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  Reply # 2186235 24-Feb-2019 11:07
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those contracts where the price is fixed for a certain time are just a tactic to get you to sign , if you check the small print it is usually only one portion of what you pay will be fixed . For an example the daily electricity charge may be fixed but nothing else is . they wont explain this at the time but it is normal and why i ignore any such deals , just not worth it.





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  Reply # 2186263 24-Feb-2019 12:48
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vexxxboy:

 

those contracts where the price is fixed for a certain time are just a tactic to get you to sign , if you check the small print it is usually only one portion of what you pay will be fixed . For an example the daily electricity charge may be fixed but nothing else is . they wont explain this at the time but it is normal and why i ignore any such deals , just not worth it.

 

 

Check if they also agree to fix the lines fees. As lines companies always increase their prices each year.

 

The better contracts only exclude GST and the Electricity Authority Levy from the fixed contract. Any increase to GST or the EA levy would apply to all companies equally, so not as much risk in them being excluded.

 

There was definitely at least 1 evil company that was signing up people to fixed contracts that excluded the lines fees. (may have been Mercury, but not 100% sure).

 

 

 

Also, there was a good run for low power prices. Where the Te Mihi Geothermal power station was commissioned. Lots of wet years meaning lots of cheap hydro power available. Lots of heatpumps being installed which were often replacing electric resistance heaters. (flat demand growth). The launch of Flick Electric, Electric Kiwi, and numerous other companies who were just reselling power from the wholesale market. The bigger power companies had to respond by lowering prices, while fixed overheads like wages and office space rents kept on increasing. And due to how the low user regulations are worded. There is a limit to how much a company can reduce it's standard user rates, without also needing to reduce it's low user rates. So companies would have been making only very tiny margins on low user customers. But they had no choice if the wanted to remain competitive in the standard user space.

 

Now we are in our 3rd year in a row of low water levels in the hydro system. (this year is shaping up to be much worst than 2018 and 2017). Demand is increasing again, As this year and last years hot summers are driving more heatpumps to be installed for cooling. (new demand). And the takeup of EVs continues to accelerate (new demand). For lots of people, An EV can easily double their power consumption (when you include power from public chargers). The Labour + Greens government is unlikely to approve any new large scale generation. Things like the oil drilling ban and possible measures to reduce carbon emissions, have introduced uncertainty for the fossil fuel generators. While possible measures to clean up rivers and to do with water allocations will affect the hydro generators. Labour are also unlikely to scrap the low user regulations. So all of the indirect subsidies and stealth taxes caused by them would continue. Solar costs are unlikely to drop by much from where they are now. (and the solar generation profile is a terrible match for the NZ demand profile). While battery costs will only drop to the point that enables mass take up of EVs. Then the battery industry would have zero incentive to reduce costs, as they would have decades of compound growth ahead of them from replacing the worlds ICE cars with EVs.

 

The power companies will all be closely watching the lake levels. As cyclone Oma appears to have been overhyped. Will some decent rains arrive to fill the lakes? Or will there be a power shortage this year?

 

In short, there are going to be some steep increases to power prices coming up around April this year. And in future years.






 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 2186339 24-Feb-2019 14:32
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jonathan18:

 

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.

 

 

I realise it doesn't limit their options - but from what I've seen and read in the last year or so those companies offering both were offering significantly better deals through bundling that splitting both services.

 

 


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  Reply # 2186341 24-Feb-2019 14:36
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Scott3:

 

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.

 

....

 

 

 

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."

 

 

 

 

 

 

Slightly off topic but we're going through this right now. Had no idea it was a contract until we called. Assumed it was "fixed" but not on a term. Pretty shady that if you were overseas (for the tiny 3-4 weeks notice) that they'd auto renew a contract. Likely going to shift power companies anyway and this is definitely helping make that decision. 

 

Back to OP, we are on contract with Mercury and the rates are fixed for the term so you must not be on a contract. Have you rang and asked?


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  Reply # 2186364 24-Feb-2019 14:53
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sbiddle:

I realise it doesn't limit their options - but from what I've seen and read in the last year or so those companies offering both were offering significantly better deals through bundling that splitting both services.


 



I've had offers from a number of companies trying to take over both my utilities, and none of them could beat the charges of my current providers. I'm not saying this will be universal, but simply pointing out it's worth doing due diligence of splitting them.

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  Reply # 2186676 25-Feb-2019 09:07
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Aredwood:

 

And the takeup of EVs continues to accelerate (new demand). For lots of people, An EV can easily double their power consumption (when you include power from public chargers).

 

 

Getting slightly off-topic, but this isn't really correct. The mean household consumption is on the order of 8000 kWh/year. At a conservative efficiency of 6 km/kWh [1], and an average yearly distance of 14,000 km/year for EVs [2], you are looking at 2300 kWh/year additional demand from an EV.

 

I do analysis in much more detail exactly how much energy EVs use and when [3] (includes charging at home and in public).  Additionally, the rate of increase in EVs has been more linear rather than exponential as of late so the effect near-term will still likely be rather small. 

 

[1] https://flipthefleet.org/2018/memo-25/

 

[2] https://flipthefleet.org/2018/memo-26/

 

[3] https://flipthefleet.org/2018/drivers-memo-27/


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  Reply # 2186963 25-Feb-2019 15:36
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I got in touch with Mercury and all they could offer me was an increase of my prompt payment discount from 3% to 5%.

Looks like we’ll definitely be changing!




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  Reply # 2187125 25-Feb-2019 23:06
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zenourn:
...

 



 

I reckon EVs will be what brings offpeak rates back to common plans. 





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  Reply # 2187186 26-Feb-2019 08:27
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corksta: I got in touch with Mercury and all they could offer me was an increase of my prompt payment discount from 3% to 5%.

Looks like we’ll definitely be changing!

 

 

 

Mercury offered me an increase from 10 to 20% prompt payment discount.  To do this I must have been paying through the roof.


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  Reply # 2187345 26-Feb-2019 10:47
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Interesting,

 

Have had the same email and checking through my bills, I was on a 24 month contract (ending in march) - for which I was getting 20-22% discount. But looking through the bills they reduced the discount to 12% In October. Apparently this was only a 12 month discount - I don't recall that being explained at all. I'll have to see if I can find the original contract (probably cant), but seems like they misrepresented it to me.

 

Not impressed.

 

 


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  Reply # 2187361 26-Feb-2019 11:00
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Sounds like I'm on a good deal\plan....all up my discounts amount to 24% off each month


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  Reply # 2187496 26-Feb-2019 12:50
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Are you a high user to get 24%?


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  Reply # 2187516 26-Feb-2019 13:06
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corksta: I got in touch with Mercury and all they could offer me was an increase of my prompt payment discount from 3% to 5%.

Looks like we’ll definitely be changing!

 

Well, you've got more information now - all your actual usage from mercury - so you should be in a good position to compare the other providers and their offers.





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  Reply # 2187530 26-Feb-2019 13:20
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WyleECoyoteNZ:

 

Sounds like I'm on a good deal\plan....all up my discounts amount to 24% off each month

 

 

I'm pretty sure I read somewhere recently of some pressure for companies to move away from this fakery of multiple 'discounts' off utilities, specifically around those that essentially amount to a 'late fee' for not paying on time.

 

I think companies also use multiple discounts to not only appeal to people's sense of getting a good deal but to obfuscate, and to make it damn difficult to compare between retailers.

 

That's why I respect the pricing of companies like Electric Kiwi, which has a daily charge and a kW charge and that's it; only additional possible savings are through loading one's account with credit in advance.


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  Reply # 2187541 26-Feb-2019 13:31
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Yes I see that Meridian are making a big deal of not using discounts anymore. It certainly made comparing prices tricky. I'm looking at meridian now and it seems alot better than what Mercury are offering, even with a 12% discount (mercury 212.9daily +19.2 Kwh; meridian 187daily +15 Kwh).


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