On November 22 2021, the world was Shell-shocked - literally. Powershop, Australia’s previous poster child for renewable energy announced that they had been acquired by the multinational fossil fuel giant, Shell. What followed was disappointment and confusion, but more importantly, over $100,000 worth of donations to environmental organisations, led by the Amber community.
ICYMI, Powershop (and their previous owner, Meridian Energy) were bought out for an estimated $150m+ from one of the world’s biggest polluters, Shell. Comedian Dan Ilic said it best when he tweeted:
So why is this acquisition so bad, anyway?
Well, we know that customers of green power companies (like you!) expect a lot from their energy retailer. They want energy that doesn’t harm the planet, and a retailer that doesn’t choose profit over people. We think these are fair, and important, expectations, that’s why we’re on a mission to transition Australia to 100% renewable energy through cheaper, greener power.
Despite confidential documents proving that Shell has known about the catastrophic impacts of the climate crisis on people for over 30 years, they have continued to rapidly invest in fossil fuels. Plus, the company also spends big on stopping climate action; since as recently as 2015, Shell has spent over $20 million annually on lobbying activities against climate policies.
Needless to say, thousands of Powershop customers were then surprised and disappointed by this buyout from Shell, and as allies in the climate fight, so were we.
So we took action. It was time for an Ambervention.
We wanted to support Powershop customers to make the switch to Amber, and we would donate $100 on their behalf to an environmental organisation of their choice.
The day after the announcement, we encouraged all Amber customers to invite a Powershop friend to sign up. We put a call out to our networks, then to the wider community through social media. We published a full page open letter in The Age, inviting betrayed Powershop customers into the fold. We launched billboards around Victoria, promoting Amber as Australia’s greener energy provider.
We’re thrilled that the Ambervention supported thousands of people to make the switch from Powershop to Amber’s cheaper and greener energy offering.
As a result, on December 7, Amber donated $107,000 to Australia’s leading environmental organisations; this included:
- Australian Conservation Foundation
- Environment Victoria
- World Wildlife Fund
In response to a fossil fuel giant buying out Powershop, thousands of customers put their values into action, resulting in these incredible donations that will support the climate advocacy and action that these organisations lead across the country. Win!
This Shell-shock should serve as a lesson to environmentally-conscious businesses around Australia: your customers want real action that aligns with their values; and when these values aren’t prioritised, customers take notice.
Here's to a moment of appreciation for some other awesome moments through these weeks: our mission billboards and the moment we took out a full page ad in The Age, to farewell a partner in the fight against climate change.
Thousands of Powershop customers didn’t just shift to Amber because we invited them to, or because we provide wholesale energy prices, they shifted because they know we’re the real deal, and that our model aligns with our values. And the more Aussies we can empower to use energy when there are more renewables in the grid, the faster we’ll transition to 100% renewables.