Power Prices in New Zealand
One of our reviewers recently went through the exercise of checking if what he was paying for power was the best deal. Below are his findings, it is non-scientific and done over a day of phone calls. Different areas of New Zealand have different electricity suppliers but this will give you an idea of what you have to deal with. There is an independent website run by the New Zealand Consumer Magazine www.powerswitch.co.nz which will help you work out who is the best to buy your power off.
My Power Bill
My power bill was $296.04 for 23 June until 22 July 09, with the prompt pay 12% discount I paid $266.36 with Meridian in Christchurch, was this my best deal? All the power companies are trying to get our business so is the saving I may get worth the changeover.
I called Contact Energy and a helpful person answered the phone with a minimal wait and minimal pushing of numbers eg; 1 for, 2 for bla bla bla.....
We worked through the plan I was on, unit rates, electricity commission levy, GST and prompt payment discount of 10% and arrived at $269.60, so $3.24 more. Contact does offer an extra 2% for online or automatic payment.
Contact is a no go.
Next I called Empower where a lady answered after the same amount of waiting and button pushing as Contact. The lady was prepared to give me their unit prices but was not prepared to work out the figures based on my old Meridian bill with me. She said she did not have a calculator. When I told her the lady at Contact was more than happy to help, she told me that Empower was a subsidiary of Contact and the prices would be the same, she was a bit embarrassed at this stage.
Empower is a no go.
Mercury Energy was next, same amount of waiting, so not a lot. Lady worked through everything (same prompt payment discount as Contact 10%) and it came to $244.19 a saving of $22.17. She also told me prices of power at Mercury is fixed until April 2010
Mercury is a maybe.
There is a new online company called Powershop.co.nz who are telling us to "join the revolution" so let's give them a go. I used their online savings calculator and it told me for an average bill of over $200 with Meridian I would save $422.72= $35.22 a month changing to Powershop, I thought great so I called them. A helpful lady answered and we worked through my bill. On a monthly plan with Powershop my Meridian bill was $252.75 a saving of $13.61 not the $35.22 as per their online calculator. You can buy your own units of power month to month so I would think that is how you make the $35 saving. If you play the power market like the stock market and make it a monthly pastime. Sorry time not worth the saving. Join the revolution for a $12-$35 saving per month what a load of rubbish, not the sort of savings for the hype.
PowerShop I will not be joining your "lame revolution".
I now called my current supplier Meridian of which there was a 5 minute wait, the worst by about 3 minutes. They told me I was on the best rate and the only other option was to fix my rate for 2 years. One catch, the current fixed rate is higher than their current rate. My bill of $266.36 went up to $271.95.
After all this I will look at Mercury, but it did show me all were about the same with no "revolutions" just monopolies.
It will be great to see what comes of the Government shake up of the electricity industry that continue to make huge profits and pay lots of tax.
New Zealand for all its resources has very expensive electricity. When the electric cars start flowing in, the electricity companies will charge so much your petrol car will probably be cheaper to run.
There is an independent website run by the New Zealand Consumer Magazine www.powerswitch.co.nz which will help you work out who is the best to buy your power off.
After about a month I got a random sales phone call from Mercury and went through the figures on a different bill with the sales person. Great I saved money again (about $25), so I have changed to Mercury. The Mercury sales person told me that I would now get a call from Meridian offering me a 20% prompt payment discount instead of my 10% until April 2010.
That call did come after a couple of days. I was upset at this tactic by Meridian and asked them why they could not offer me anything earlier, they had no answer, so I declined this underhanded tactic. I feel they do not want to look after their current customers until the change over is in progress. After April 2010 the 20% discount goes back to 10% and I am in the same place. Mercury are doing a price review in April but if Mercury put their prices up I am free to change to another company.
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