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# 140815 20-Feb-2014 23:14
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I've read some articles on the net including here.  Powershop doesn't allow one to look at what's on the e-store and check how they work or what the general offerings are, neither with the phone app you have to logon first as a customer.  Be great if anyone can answer these questions .. .

1.  I heard that you can treat it as a normal utility company how are the rates like? 
2.  Does these regular rates fluctuate thru out different months?  The normal utility companies have the same daily rate and the same unit rate right unless they hike up the fees but usually fixed for 9 months....
3.  Is there a minimum period of time a customer needs to be with Powershop? 
4.  What are some of the plans like that you buy on their e-store?  Do some of these "packs" only work on a particular month or week?  What happens if you go over or don't use it up?
5.  I read that future packs are not that cheaper, is that right?  I read this on their FB page ...

@Linda: Hi Linda, future packs aren't discounted - the prices are based on your estimated top-up price for the month so our special packs at the time will always be cheaper than the future packs. Future packs are something we offer for those customers who like to budget and pay for things on advance - particularly winter power when bills are going to be higher. Apologies that it's all caused you some confusion. I'll take a look at your account in the morning and see if we can put you right with the pricing MC



Cheers ...

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  # 991505 21-Feb-2014 00:07
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I won't answer your questions specifically, but here's a bit of info on my experience with them...

The rates will be different for everyone as they depend on your usage, your split of power (eg. controlled/uncontrolled) and location/lines company. This is why they can't publish rates.

I've been with them since 2011. They do work out cheaper _for me_ whenever I check against rates offered by other companies. By check, I mean put all of the details into Excel and calculate from there based on other providers published rates. Doesn't take long and it's an exercise I enjoy doing. I generally purchase specials as they come up (the iPhone app is great for snapping these up, as is facebook/twitter) and I always purchase the monthly "Simple Saver" package. I never purchase power in advance (future packs). By doing this I can usually get 2-3c/unit off the "list" price for that month.

My only gripe is having to do manual meter reads as we don't have a smart meter. You don't have to do this, but their estimates get all over the place for me. Again, the iPhone app is great for doing these.

In terms of time factor, I'd probably spend at most 10 minutes a month entering a few meter readings and purchasing products.

Also, the last few times I've had doorknockers from other power retailers come by, it's gone something like this:
Them: Hi, I'm abc from xyz, how are you today?
Me: Fine thanks.
Them: Great, we're here to tell you about a great offer from xyz, can I ask what power company you're currently with?
Me: Powershop
Them: Oh, that's ok, bye!

YMMV but they may be doing something right!

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  # 991533 21-Feb-2014 08:27
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It's too much hassle for us.

We average around $500 a month for our bills. Whenever I look at one of the switching sites, it usually tells me that I could save $140 a year or something which frankly isn't enough to make it worth the hassle.

The other annoyance is that all the companies change their pricing on different dates each year. The system would benefit consumers much more if the companies were all forced to change on the same day annually because then you would be sure to get the lowest price for the next 12 months, rather than a period which could be as short as a month!





 
 
 
 


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  # 991571 21-Feb-2014 08:45
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We were with powershop for a few years, but moved to genesis as we could save a lot.

It all depends on your usage.   In winter we heat our childs room over night so a lot of our usage is at night (roughly 50% day, 50% night).   Powershop were changing only slightly   less per KW/h for night usage than day usage. 

Moving to genesis, even with the daily fixed charge, we saved a lot.   The night rate went way down compared to the day rate. 

at the time powershops email said we were using 30 units a day costing $7.67 per day or about $230 per month.  (767cents / 30 is 25.5 cents average price per unit.

genesis rates were 11.32cents for night versus 27.34 for day  first genesis bill was about $150 (versus powershops $230)

So definitely check out your options.

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  # 991589 21-Feb-2014 08:49
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Wow, how do you manage to use $500 per month!, that is like 6k a year.

Geektastic: It's too much hassle for us.

We average around $500 a month for our bills. Whenever I look at one of the switching sites, it usually tells me that I could save $140 a year or something which frankly isn't enough to make it worth the hassle.

The other annoyance is that all the companies change their pricing on different dates each year. The system would benefit consumers much more if the companies were all forced to change on the same day annually because then you would be sure to get the lowest price for the next 12 months, rather than a period which could be as short as a month!

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  # 991631 21-Feb-2014 09:23
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mikerussellnz: Wow, how do you manage to use $500 per month!, that is like 6k a year.

Geektastic: It's too much hassle for us.

We average around $500 a month for our bills. Whenever I look at one of the switching sites, it usually tells me that I could save $140 a year or something which frankly isn't enough to make it worth the hassle.

The other annoyance is that all the companies change their pricing on different dates each year. The system would benefit consumers much more if the companies were all forced to change on the same day annually because then you would be sure to get the lowest price for the next 12 months, rather than a period which could be as short as a month!


Easy. We live like Europeans not Kiwis!

We heat our home with 4 heat pumps (and cool it the same way in the summer), we have a 7 person spa pool on for 10 months a year at 38C, we have 2 freezers, our hot water is electric etc etc.

We just aren't prepared to sit in a cold damp house wearing sweaters and hats!!

And I work from home so the house is occupied all day most days too.





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  # 991659 21-Feb-2014 10:12
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rayonline: I've read some articles on the net including here.  Powershop doesn't allow one to look at what's on the e-store and check how they work or what the general offerings are, neither with the phone app you have to logon first as a customer.  Be great if anyone can answer these questions .. .
1.  I heard that you can treat it as a normal utility company how are the rates like?  


The rates goes up and down throughout the year. Every month, you may get one or two 'specials' = discounted rate.


2.  Does these regular rates fluctuate thru out different months?  The normal utility companies have the same daily rate and the same unit rate right unless they hike up the fees but usually fixed for 9 months....


As above. Powershop only charge rate per kwh. Most companies have daily charge + rate per kwh.

3.  Is there a minimum period of time a customer needs to be with Powershop?  


No contract

4.  What are some of the plans like that you buy on their e-store?  Do some of these "packs" only work on a particular month or week?  What happens if you go over or don't use it up?


The rules for consumption of products are:

Powershop will use the product that expires first, if a clash

We will use the product that is a special first, if still a clash

We will use the cheapest product first and if still a clash

We will use the product that you bought first.

Unused credit will be refunded to your account.

5.  I read that future packs are not that cheaper, is that right?  I read this on their FB page ...


You have already quoted the answer. So far, I only buy the specials. Mind you, they may not have specials depending on demand / supply for that month.

@Linda: Hi Linda, future packs aren't discounted - the prices are based on your estimated top-up price for the month so our special packs at the time will always be cheaper than the future packs. Future packs are something we offer for those customers who like to budget and pay for things on advance - particularly winter power when bills are going to be higher. Apologies that it's all caused you some confusion. I'll take a look at your account in the morning and see if we can put you right with the pricing MC


I was a Trustpower customer. My bills is always above $250 a month (averaging just over $300 a month ~850 to 1000 units a month). We have heatpump on during cold days and air conditioner during the hot summer. I decided to review my power usage after 2 years, and do rough estimate based on average given by powershop. My savings come out almost $1000 a year. Sure enough, my first month with powershop, my bill is less than $150. That is a huge difference.







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  # 991686 21-Feb-2014 11:01
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The Powershop estimation - is that more/less accurate in your view? If we put in our summer invoice it says we should expect $97 PA savings including the $50 gift voucher but if we put in our June invoice (1100 units) it was estimated at $125 from recollection which includes a $75 voucher. That doesn't seem like a lot.  We're with Genesis - we have gas so if we no longer have "dual power" electricity and gas we lose the 25c per day discount.  B/c Powershop doesn't do gas. 

 
 
 
 


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  # 991696 21-Feb-2014 11:17
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Further to what's already been said, the Geekzone forums have lots of informative discussions about Powershop. It is worth reading those particularly one late in 2013 that discussed buying strategies.

1.  I heard that you can treat it as a normal utility company how are the rates like? 


The Powerswitch website gives you an idea of how they compare with other suppliers in the electricity supply area you live in. The Powershop prices used by Powerswitch are the default prices you'd pay if you just treated Powershop like the other suppliers and paid in arrears.

You can save substantially more by being active in buying the special packs. Most of the time I was saving about 20% more.

5.  I read that future packs are not that cheaper, is that right?  I read this on their FB page ...


Future pack prices are based on what Powershop is contracting to pay for future power. They are useful indicators of where prices are likely to go and this can help you to save money by giving you more information to improve your decision making.

I found future packs were significantly cheaper but not as good as buying the monthly specials. Also the cost saving would often be wiped out if you factored in the interest rate you would be paying, for example, if you could have used the money to pay off your mortgage sooner. Even so it was a useful way to buy winter power during the summer when I had cash to spare.

[Edit: add link and correct spelling mistake]

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  # 991716 21-Feb-2014 11:32
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rayonline: The Powershop estimation - is that more/less accurate in your view? If we put in our summer invoice it says we should expect $97 PA savings including the $50 gift voucher but if we put in our June invoice (1100 units) it was estimated at $125 from recollection which includes a $75 voucher. That doesn't seem like a lot.  We're with Genesis - we have gas so if we no longer have "dual power" electricity and gas we lose the 25c per day discount.  B/c Powershop doesn't do gas. 


The Powershop estimations have similar limitations as for all the suppliers. They take your bill for one month and estimate the annual costs using a profile of power usage. The more your actual usage profile varies from that model profile then the less reliable the result is likely to be. For example:

 

  • you use solar water heating which has most impact in summer
  • you spend many weeks with your home unoccupied
  • you only run a spa pool in winter
  • you use wood fires to heat your house in cold weather
Your June usage suggests that you are close to the average used on Powerswitch so its comparisons would be more applicable to you.

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  # 991726 21-Feb-2014 11:38
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rayonline: The Powershop estimation - is that more/less accurate in your view? If we put in our summer invoice it says we should expect $97 PA savings including the $50 gift voucher but if we put in our June invoice (1100 units) it was estimated at $125 from recollection which includes a $75 voucher. That doesn't seem like a lot.  We're with Genesis - we have gas so if we no longer have "dual power" electricity and gas we lose the 25c per day discount.  B/c Powershop doesn't do gas. 


This is what you really need to do.

1. Gather the whole year bills
2. Key in the kwh units used per month into excel, includes the actual price you pay from Genesis
3. Use a very rough estimate given by powershop and calculate the difference - this is easy because Powershop ONLY charges you per kwh. No daily/hidden/extra charges.

Step 2 is important as it gives you the picture on how much you actually use power throughout the year. 

The estimate given is 100% accurate if your meter is electronically connected. If they are not connected, you can key in the reading using the android/ios app. I do it once a week.

Remember, Powershop is NOT for everyone (as you can get unique deals such as combining gas/electric or electric/internet/phone etc)









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  # 991762 21-Feb-2014 12:34
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Ok - I maintain a spreadsheet but at times I don't complete until 5 months overdue :D

Last 12 months we used 7114 kilowatts.

Powershop website afte I put in the June's invoice said the following re: the breakdown.


Daily fixed charge

83.50c per day

Inclusive

18.86c per unit

Electricity Authority Levy

0.14c per unit

Based on this. Is that 83.50c per day and 18.86c per unit b/c it says "inclusive" or is that just 83.50c?

Assuming it is the former. 30 days x 83.50c = $25.05 + 1100 units ($209) = $234.05.

My company (Genesis) for 1080 units was $255 for that winter month.....

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  # 991767 21-Feb-2014 12:47
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Powershop's website does say they are more expensive during winter, but are meant to more than make up for it over summer. With that being the case, I will switch to Powershop but wait until later in the year. If I can be bothered the cheapest outcome would probably be to switch back and forth every 6 months between Powershop and your current/other retailer.

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  # 991783 21-Feb-2014 13:05
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Yes,  I found the first year I was with them, the prices were up in winter and down in summer like they say.   Subsequent years after that the though, the graph looked pretty flat and the unit prices didn't seem to go down very much in summer.

 

Over the 4 months of winter genesis would have saved (I switched half way through) me $240, powershop would have to have been $40 cheaper than genesis per month on the other 8 months to even break even. 

Interestingly the whatsmynumber site told us we could save $250 a year by switching to genesis as well, so that confirmed my calculations. 


Archer77: Powershop's website does say they are more expensive during winter, but are meant to more than make up for it over summer. With that being the case, I will switch to Powershop but wait until later in the year. If I can be bothered the cheapest outcome would probably be to switch back and forth every 6 months between Powershop and your current/other retailer.

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  # 991787 21-Feb-2014 13:11
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I think you just have to use consumer website or the whatsmynumber site (the more detailed option).

Powershop isn't cheapest for all people. 

Here is the average unit price for me in the last complete year before I left them.   The unit prices didn't go down in summer, our usage was up to 60% night and 21 c per kw/h at night is double what genesis charge at 11 c per kw/h.   Yes the daily fixed charge on genesis, but that for us is 33.3 cents or around $11 of the bill per month. 




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  # 991796 21-Feb-2014 13:21
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I did use whatsmynumber website. My calculations didn't agree with them. I'm on Genesis Household Composite and it said Energy direct is cheaper by $400 PA. If I click on Energy Direct it throws up a table re: its rates. But I found them to be more expensive on my spreadsheet at least just calculating the previous month which I used as input data for whatsmynumber.

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