Frequently Asked Questions

What is POWERUP?
POWERUP is a new energy concierge service being trialled by CHOICE beginning in March 2017. The service finds consumers the best electricity deal then automatically switches them to it.

How does POWERUP work?
POWERUP is built on smart technology developed by energy analysts Markintell that monitors and compares every retail electricity deal on offer in Australia. When consumers sign up, POWERUP finds them the best retail energy deal to suit their needs. If POWERUP finds a deal with annual savings of $150 or more, subscribers will be automatically switched to this deal.

How much does POWERUP cost?
There is no initial cost to sign up to the POWERUP service. When POWERUP finds a customer an electricity deal with a saving of $150 or more per year, a subscription fee of $50 is charged, and the customer is switched to a new deal. During the trial a 30% discount is offered with the discount code TRIALPU. The subscription fee covers a 12 month period where POWERUP acts on behalf of the customer, monitoring the market for even better deals.

How does POWERUP differ from ‘comparison’ services such as iSelect, Compare the Market and Finder?
Comparison services such as iSelect, Compare the Market and iFinder all receive sales commissions from energy retailers. They rarely consider every deal in the market and they switch consumers on the basis of the sales commissions they receive from energy retailers.
POWERUP scans every available deal on the energy market every day. We analyse the energy requirements of every subscriber and find the best deal to match their needs.
POWERUP does not accept any payments or sales commissions from energy retailers and works solely in the interests of its subscribers.

How do I sign up for POWERUP?
Commencing in March 2017, POWERUP will launch an initial trial service to a limited number of invitees from NSW, VIC, SA and SE QLD. The trial is being run by CHOICE’s New Things Lab to assess the viability of the service. The trial is fully subscribed but anyone can apply to be place on the wait list for the service on the POWERUP website: https://POWERUP.community.
Invitations to participate in the POWERUP trial will be made by email to a selection of people who have registered interest.  Selection of participants will be based on getting an initial group of subscribers from the most diverse range of geographical locations including NSW, VIC, SA and SE QLD.

Can CHOICE members participate in the POWERUP trial?
Anyone is free to register interest in the POWERUP trial on the POWERUP website. The trial is fully subscribed but it is possible to register for the waitlist.
The trial is being run to test a new digital service that will appeal to a wide range of Australians including CHOICE members. The POWERUP trial will test aspects of the service including its perceived value by participants who will be charged a discount subscription fee of $35 for the service.

Why is CHOICE launching POWERUP?
CHOICE has a long history of conducting research in the field of energy and advocating for consumers in this area. Current research indicates that Australians are being price gouged by retail electricity suppliers who, for example, charge much higher margins than their UK counterparts. CHOICE is launching POWERUP service in order to make the retail energy landscape easier for consumers to find and stay on the best deal.

What are the benefits of signing up to POWERUP?
The Australian retail electricity landscape is confusing for consumers. It is difficult to compare rates and plans between competitors and evidence shows that consumers tend to avoid switching energy retailers. A recent Grattan Institute report on the Australian retail energy market put it like this:

Lower price deals are available, but most consumers find the market so complicated that they have given up trying to find them.

POWERUP scans every deal in the marketplace every day and matches deals to customer energy needs. If a better deal is found for the subscriber, they are automatically switched to it.

How much money can POWERUP save me?
In initial trials POWERUP has been able to find savings of between $150 and $750 per year for over 50% of electricity consumers.

If POWERUP switches my electricity retailer how long before I receive a bill from my new retailer?
The switching process varies from retailer to retailer depending on the billing period.  POWERUP will identify the best deal for the customer within days of receiving their latest bill, and will begin the switching process immediately.  However it can be up to 3 months before the new electricity retailer comes onboard and the switch is finalised. If you have a smart meter installed switching energy retailers is generally faster.

Is POWERUP available for business customers?
Initially the POWERUP service will only be available for residential energy consumers. As the service becomes established we may expand the service to include business consumers.

How can I find out more about POWERUP?
You can find out more information about the POWERUP trial by emailing us at: powerup@choice.com.au.