Powershop NZ
Type of businessSubsidiary
New Zealand
Area servedIn New Zealand: Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Rotorua, Taupo, Napier, New Plymouth, Wanganui, Palmerston North, Wairarapa, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin, Queenstown, Invercargill
Founder(s)Ari Sargent
Key peopleMargaret Cooney, Head of Powershop
IndustryElectricity retailing
EmployeesOver 200
ParentMeridian Energy
Powershop Australia
Area servedIn Australia: Victoria, New South Wales, South East Queensland and South Australia.
Key peopleEd McManus, CEO
IndustryElectricity retailing
ProductsElectricity & Gas
ParentShell Australia
Powershop UK
Successor(s)E.ON Next
United Kingdom
Area servedIn the United Kingdom: England, Wales and Southern Scotland
Key peopleDavid Winter, Head of Powershop UK
IndustryEnergy retailing
ProductsElectricity, gas

Powershop is an online electricity retailer founded in New Zealand, and also available in Australia. In New Zealand, Powershop is a subsidiary of Meridian Energy, of which 51% is owned by the New Zealand Government. The retailer operates through an online platform offering pre-pay and post-pay options.

In November 2021, it was announced that a consortium of Shell Australia and Infrastructure Capital Group would be acquiring Meridian Energy Australia Group, including Powershop Australia. Though subject to regulatory approvals, the transition was due to be completed in early 2022.[1] This development caused an uproar among many customers who opposed the takeover of Australia's greenest electricity provider by a multinational oil company.[2]


Meridian Energy traditionally had been a major electricity generator, but only a small retailer.[3] In 2006, Ari Sargent, an electricity industry veteran, had an idea to increase Meridian's market share in the retail market: turn electricity from a utility into a consumer good.[4] Initially, they planned to sell electricity tokens in supermarkets, but they abandoned that idea due to cost and instead considered setting up an Internet marketplace.

Sargent, with Simon Coley, a design specialist, founded Powershop in September 2007. In September 2008, Powershop bought its predecessor, Meridian Energy's Marketplace Innovations Business Unit, for NZ$1.26 million in stock.[5] After 14 months of private beta testing, it was made unofficially available to all before being officially launched to the public on February 22, 2009.[6]


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Powershop planned on 40,000 to 50,000 customers in its first year.[7] Powershop achieved 5,000 customers in October 2009,[8] and 10,000 customers in February 2010.[9] CEO Ari Sargent blamed this on inertia and general distrust of power companies.[10] Energy expert Molly Melhuish claims that because "people are so terrified of their power bills", "a majority of people" wouldn't want to try a new concept like Powershop."[11] The Consumers' Institute of New Zealand welcomes initiatives to increase retail power competition.[12]

In a 2009 survey by the Ministry of Economic Development, Powershop was found to be the cheapest electricity retailer for the typical consumer (one who consumes 8,000 kWh/year) in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin, Manawatū, and New Plymouth. It was the second cheapest in Whanganui and Wairarapa.[13][14]

In Consumers' Institute of New Zealand's 2009 survey of electricity companies, Powershop gained the highest rating ever in the history of the survey. 92% of Powershop customers found it 'good' or 'very good'. It did not receive a single poor rating from any of its customers.[15] In 2010, it again received a 92% satisfaction rating. In 2011 and again in 2012, it garnered a 96% customer satisfaction rating.[16]

It was the best company in Consumers' Institute of New Zealand's 2011 survey of electricity companies.[citation needed]

In Australia, Powershop is ranked 1st of 15 companies for customer service tracked by social media tracking website, servicerage.com.[17]


  1. ^ "Shell to acquire energy retailer, Powershop Australia".
  2. ^ Crellin, Zac (23 November 2021). "'Disgusted' Powershop customers abandon ship over Shell takeover". The New Daily. Retrieved 5 January 2022.
  3. ^ http://www.electricitycommission.govt.nz/pdfs/opdev/retail/regstats/regstatspdfs/percenticps/Oct09-Appendix1.html Archived 23 May 2010 at the Wayback Machine ICP per retailer 9 October – Electricity Commission
  4. ^ "Power trip :: Idealog :: the magazine and website of New Zealand creative business, ideas and innovation". www.idealog.co.nz. Archived from the original on 11 September 2010.
  5. ^ http://www.companies.govt.nz/services-drm-web/RetrieveDocumentServlet.svt?documentId=3595803[dead link]
  6. ^ Juha Saarinen (17 February 2009). "Website plans to disrupt the power supply market". NZ Herald.
  7. ^ "Slow take-up to Powershop services". NZ Herald. 26 March 2009.
  8. ^ Powershop NZ [@powershop] (4 November 2010). "we have just hit the 5000 customer mark - we're stoked :)" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  9. ^ Powershop NZ [@powershop] (4 November 2010). "we've popped the corks on the bubbles. we now have 10,000 customers. thanks for your support folks :)" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  10. ^ https://www.webcitation.org/5jm6F6m2j?url=http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/73737/customers-reluctant-switch[dead link]
  11. ^ "New power company promises no contracts, no line charges and no hassle". Campbell Live. TV3. 20 April 2009. Retrieved 20 April 2009.
  12. ^ "New way to buy power". Consumers' Institute of New Zealand. 25 February 2009. Archived from the original on 19 June 2009. Retrieved 10 June 2009.
  13. ^ Churchouse, Nick (2 October 2009). "Powershop shown to be the cheapest". The Dominion Post. Retrieved 4 November 2011.
  14. ^ Quarterly Survey of Domestic Electricity Prices: Updated to 15 August 2009
  15. ^ "Powershop trial - consumer.org.nz". www.consumer.org.nz. Archived from the original on 6 December 2009.
  16. ^ "Energy providers - Electricity suppliers - consumer.org.nz". Archived from the original on 6 January 2010. Retrieved 3 December 2009.
  17. ^ "Energy: which is best for customer service? Compare with ServiceRage". servicerage.com. Archived from the original on 14 November 2012.