Local online retail marketplace Kogan.com has announced its entry into Australia’s energy market, which it said would offer “Aussies low-cost power and gas”.
The ASX-listed marketplace said in a statement on Monday (24 June) that it had entered into an agreement with Meridian Energy Limited subsidiary Powershop Australia to launch power and gas services in Australia under the new brand Kogan Energy.
Services will be offered to consumers by the end of 2019, it said.
Kogan.com’s executive director, David Shafer, said the new offering would increase price competition for Australian energy users, particularly its more than 1.5 million active customers.
“Kogan.com is excited to partner with Powershop, which is part of Meridian Energy — Australasia’s largest 100 per cent renewable energy generator,” Mr Shafer said.
“This partnership will enable Kogan.com to offer Aussies low-cost power and gas, and a first-class customer experience using technology that will enable customers to easily track their energy usage at any time.
“Meridian Energy Group provides world-class generation from some of Australia’s leading wind farms and hydro power stations, and Powershop Australia was ranked Australia’s Greenest Power Company from 2014–2018 by Greenpeace.”
The company said it will look to simplify the provision of energy to Australian customers and “mak[e] these essential services more affordable through digital efficiency”.
Ed McManus, the CEO of both Powershop Australia and Meridian Energy Australia, said the partnership expands on its remit to “bring choice and transparency to Australian energy consumers”.
“We generate some of the cleanest and greenest energy in Australia,” he said.
“Together with Kogan, we believe we can make a real difference to the energy space by delivering simple, great-value energy offerings through Kogan Energy.”
New energy retail code to come into force
The announcement comes just days after the ACCC issued a statement on an incoming Retail Code for energy retailers in certain parts of the country.
Energy retailers in NSW, South Australian and the South-East Queensland region will be bound by the new Electricity Retail Code from 1 July, it said, which ACCC commissioner Cristina Cifuentes said “increase[s] transparency in advertising of electricity prices”.
The new code caps the “standing offer” prices, which the ACCC said are “often excessively high”, particularly for customers who do not have alternative providers available. This cap will be set on an annual basis by the Australian Energy Regulator.
Additionally, the new code requires all prices and discounts to be calculated and advertised against an independent set reference price, “meaning 20 per cent off with one retailer is also 20 per cent off the same price as another retailer in the same region”.
“These new rules, based on recommendations by the ACCC, increase transparency in advertising of electricity offers, and put consumers in a stronger position by enabling them to trust retailers’ advertised discounts and find a better deal,” Ms Cifuentes said.
“Current discounting practices confuse consumers and large discounts off inflated standing offers do not always result in lower electricity prices for consumers.”
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.