Overview of Circular Energy Australia
We review Circular Energy launched in 2020 but not really active till 2022. Circular Energy have a different approach from other energy companies. Their pitch is to community leaders not to individual customers. In return for the Community Group recruiting and retaining customers, Circular Energy pays the Community Group a commission on each account that remains with Circular Energy. We also explain the risks of participation with them and suggest a better alternative for community groups.
What do Circular Energy say about themselves?
Circular Energy has some impressive rhetoric.
“Join Us On The People’s Grid”
“Our vision is for a sustainable energy future powered by community energy.”
“The People’s Grid is an amazing platform that is dramatically improving the customer experience of energy consumers and is bringing community energy to life. For the first time ever members of a collective can see where their renewable energy is being generated (in real time) and actively be a part of a Community Energy Collective. It’s 100% transparent and everyone is connected to a purpose.”
It invites customers to create a ‘community collective’. By signing up to a Collective, members gain access to The People’s Grid where they can log in and see:
- The number of participating residents and business within the Community Energy Collective
- The fundraising goal and its current progress
- Energy insights and how they compare to other members
- The name of the business(es) supplying the energy, a map showing their location and the percentage of energy they are supplying to the Collective
It doesn’t sound like an avaricious Energy Company does it?
So much for the marketing hype. We explain below what we like and don’t like about Circular Energy.
Circular Energy Review: What we like
Circular Energy offer support to the collectives that sign up. It’s unclear how this works although it offers an example whereby it contributes $1 per week per home and $3 per business member to a sporting club.
Plans for Virtual Power Plant
Circular Energy plan to control applications in the customer’s premises, e.g. Electric vehicles. This makes sense, but at this stage it seems to be well into the future. It’s also unclear how the customer will benefit from participating or when. The silence suggests that the benefits are likely to flow to Circular Energy rather than the customer.
Circular Energy Review: What we don’t like
Plans are inaccessible
The call to action is ‘create a collective’ and there is no way for individuals to sign up. It looks like they are using clubs and organisations to recruit customers that will be sticky out of loyalty to their organisation.
Circular has plans available in South Australia and in Eastern Victoria (Ausnet) but at this stage nowhere else.
The website has lots of feel good statements and little that is concrete. Even though their target is the leaders of clubs and community organisations rather than individual customers it still lacks substance.
No GreenPower offered
They do not offer GreenPower although there is vague commentary about using other customer’s surplus solar or wind generation. This won’t increase the stock of renewable energy as these sources will have already sold their renewable credits. If you really want to add to the stock of renewable energy then GreenPower is the best option as we explain here. To get the cheapest GreenPower click here.
Is Circular Energy Australia competitive?
At the moment they quote reasonably cheap prices. But this has little concrete effect as individuals can’t access these prices. Instead it seems to be a way of getting their name and proposition in front of community leaders. The aim is to attract community leaders by the community group funding offered by Circular Energy. If and when community groups sign up, could prices increase as customers are locked in by loyalty to their club? Once again the website is silent on this.
Coverage: Don’t offer Gas or cover all Electricity meters
Circular Energy Australia plans don’t cover all meters. If you have a less common tariff, it’s bad luck, Circular Energy can’t supply you.
Circular Energy Australia do not supply gas. To find a gas provider, head to Energy Umpire-Best Gas Provider.
A better deal for Community Organisations
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