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6 posts

Wannabe Geek


Topic # 247804 24-Feb-2019 00:47
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Hi peeps,

 

Any good ideas on what i could do?

 

I'm one year into a two years power plan with Mercury. I received an email from Mercury Energy "Changes to your energy pricing"

 

I was shock with the new rates.   Variable KW rate for power and gas 16% and 35% increases, I calculated going forward it'll cost me  $450  or 20% more per year.

 

I understand they need to make return their shareholder, I think 20% are excess and totally unfair. Other companies are much cheaper.

 

 

Thanks in advance


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  Reply # 2186111 24-Feb-2019 00:57
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Are you on an actual  contract where you have to remain with them? If so, before you signed up to the contract did you check to see if they could just raise the prices on you at any time? If the contract allows price rises at any time, then that is very risky signing up to such a contract IMO. I would personally prefer not to lock myself into any contract with a power company that locks me into using their service for this reason.  Have you also checked to see if other people around you are paying those same new rates. Competition means that you should be able to move a cheaper provider, but if you are contracted in, that may make it difficult unless there is a break fee etc.


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  Reply # 2186113 24-Feb-2019 01:36
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I also received an email from them with some fairly substantial increases to our power prices. Fortunately we’re not in a contract so I’ll do my annual check of what else is out there and look to move.

They offered to fix the new prices for two years (as part of a contract) with an extra 3% prompt payment discount per month. No thanks.




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  Reply # 2186115 24-Feb-2019 02:28
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I got emailed that my special pricing is coming to an end and things are going up, so also time to look elsewhere for me too.

 

Click to see full size

 

That's gonna cost me quite a lot more to stay with them.

 

 





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  Reply # 2186116 24-Feb-2019 03:07
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*WOW*

 

Your daily is only 33 cents - in Napier its $1.75

 

Though the electricity rate on controlled is 22c here

 

Contact then give me a prompt payment discount of 20% and about another 5% for email-only billing. 

 

 

 

A note on contracts - you can leave a contract and all you have to pay is reimbursements for actual costs incurred by the supplier. If there was no need for a meter change or site visit then this should be almost nothing. Random early termination fees are illegal now - they have to be actual costs incurred. 

 

So even if you have $100 worth of fees to quit, a signing credit promo with another retailer should cover it. 

 

Its also important to set a reminder at the end of your contract to call around other retailers and ask about their sign up credits. You will find the price to be pretty close really but getting a $200 credit every time it rolls around for an hours work calling some retailers is worth it. You could then call your current retailer and see if they will beat the deal to stay with them. 





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  Reply # 2186117 24-Feb-2019 05:13
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I got an email from my supplier recently, part of which made the claim one of the major suppliers was going to be 'reducing generation to increase value to their shareholders' or words reasonably similar to that. I'm at work right now but will put a note in my calendar to dig the email out (if I've still got it) and I'll post the contents.

 

EDIT: no, bugger. I've deleted it. I'll see if I can get a copy resent to me.


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  Reply # 2186138 24-Feb-2019 07:15
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Please post the relevant sections of the contract, specifically anything around prices being fixed. If you have no fixed contract then it's a rate change. Vote with your feed and find another power company.





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  Reply # 2186141 24-Feb-2019 07:36
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@raytaylor It is a low user rate. Assuming that you are on a residential power connection, and that home is your primary place of residence. Your power company has to offer such prices.

Although the per unit rate will be more expensive. If you use less than 8000 units per year, then change.







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Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 2186147 24-Feb-2019 08:18
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I thought I were in a contract when i signup.  I'll email them to confirm if i'm still in a contract, but even with a small termination fee, it will be worth while for me to find another power company.

 

 


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  Reply # 2186148 24-Feb-2019 08:20
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Due to the dry weather in the North island, Mercury would have had large reductions in their generation output. While earlier this year, the South island generators still had plenty of water. In saying that, the situation around autumn last year was the opposite, Mercury did extremely well then.

Also, the lines companies normally increase their fees beginning of April. So most power companies also increase their prices at the same time. Expect most other power companies to also increase their prices in the next month or so.

The lake levels are also trending down, if that trend continues, there might be an electricity shortage this winter. So far, cyclone Oma seems to have been way over hyped. So probably not much extra rain from it. Then there is a major planned gas field production outage. Which normally wouldn't matter at this time of year. But the dry weather would have meant higher than normal demand for gas for electricity generation.






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  Reply # 2186149 24-Feb-2019 08:23
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Jimmyd88:

I thought I were in a contract when i signup.  I'll email them to confirm if i'm still in a contract, but even with a small termination fee, it will be worth while for me to find another power company.


 



Also check your earlier Bill's. To see if you got a signup credit or bonus. Any early termination fee might be to reclaim such a bonus. In which case, think of it as a small intrest free loan from Mercury.





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  Reply # 2186152 24-Feb-2019 08:50
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I don't see how you could be on fixed term contract and have an increase. Having looked at Mercury in the past their fixed term contracts were exactly that - fixed term contracts.

 

What is your prompt payment discount? Mercury were doing lots of deals that had a PPD of well over 20%, and if that is the case even your new pricing is actually pretty competitive in the marketplace factoring in you're a low use user.

 

 

 

 

 

 




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Wannabe Geek


Reply # 2186158 24-Feb-2019 09:21
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I'm on a prompt payment discount of 10%, Mercury offer an Extra 5% if I fixed the new rates for two years. Which unlikely i'll take it up.

 

I'll switch immediately to another provide, if I find out i'm not on contract. 

 

 

 


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  Reply # 2186164 24-Feb-2019 09:33
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Jimmyd88:

 

I'm on a prompt payment discount of 10%, Mercury offer an Extra 5% if I fixed the new rates for two years. Which unlikely i'll take it up.

 

I'll switch immediately to another provide, if I find out i'm not on contract. 

 

 

Who would you switch to?

 

Your options are limited with power and gas, and a quick look shows that pricing is not the cheapest but is actually pretty competitive already when you factor in the prompt payment discount. Your old pricing was well below current market rates for low use plans.

 

 

 

 


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  Reply # 2186208 24-Feb-2019 10:14
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sbiddle:

 

Who would you switch to?

 

Your options are limited with power and gas, and a quick look shows that pricing is not the cheapest but is actually pretty competitive already when you factor in the prompt payment discount. Your old pricing was well below current market rates for low use plans.

 

 

Simply because they have both electricity and gas doesn't really limit their options; rather, just be flexible in using two different providers. I don't see this as any different as avoiding linking other services from a single provider - eg broadband with power.

 

We have rarely used the same company for both electricity and gas, as this allows us to switch either of them to ensure the best deals; we've been with Nova for gas for quite some time, and have switched between Flick and EK for electricity over the past few years. 

 

Consumer's Powerswitch shows options for both electricity and gas, so can be a good way to see what the differences can be between using a single provider or separate ones.


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  Reply # 2186222 24-Feb-2019 10:52
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Mercury's terms and conditions are here:

https://www.mercury.co.nz/terms-conditions

 

Likely (but not definitely) the same as when OP signed up.


 

Appears the price cannot be changed during the term:

 

"2. This fixed price will apply for a term of 2 years from the date on which we accept your response."

If the contract did allow price changes mid term, relatively new provision of the fair trading act prohibiting unfair contract terms would protect OP, and all them to exit the contract mid term without penalty if a price change is imposed.

 

 

 

Also noticed this term. Auto renewal of a two year contract seems dodgy as:

 

"10. Your fixed price plan term (and each subsequent renewal term (if any)), will be automatically renewed for a further term if Mercury sends you written notice of your new fixed prices before the end of the term."

 

 


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