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  Reply # 1810209 1-Jul-2017 18:13
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Sam91:

 

Today has been pretty bad, up around 30c most of the day (Auckland).

As others have mentioned, people must be leaving Flick in droves. At the moment this is an option, so I see why people are doing it. You can save money by staying Flick year round, or you can save even more by changing before winter and then switching back. I just don't see how this is sustainable for Flick long-term. They could look at offering a fixed rate plan for winter months, and even if this fixed price isn't very competitive, it may still retain a decent chunk of customers simply because it's stable and customers can't be bothered moving.

It's a shame really, Flick's pricing structure is the right move for decarbonising electricity. When demand spikes we tend to use dirty sources of electricity (gas etc.) to meet the increased demand. Fixed price consumers are oblivious to this and will not adjust their demand. On the other hand, people on Flick type plans will adjust their demand based on real time price signals. This decreased demand means gas peaking plants cease production, and lower cost and zero emission sources (hydro) meet the current demand. At the moment this doesn't really happen, because the bulk of consumers are on fixed plans not variable plans. Hence the need for more companies like Flick.

 



This is not a big problem for flick if they lose customers during dry periods, and get them back after.

However it is an issue for other companies if they have customers jump onto fixed (per kWh) price plans for a short period while spot prices are high (the least profitable (or sometimes loss making) time of the year), and then jump back to flick when times are good.

Also as a general thing, spot prices are typically lower in winter than summer (it rains more in winter), this year is just messes up because the central south island hasn't had much rain.

 

I havn't jumped ship from flick yet. Last weeks bill was $76.50 for 263.97 kWh. Average saving on flick this week was -14%. Not really enough for me to switch yet (I have still saved a lot being with flick), I am hoping we will get some decent rain in the south soon though.


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  Reply # 1810211 1-Jul-2017 18:19
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As I stated I'd be still on Flick if it wasn't for the other person (my sister) who lives with me who couldn't grasp the idea power prices change all the time. She also tends to use the oven at peak times and I noted the hot water was heating during peak times also. It got a lot worse when her boyfriend was here too and I'd always end up with high bills as he didn't know.

 

If I was on my own then Flick all the way - I was with them for close to 2 years and found them to be a great company but this way I could say "So do what you want between 9-10pm" and also have the lightbulbs flash during the start and finish of the free power hour to remind that fact.





 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1810213 1-Jul-2017 18:23
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tdgeek:

 

Sam91:

 

Today has been pretty bad, up around 30c most of the day (Auckland).

As others have mentioned, people must be leaving Flick in droves. At the moment this is an option, so I see why people are doing it. You can save money by staying Flick year round, or you can save even more by changing before winter and then switching back. I just don't see how this is sustainable for Flick long-term. They could look at offering a fixed rate plan for winter months, and even if this fixed price isn't very competitive, it may still retain a decent chunk of customers simply because it's stable and customers can't be bothered moving.

It's a shame really, Flick's pricing structure is the right move for decarbonising electricity. When demand spikes we tend to use dirty sources of electricity (gas etc.) to meet the increased demand. Fixed price consumers are oblivious to this and will not adjust their demand. On the other hand, people on Flick type plans will adjust their demand based on real time price signals. This decreased demand means gas peaking plants cease production, and lower cost and zero emission sources (hydro) meet the current demand. At the moment this doesn't really happen, because the bulk of consumers are on fixed plans not variable plans. Hence the need for more companies like Flick.

 

 

Can you explain your two comments I bolded? Its an option to leave Flick and we need more like Flick?

 

I see people who do not look at the annual picture but get downhearted on todays picture.

 



There is no contract keeping them with Flick during expensive months, so leaving is an option. This allows customers to take the benefits during the cheaper months, then ditch during the more expensive months. Sure the overall annual picture is better than other companies, but it's even better if you're with another company during expensive months, and Flick the rest of the year. You can save with Flick, but save even more employing the strategy seen in this thread. I don't support this strategy.

We need more companies like Flick, in the sense that we need more customers on variable pricing. If the majority of New Zealanders were on Flick or companies with the same pricing structure, the majority of NZ would adjust their demand for electricity based on the current price. At the moment the opposite is true, consumers don't adjust their demand based on current prices because they are on a fixed rate. For example, today the prices are really high, the bulk of NZ hasn't adjusted their consumption because their price is fixed, this means the demand for electricity remains high and the price remains high. For the minority of NZ's consumers (Flick), this means they're stuck with high prices, because the overall demand isn't changing in response to the price being high. Hopefully that makes more sense.

 

Scott3:

This is not a big problem for flick if they lose customers during dry periods, and get them back after.

However it is an issue for other companies if they have customers jump onto fixed (per kWh) price plans for a short period while spot prices are high (the least profitable (or sometimes loss making) time of the year), and then jump back to flick when times are good.

Also as a general thing, spot prices are typically lower in winter than summer (it rains more in winter), this year is just messes up because the central south island hasn't had much rain.

 

I havn't jumped ship from flick yet. Last weeks bill was $76.50 for 263.97 kWh. Average saving on flick this week was -14%. Not really enough for me to switch yet (I have still saved a lot being with flick), I am hoping we will get some decent rain in the south soon though.

 



Interesting post, particularly the part in bold. Thanks for that. 


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  Reply # 1810214 1-Jul-2017 18:34
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easycloud:

 

tdgeek:

 

 

 

I dint get this. You sue Flick as its generally cheaper, yet "We can cope with 3-4 hours of high prices on occasion, but perpetual cold and darkness is simply not healthy for the family and not worth the hassles."

 

So its great, greater than great except when it doesn't suit? I would stay on Flick, then when its suits you each week, go elsewhere, then go back to Flick when it suits....

 

But in the real world you cant have your cake and eat it too. Maybe go to a larger provider and pay steadily higher prices all day long

 

Look at the annual benefit, not the 3 to 4 hours of pricing.

 

 

I think you misunderstood my point.  I've been a loyal customer since they started and have encouraged others to stay.  I'm merely stating the obvious fact that this winter has made it very difficult to make any real savings.  It seems many people have switched over to EK already before this horrendous weekend came along.

 

At the end of the day, company loyalty is not compatible with savings.  If the aim is to save, you do what you have to do.

 

 

Its winter. You get that. My price at Genesis is unchanged, lucky me. But I dont get the off peak pricing that Flick has. What you are saying is that you want cheap pricing, except when its not cheap?? If you go to Genesis or Meridian, you will have no worries. use all the power that you like, the rates don't change. But IMO you seem to want both?


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  Reply # 1810223 1-Jul-2017 18:46
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Scott3:

 


This is not a big problem for flick if they lose customers during dry periods, and get them back after.

However it is an issue for other companies if they have customers jump onto fixed (per kWh) price plans for a short period while spot prices are high (the least profitable (or sometimes loss making) time of the year), and then jump back to flick when times are good.

Also as a general thing, spot prices are typically lower in winter than summer (it rains more in winter), this year is just messes up because the central south island hasn't had much rain.

 

I havn't jumped ship from flick yet. Last weeks bill was $76.50 for 263.97 kWh. Average saving on flick this week was -14%. Not really enough for me to switch yet (I have still saved a lot being with flick), I am hoping we will get some decent rain in the south soon though.

 

 

I do get all that. Fixed price companies need to lock customers in, then they can run their business model due to predictability and allow Flick to do the same. But having people switch back and forth every bad weekend or week, that wont work. It wont affect Genesis or Meridian, it will affect small players, and Flick should really have a 12 month contract, so they can offer the overall lower pricing, and dont worry about the high days. In fact a mate of mine does just that, and he's not on Flick. His power bill is the same every month, winter or summer, how cool is that??? Its just basic marketing, and IMO Flick needs to educate its customers that high days don't matter, look at annual savings, and they can't allow users to opt out every bad week or two, otherwise they will go bust.  


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  Reply # 1810224 1-Jul-2017 18:52
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And just like that spot falls off a cliff...

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  Reply # 1810227 1-Jul-2017 19:00
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Sam91:

 

Scott3:

This is not a big problem for flick if they lose customers during dry periods, and get them back after.

However it is an issue for other companies if they have customers jump onto fixed (per kWh) price plans for a short period while spot prices are high (the least profitable (or sometimes loss making) time of the year), and then jump back to flick when times are good.

Also as a general thing, spot prices are typically lower in winter than summer (it rains more in winter), this year is just messes up because the central south island hasn't had much rain.

 

I havn't jumped ship from flick yet. Last weeks bill was $76.50 for 263.97 kWh. Average saving on flick this week was -14%. Not really enough for me to switch yet (I have still saved a lot being with flick), I am hoping we will get some decent rain in the south soon though.

 



Interesting post, particularly the part in bold. Thanks for that. 

 

 

Actually that's not true. Whilst it has been the case for the last two years, this has been due to higher than normal rainfall in winter. If you look at the historical record (back to 1996 when the market started) or the forward curve for electricity, winter is much higher than summer on average.

 

It's also true that prices are really uncertain, winter can be higher or lower than average for sure. This year has been dryer than usual but prices havn't been that bad. The June average was around $110/MWh whereas in 2008 or 2001 they were $200-300 average so there were plenty of periods over $500. 

 

It only rains more in winter than in summer in the North Island, where there is much less hydro generation. In the South Island there is less precipitation in winter, and it generally falls as snow rather than rain so isn't much use to the hydro schemes until spring/summer. Demand goes up in winter too, so there is a bit of a double hit to the electricity system each year (on average).


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  Reply # 1810229 1-Jul-2017 19:05
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tdgeek:

 

easycloud:

 

Well, today has been the straw that broke the camel's back.  A miserable Flick day since before 5am, the power never dropped to a reasonable level all day.  The alerts won't stop and it doesn't look like it's going to improve this weekend.

 

We can cope with 3-4 hours of high prices on occasion, but perpetual cold and darkness is simply not healthy for the family and not worth the hassles.

 

Sorry Flick, great concept but your model needs to take into account these extended periods of high spot prices.  If not, your customers will be like migration birds flocking by the masses in in the cheap summer days and deserting you in the winter.  Failing to do that will make a big dent in the overall annual savings.

 

 

I dont get this. You use Flick as its generally cheaper, yet "We can cope with 3-4 hours of high prices on occasion, but perpetual cold and darkness is simply not healthy for the family and not worth the hassles."

 

So its great, greater than great except when it doesn't suit? I would stay on Flick, then when its suits you each week, go elsewhere, then go back to Flick when it suits....

 

But in the real world you cant have your cake and eat it too. Maybe go to a larger provider and pay steadily higher prices all day long

 

Look at the annual benefit, not the 3 to 4 hours of pricing.

 

Hit the nail on the head there. If we look at the pricing for today you'll note that it is actually rather cheap right now. You've also got to remember that Flick goes by the forecast which is still quite high where the actual pricing right now is different. I always checked either EM6 or WITS over Flick.

 





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  Reply # 1812846 4-Jul-2017 20:02
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Aredwood:

 

dantheperson:

 

easycloud:

 

 

 

I was merely looking for non-electric ways of heating up the house.  In Canada everyone had gas furnaces but gas was cheap.  I wanted a wood fireplace when the house was being built 3 years ago but regulations have since made that illegal in Auckland.  Not sure what other common options there are.

 

 

Pretty much all the mains gas heaters can be ordered for LPG.  You can run a single room flued heater such as a Rinnai[1] which has similar purchase and running costs to a heatpump (and better in cold weather).  Or you can go the whole hog and get a central heating boiler [2]. Very expensive but very very effective and low running costs, and also works when it is cold. 

 

 

 

[1]https://rinnai.co.nz/Product/112/21/other-energysaver-rinnai-energysaver-559ft-rinnai-energysaver-559ft

 

[2] e.g. https://www.waterheater.co.nz/shop/central-heating/bosch3/bosch-condensing-5000w-18kw/

 

 

Carefully consider running costs before you get LPG heating installed. As LPG in the 45KG bottles costs around 16.4c per KW/hr. And if you are using a flued heater, you also need to account for it's efficiency as well. Some heat goes out the flue. Heatpumps will definitely be cheaper to run than LPG heating. Consider just using plug in electric heaters for supplementing the heatpumps output. Assuming it only occasionally needs a boost. Otherwise get the installers back as it will be either undersized or there is a fault that is causing it to output less heat than it should.

 

Im a plumber / gasfitter by trade, so it was easy for me to install LPG. I actually use an unflued LPG heater, but not one of those horrible glowing panel ones. I have a Rinnai Convector. (LPG version of this) It outputs 6.3KW of heat, So it quickly warms large areas. My house is really well ventilated (it is draughty) so no moisture problems from using an unflued heater.

 

 

Hey, how much does it cost for a new LPG setup? labour+parts+bottle(?)

 

those Convector Rinnais can't work with a 9kg standard LPG fittings right? so you need to fit new lines into the wall right and get a (big) LPG bottle outside?


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  Reply # 1813495 5-Jul-2017 23:33
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Coon:

 

well ventilated (it is draughty)
does you mean the house is not well insulated/cold?

 

 

Yep, my house is ridiculously cold. No insulation either, as it was built in 1969. And since it has skillion ceilings, it will be difficult to insulate. Above the upstairs bedrooms, ceiling space is 150mm from rafter height + 50mm purling height. The lounge is far worse as the rafters are exposed - the ceiling gib board is directly fixed to the undersides of the purlings.  And to make things even worse again, previous owners in the 80s added a conservatory onto the lounge. With no means of shutting it off from the lounge. This means that the lounge is like a greenhouse - really hot during summer, really cold during winter. As the conservatory is all glass and aluminium. Add in leaky wooden windows as well.

 

I will be insulating above the bedrooms, but will have to take the iron off the roof to do it. And will have to buy more expensive insulation - that still has high R values despite the small space. As for the lounge, it will be a bit of a lost cause trying to insulate it until I have enough money to demolish the conservatory and rebuild as a proper room. But that will be very expensive as it will also include a new kitchen and dining room. House will be extended out to be larger than the old conservatory. Everything is badly constructed on the conservatory, even the piles are sinking on it. So the only proper fix is complete demolition and rebuild.

 

 

 

And as for my Flick bill this week - I made a loss of 80c  or -2% over my previous company. Average raw wholesale price was 9.89c per unit, so definitely starting to fall. My total usage for the week was 127KW/Hr So Im definitely well on the wrong side of the standard user / low user cutoff.






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  Reply # 1813520 6-Jul-2017 05:35
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Aredwood:

 

Yep, my house is ridiculously cold. No insulation either, as it was built in 1969. And since it has skillion ceilings, it will be difficult to insulate. Above the upstairs bedrooms, ceiling space is 150mm from rafter height + 50mm purling height. The lounge is far worse as the rafters are exposed - the ceiling gib board is directly fixed to the undersides of the purlings.  And to make things even worse again, previous owners in the 80s added a conservatory onto the lounge. With no means of shutting it off from the lounge. This means that the lounge is like a greenhouse - really hot during summer, really cold during winter. As the conservatory is all glass and aluminium. Add in leaky wooden windows as well.

 

I will be insulating above the bedrooms, but will have to take the iron off the roof to do it. And will have to buy more expensive insulation - that still has high R values despite the small space. As for the lounge, it will be a bit of a lost cause trying to insulate it until I have enough money to demolish the conservatory and rebuild as a proper room. But that will be very expensive as it will also include a new kitchen and dining room. House will be extended out to be larger than the old conservatory. Everything is badly constructed on the conservatory, even the piles are sinking on it. So the only proper fix is complete demolition and rebuild.

 

 

 

 

Instead of insulating the existing ceiling, can you build a new ceiling underneath the current one and put insulation in there? They did that for my new bathroom, didn't bother taking the old one out just put an extra one in. Worked well.





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  Reply # 1819350 11-Jul-2017 08:37
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Just a heads up that with the cold snap coming Flick customers can expect higher prices, and likely some spikes during peak usage. Crank up that heating while the price is low because you'll want the heat when that storm hits!





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  Reply # 1819367 11-Jul-2017 09:05
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Have just checked the NRS schedule. Apart from a big but short spike at 1830 tonight, everything else is forecast to be around the 30c mark. With some dips around 1630 and late at night. Of course these forecast prices will move around a bit. But so far on average they are shaping up to be cheaper than a month or so ago.

Other things to consider. If the storm causes widespread power cuts. The reduction in load caused by the power cut can often lower wholesale prices. And people who have wood fires or coal range's are more likely to light them than use electric heating. As they know it will be cold enough to make lighting the fire worthwhile.

Myself - I will just use my 6KW LPG heater.

And this all assumes that the promised snow actually happens. With all of the media hype, it seems like even Auckland is predicted to get snow.





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  Reply # 1819392 11-Jul-2017 09:52
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Other things to consider. If the storm causes widespread power cuts. The reduction in load caused by the power cut can often lower wholesale prices. And people who have wood fires or coal range's are more likely to light them than use electric heating. As they know it will be cold enough to make lighting the fire worthwhile.

 

I think you right there. We have adequate heating with 2 heat pumps in the house, but my first thought when I heard of this cold snap coming was that I should fire up the wood burner tonight. Not to save on electricity, but just for fun! Nothing like an evening glass of wine and a warm fire when the weather outside is crap. Our woodburner hardly gets any use these days as the heat pumps are just easier. But this cold snap is definitely going to be an excuse to use it.


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  Reply # 1819410 11-Jul-2017 10:11
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Wiggum:

 



Other things to consider. If the storm causes widespread power cuts. The reduction in load caused by the power cut can often lower wholesale prices. And people who have wood fires or coal range's are more likely to light them than use electric heating. As they know it will be cold enough to make lighting the fire worthwhile.

 

I think you right there. We have adequate heating with 2 heat pumps in the house, but my first thought when I heard of this cold snap coming was that I should fire up the wood burner tonight. Not to save on electricity, but just for fun! Nothing like an evening glass of wine and a warm fire when the weather outside is crap. Our woodburner hardly gets any use these days as the heat pumps are just easier. But this cold snap is definitely going to be an excuse to use it.

 

 

I miss mine on days like this, and especially weekends. Be a hard row to hoe to get the wife to authorise a logburner. I could perhaps create some VERY localised power cuts, then have a great idea when we walk past some very cool logburners at the store...


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