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961 posts

Ultimate Geek


#148914 5-Jul-2014 10:48
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I have a question with the way Powershop calculate their prices.  Before I go to them for clarification I wanted to know what you thought.  The reason for this is because I don't actually think they are that cheap anymore.  My calculations put them within $$ of other companies where they used to be quite a difference.

So if you go to the "Labs" page there is a "Powerpack Prices Explained" - I Picked the September Future Pack (the calculation methods same applies to all packs).

Price per unit = Energy Rate + Daily Charge + GST. But this means that you are paying the Daily Charge in full in each and every pack you buy!  If I buy 4 packs in a month, which is not uncommon, then I am paying the 158.5c/day multiple times.

When I signed up for Powershop 4 years ago, the selling point was that you don't pay for a daily charge - even now on their web page they say "Unlike other power companies Powershop has no additional fees such as daily fixed charges" which although technically correct, there are no additional fees above the price per unit, the daily charge is actually included in the price/unit that you are given so you are paying a daily fixed charge.

Over the years, Powershop has become less of a difference between them and regular power companies - their future power prices are in fact quite expensive - January if I buy it now will cost 33.8c/unit.

So am I wrong?  Is there something else happening in the background that knows I've already paid for my fixed fee and deducts it from somewhere?

Procrastination eventually pays off.

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28832 posts

Uber Geek

Biddle Corp
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  #1081342 5-Jul-2014 10:55
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I've always found them too complex to bother, in part because I could never actually understand how much it would cost compared to our current provider.

Here in Wellington the daily unit price changes has actually meant power bills (at least with Meridian who we're with) have dropped since last year.

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Uber Geek


  #1081366 5-Jul-2014 11:18
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I don't think you would pay the full daily charge four times, it will be included pro-rata in each of the packs based on an estimate of your usage. I don't think it's double dipping, but I wouldn't call it transparent.

It's not all that dissimilar to high or low user tarrifs with traditional power companies - in that case you can choose based on your usage a combination of low fixed + high variable or high fixed and low variable, except without the choice, and instead blind trust in Powershop.


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Ultimate Geek


  #1082161 7-Jul-2014 08:27
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I plea temporary mathematical insanity!

They divide the number of units by the average daily consumption which means that if the pack will last 7 days then there is only 7 days worth of daily fixed charges.

Sorry for making you think on a Saturday!

Procrastination eventually pays off.

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Uber Geek


  #1082185 7-Jul-2014 09:15
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I haven't been with them for a while, but when they sell you a 7-day pack, they don't necessarily assume that it will completely cover your usage for the week or any one of those days individually.


I assume that behind the scenes they have an average cost per unit for each customer that takes into account estimated annual usage, variable energy cost and fixed charges. The specials/packs are just different ways of packaging up the units that they know you'll need. Presumably if you consistently and significantly exceed their estimate of your usage you will end up over paying fixed/daily charges until they update their estimate of your usage, but I don't think that 2x 7day packs equals 2x 7 days worth of daily fixed charges.

E.g they estimate your daily usage at 100 units, and offer a 7-day pack with 10 units per day for 7 days, the pack will cover 1/10th of daily fixed charges

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Uber Geek


  #1082241 7-Jul-2014 10:27
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Whenever I have compared what rates I can find for powershop it has been way more expensive for me than any of the other providers.

They hide their rates behind these strange packs and have promos for insanely small amounts of power at a slightly better rate. I CBF dealing with a company that promises to save me money and then refuses to publish rates that will allow me to compare.


961 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #1082248 7-Jul-2014 10:35
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Sometimes it is a PIA but I have been saving some money and using the compare websites does not really reflect the true price you end up paying.

My average unit price has been between 25.32 and 28.80 over the last 12 months - but as I say, the difference to the next cheapest is reducing.

Procrastination eventually pays off.

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