 customers they had 698 complaints in total.
If you have a problem with Powershop UK, use one of the complaint conatct mehtods below to start the complaints process:
- Contact number: 0800 252 7540 (Monday-Friday: 9am-5pm)
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Postal address: Powershop UK, 5th Floor, 125 Colmore Row, ,Birmingham, B3 3SD
When you contact their customer service they will try to resolve your problem by providing you with an apology, action and compensation if they feel that is appropriate. If one of their customer service agents can’t resolve your problem then you can “escalate” your complaints to one of the dedicated customer service managers who will try to resolve your case as quickly as possible.
Usually, in these cases, they will aim to resolve your case in under 8 weeks. If your complaint isn’t resolved in 8 weeks you can ask for a “deadlock” letter and take your complaint to the energy ombudsman who will intervene on your behalf.
If you are moving home you can contact Powershop on their website or on the app up to three days after you move out to give them your final meter readings. This is something that you must remember to do before you move house in order to close your account and so that they can pay you your final bill or get a refund if their estimation was off.
Remember that the First Year Promise fixed price only applies if you stay with the company for the first 12 months. If you move away before that time, and have spent more than your estimate, you won’t have this money refunded to you.
If you wish to stay with Powershop after you move, it can set up the supply for your new home before you move in, making sure that you don’t end up paying more than you should.