Electricity retailer Mojo Power launched today in NSW, promising reduced bills and a radically different way of paying for energy. Simply put, Mojo's subscription-based service gives you access to wholesale electricity pricing -- but can it really save you money, and how does it actually work?
How Does It Work?
The main difference between Mojo and regular retailers is the subscription service, which it calls an 'EnergyPass'. You pay a flat rate of between $30 and $50 per month for your subscription, which gives you access to the wholesale rates for electricity that will make up the rest of your monthly power bill. You can also opt for an annual subscription, saving a little on the monthly prices.
There are three levels of EnergyPass -- the first at $30 gives you access to only the discounted electricity rates. The second $40 tier involves installation of a smart meter to enable you to make use of Mojo's real-time energy monitoring software, MyMojo. Having a smart meter installed will also let you opt to use time-of-use rates, which means you can get a discounted rate on electricity if you use it in off-peak or shoulder times.
The third tier at $50 gives you access to all of the above plus the phone support network -- that's right, you can't call the support team unless you're a premium member, though all members can make use of live chat online or email support. While many people tend to prefer to do most things online these days rather than talking to an actual person, I can imagine it may be inconvenient if you come up against a difficult problem.
Mojo's wholesale pricing offers a decent discount on kWh rates. While most electricity retailers will charge a bit more than 20c/kWh, Mojo's single rate tariff offers around 17c/kWh, depending on your distributor. If you have a smart meter and are on a time-of-use rate tariff, you'll pay around 35c/kWh for peak times, around 10c/kWh for off-peak and 13c/kWh for shoulder periods.
If you have solar panels installed you will most likely get the same feed-in-tariff you're earning now -- 60c/kWh or 20c/kWh for people on the Solar Bonus Scheme (which is ending this year) or 6c/kWh for everyone else.
There's also a one-time joining fee of $99.
Who's It Good For?
The basic premise of Mojo is simple -- pay a flat rate for the service and get discounted energy on top of that. This means that the more you already pay on your bill, the more likely you are to save by switching to Mojo. If you already use relatively little energy, however, you may be better off with a company that only charges for the amount you use. This may not be the perfect service for solar users either, as they are likely to have a smaller bill already.
However people with high electricity needs -- large families or households, or people with air conditioners or pool pumps to run -- will most likely benefit from switching to Mojo's subscription-based deal. With the $40 and $50 plans offering installation of a smart meter, these plans will also benefit those who were thinking of making the switch to a time-of-use rate tariff -- perfect for people who are mindful of their electricity use, or who use home automation and smart appliances to make sure everything runs exactly when they want it to.
The MyMojo monitoring system also puts Mojo ahead of the curve -- having a way to track your energy usage in real time is one of the best ways to know exactly how you use your electricity, and you can best save money on it.
How Can I Get It?
“One reason many don’t change their retailer is because they think it is too hard, with 55% of people surveyed saying switching electricity retailer is a complicated process. The reality is it couldn’t be easier; people can go online and sign up in under three minutes,” said Mojo Co-Founder James Myatt. Mojo prides itself on being easy to sign up for -- use the online form to choose your account type, enter your details and Mojo will arrange the switch of your account from your existing retailer.
Mojo offers no lock-in contracts or exit fees, with a monthly rather than quarterly bill. There's also a cooling-off period of ten business days during which you can claim a full refund of any payments made, in case you change your mind.
For more information, or to sign up (for those in NSW), check out Mojo Power's website.