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2391 posts

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  Reply # 723668 27-Nov-2012 15:00 Send private message

ruben999: H
And now the kicker..... as the lines charge is built into the individual unit price, if I then have spike in usage I will paying too much in line charges.

Is this refunded?


LOL I was giving this a lot of thought too. Maybe its part of powershops business model




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Geek

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Powershop

  Reply # 723673 27-Nov-2012 15:05 Send private message

@Ruben: transparency is exactly the reason we developed the prices explained page, which breaks down the fixed and variable parts of your prices. We also maintain a table of our current prices (for low, medium and higher users) on our website (http://www.powershop.co.nz/greater-savings-calculate.html). Unfortunately, we had to decommission our savings calculator as it was becoming almost impossible to maintain competitor tariffs (eg. Mercury and Trustpower do not publish rates on their websites, and most retailers now have more than one rate in the market). We don't publish lines charges separately, but these are normally available in the information disclosure area of most lines company websites (for you - http://www.electra.co.nz/prices/).

If you usage spikes (or indeed troughs) this will be fed in to your future estimated usage meaning your prices will go down (or up) slightly. Again, you can see the estimate we use for pricing on the prices explained page - it is essentially based on last month's usage, this month's and a forecast of next months. Overall most customers have fairly stable usage patterns after we have a couple of month's meter readings.



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Powershop

  Reply # 723676 27-Nov-2012 15:09 Send private message

Never Underestimate the Power of Stupid People in Large Groups ...


BraaiGuy:I love this quote, but wonder whether it should be "Never Underestimate the Stupidity of Powerful People in Large Groups" :D

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 723677 27-Nov-2012 15:10 Send private message

 
Do you have an up to date list of the lines charge prices per region?

And now the kicker..... as the lines charge is built into the individual unit price, if I then have spike in usage I will paying too much in line charges.

Is this refunded?

fair point...

if you need a separate page with scroll bars to explain your pricing policy, then there is something not quite right with your pricing policy (edit: contact has effectively 1 line for me, 29.897 cents a day plus 23.478 cents per kwh)

the fact is, powershop is no longer the cheapest option (at least for some low users) - and can be quite difficult to gauge the cost over a year. It's just not transparent and changes all the time, pre purchased packs can sometimes be more expensive than standard packs.

it has some neat features, but how much that service worth is to each their own.



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  Reply # 723679 27-Nov-2012 15:13 Send private message

deepthought:
Never Underestimate the Power of Stupid People in Large Groups ...


BraaiGuy:I love this quote, but wonder whether it should be "Never Underestimate the Stupidity of Powerful People in Large Groups" :D


It works both ways :-P

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Powershop

  Reply # 723681 27-Nov-2012 15:17 Send private message

@Hangon:our pricing is pretty simple, everything is in c/kWh - you know exactly what you get and exactly how much it costs - it is similar to petrol in that respect. Our perennial problem is comparing to the complexity of other retailers pricing structures. That said, we are continuing to develop tools to help customers understand their power costs; we intend to focus on very simple and meaningful metrics like $/month, rather than proliferating the underling complexity of industry costs (network, metering, levies etc etc).

You are correct, there are some areas where we are not the absolute cheapest, but we are confident that even in these areas we offer value for money and strive to provide a great service that amongst other things helps people use less power. But you're right, each to their own - we're happy to measured on our service and value for money.

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  Reply # 723683 27-Nov-2012 15:19 Send private message

Ok fair enough Ari.

Now one more, since its beat up PS day, I just moved house so PS refunded all my power packs and gave me a 'fresh start' with a whole lot of credit.

However I had purchased power for almost a year in advance at a very attractive prices which are now of course no longer available.

I know a new location so perhaps different calculations, however I moved within the local area, as a majority of people do.

I cant help but feel a little ripped off.

Is there no way to transfer your account to a new address if the external factors, like lines company, stay the same?

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Powershop

  Reply # 723692 27-Nov-2012 15:28 Send private message

@Ruben: I understand how you feel, and this is an issue that other's have raised. To date we have favoured the simpler approach of turning everything back to a common currency of $, but I'm happy to get the team to have another look at the feasibility redistributing as units, but I know it gets very mucky, not just because of the different network rates, more because of seasonality and day/night splits etc etc. If we take that approach, I don't think we could "hand on heart" say that a customer is no worse off. Refunding original purchase price is at least transparent and understood.



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  Reply # 723699 27-Nov-2012 15:35 Send private message

deepthought: you can see the estimate we use for pricing on the prices explained page - it is essentially based on last month's usage, this month's and a forecast of next months. Overall most customers have fairly stable usage patterns after we have a couple of month's meter readings.




Can you supply us with the exact formula you use for calculating cents/unit in specials/standard power etc?

Ie, cents/unit = X

This will really simplify things for me.

Thanks



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Powershop

  Reply # 723708 27-Nov-2012 15:57 Send private message

@BraaiGuy: The components that make up our unit prices are...

1) wholesale energy cost for the relevant month(s), plus,
2) variable (c/kWh) network charges, plus,
3) customer service costs (metering, contact centre costs, retail margin), plus,
4) fixed daily network charges (variablised based on your 3m rolling usage)

(1) will be different every month, (2) and (3) will typically be updated on 1 April each year. The underlying costs of (4) will also change on 1 April each year, but the actual amount will change each month when we update your estimated usage based on actual meter readings taken.

If you have a Day/Night or Controlled/Uncontrolled meter configuration (2) will also change each month as the ratio of usage in each category changes (eg. night usage tends to be a higher proportion in winter).

For specials we apply a straight discount of x c/kWh and will either make the product packs fixed $ amounts, or a proportion of expected monthly usage.

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Geek
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  Reply # 723728 27-Nov-2012 16:41 Send private message

Thanks for that explanation Ari, thats pretty clear.

Good on you for getting on here and standing up for your company.

I will not be jumping ship :)

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Biddle Corp
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  Reply # 723734 27-Nov-2012 16:49 Send private message

timmmay: I'm not with Powershop, I'm with Meridian, same company I believe. In Wellington I pay 23c/kwh, my bill varies between $120 in summer and $350 in winter so I'm not a low user.


Is your pricing new Meridian pricing or their old pricing? I'm in the Hutt and our Meridian pricing essentially gone up by ~25% last month with daily charge and per kwh both increasing significantly.

I actually find the whole Powershop model incredibly confusing. I want to know if my power would be cheaper if I moved and how much I would pay. There is no way for me to actually know that.


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Powershop

  Reply # 723740 27-Nov-2012 17:07 Send private message

@sbiddle: think of Powershop as buying power the same way you buy petrol... you can see how much it is in c/kWh and you know exactly how much you get for your money - in that context it is actually pretty simple. Where it gets difficult is making comparisons with other retailers who have fixed daily charges, some have EC levies, others don't, and then their is the treatment of GST - most retailers exclude GST in the breakdown of the line items on a bill then add GST at the end (this has the effect of making their unit rates appearing lower than they actually are). Even comparing between traditional retailers is not apples-for-apples and can be quite a challenge. We used to have a savings calculator to try and normalise everything, but as mentioned above this became impractical. We do present our prices (and expected monthly costs) for small, medium and large users on our website - http://www.powershop.co.nz/greater-savings-calculate.html if that helps you, but this does not include all of our specials and you can actually pay less than this.

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Master Geek
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  Reply # 723744 27-Nov-2012 17:28 Send private message

deepthought: Matt, it pretty much comes down to usage. The Cyber Monday special was set up to be 10% of your monthly usage. If you look at https://secure.powershop.co.nz/prices/charts for you, you will see that the estimate usage we are using for you is currently 23.9 kWh/day. So 10% (let's call it 3 days) is 72 units. Without giving too much away, Juha's current usage estimate is 38.3 kWh/day. For him 3 days usage is 115 kWh.

Similar story in relation to prices. Using the above numbers and the fixed cost information in your pricing charts you should be able to explain the 1.5c/kWh price difference.


Thanks for the explanation Ari. I did guess it was related to a difference in usage but that clears it up nicely. 

I don't envy you when it comes to working out these pricing models so they are "fair" and then having to find ways to explain them to consumers. I totally appreciate that it's not easy. I've hit similar fixed-cost/variable-cost/low-user/high-user issues modelling cloud computing costs on both the provider and consumer sides of the coin. 

As a customer sometimes I find it frustrating because it's not just a simple price that I can compare. On the other hand I love the level of transparency around input pricing throughout the year combined with the daily meter readings. I really hope you can get more retailers into the "shop" as then you'll really be cooking with gas (pun intended).

TL;DR version.. Love your work.. Keep it up :)

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  Reply # 724609 29-Nov-2012 12:21 Send private message

deepthought: @sbiddle: think of Powershop as buying power the same way you buy petrol... you can see how much it is in c/kWh and you know exactly how much you get for your money - in that context it is actually pretty simple.


Great explanations Ari. One feature I'd really like to see being implemented is an improved annual account summary. The monthly review is great but makes it too easy to react with a "OMG, my power this month cost me xyz!" and go off to look for something cheaper. The annual summary shows how much power was used over the year and it would be excellent if it also showed total cost, how many purchases were made and what packs/units were rolling into the next year. 
Seeing the annual costs gives a much better indication of how things pan out with the seasonal variations and makes it much easier to compare when looking at power switch tools for example. 

I know we can all throw our monthly review data into spreadsheets and do this ourselves but if it could be automated on your end this would be much better. 

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