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frednz

1434 posts

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#196687 9-Jun-2016 09:44
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Hi I'm interested to know your recommendations about which power company to select. There seem to be a lot of options these days with some companies offering good incentives to change over to them.

 

I'm looking at Energy Online or Contact Energy but I am open to suggestions. Is there really much difference between the service and costs offered by the various companies?

 

Thanks for your help.

 

Fred

 

 

 

 


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wasabi2k
2092 posts

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  #1568506 9-Jun-2016 10:30
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https://www.powerswitch.org.nz/powerswitch

 

will provide a good picture. 

 

There are the likes of Contact who will give you a fixed unit price - then there are those like flick who do spot pricing. There are also others with slightly different models (like Powershop).

 

User PowerSwitch to narrow your list down.


Hammerer
2231 posts

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  #1568509 9-Jun-2016 10:41
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The big difference I've found is the cost (based on the supplier and plan used). To compare prices I use PowerSwitch to look at the price trend graphs and the Savings Calculator to compare options for my requirements. Discounts, off-peak pricing and, if you have seasonality due to solar (water heating or electricity) or intermittent occupation, the proportion of fixed charges (i.e. daily charges) to variable charges.

 

I've had no service issues with any of the companies I've used in the last ten years: Mercury, Meridian, PowerShop. As an aside, I've noticed that the cold-calling sales from other electricity suppliers is also much better than it was ten years ago.


 
 
 
 


vexxxboy
3335 posts

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  #1568510 9-Jun-2016 10:42
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And yes there are big differences in prices between companies, i switched from Meridian to Pulse and saved $60 a month just like that, so shop around  it's worth it and switching is painless your new company does it all for you. I wish internet companies were as easy. 

 

Another thought if you want incentives to switch go to the companies web sites and start filling in the switch form and just put your name and contact number and then quit, within 20 minutes they should be phoning you to ask what the matter is , just say your not sure and see what they offer you.





Common sense is not as common as you think.


sidefx
3508 posts

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  #1568539 9-Jun-2016 10:42
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I recently switched and chose Contact based on the fact they they didn't require a long contract (meridian had better fixed unit pricing but required a contract and direct debit) and had reasonably pricing after their online\ontime discount. 

 

I was very tempted to try a spot price provider, but wasn't sure I'd be disciplined enough to really benefit enough from it. 





"I was born not knowing and have had only a little time to change that here and there."         | Electric Kiwi | Sharesies
              - Richard Feynman


timmmay
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  #1568557 9-Jun-2016 11:16
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Flick is good for many, and is often rated cheapest. You pay the national floating power rate (which varies throughout the day) plus a fixed margin and a daily fee. Flick say most people save around (from memory) 14% over their last power company, but I'm at around 30%. You need a smart meter, which they can install in supported areas.

 

The key with flick is if you use a lot of power in peak periods, mainly 5:30 - 7pm in winter, they may not be for you. I avoid that by heating the house up from 4pm instead of 5pm, hot water is on a timer and heats only from 2am - 7am, dishwasher runs at 2am on a timer that's built in, and where practical large loads of laundry are put in the clothes drier at night. Because the warm water is heated at night dishes, washing, showers are all at off peak power rates.

 

Large peaks are rare, we had one last week where it cost me $15 for the days power instead of my regular $8, but they happen very rarely and it evens out over the year.

 

Customer service is good. Some people aren't super happy that information on usage and billing isn't real time and can be delayed - this partly due to how the market works, partly due to Flick being a new company with immature systems.


frednz

1434 posts

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  #1568561 9-Jun-2016 11:21
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Thanks very much for your replies and the link to the powerswitch site. This site has 16 companies listed which is a surprise, but it seems that only 8 of these deal with both electricity AND gas. The consumer ratings are interesting with Energy Direct NZ coming in top at 89% followed by Energy Online at 85%.

 

I am currently with Genesis and overall they have been pretty good. However, I went on to a fixed dollar per month 12-month contract for our gas and this has turned out to be difficult to manage because you are given a maximum number of kWh of gas you can use in a 12-month period. This means you have to keep on calculating your usage to see that you don't exceed this limit because if you do, you must go on to more expensive options! I think the "standard" monthly gas rates plan is far easier to manage given the problems you can experience with these "fixed dollar" gas plans and the warnings you receive about your usage to date!

 

Regards

 

Fred


DaveB
1139 posts

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  #1568617 9-Jun-2016 12:38
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frednz:

 

Thanks very much for your replies and the link to the powerswitch site. This site has 16 companies listed which is a surprise, but it seems that only 8 of these deal with both electricity AND gas. The consumer ratings are interesting with Energy Direct NZ coming in top at 89% followed by Energy Online at 85%.

 

I am currently with Genesis and overall they have been pretty good. However, I went on to a fixed dollar per month 12-month contract for our gas and this has turned out to be difficult to manage because you are given a maximum number of kWh of gas you can use in a 12-month period. This means you have to keep on calculating your usage to see that you don't exceed this limit because if you do, you must go on to more expensive options! I think the "standard" monthly gas rates plan is far easier to manage given the problems you can experience with these "fixed dollar" gas plans and the warnings you receive about your usage to date!

 

Regards

 

Fred

 

 

I think you will find that when you compare the gas price alone, the Genesis flat monthly plan (in our case $99 monthly) seems to compare quite favourably. I certainly prefer the costs spread over the course of a year (and a nice warm house 24/7 on those colder days).


 
 
 
 


RUKI
1151 posts

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  #1568622 9-Jun-2016 12:42
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frednz:

 

Thanks very much for your replies and the link to the powerswitch site. This site has 16 companies listed which is a surprise, ...

 

 

I found that site inaccurate. Used actual Mercury bills to check that...

 

In another forum found people comparing the "price of unit" without considering fixed monthly prices...


DaveB
1139 posts

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  #1568799 9-Jun-2016 16:09
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RUKI:

 

frednz:

 

Thanks very much for your replies and the link to the powerswitch site. This site has 16 companies listed which is a surprise, ...

 

 

I found that site inaccurate. Used actual Mercury bills to check that...

 

In another forum found people comparing the "price of unit" without considering fixed monthly prices...

 

 

But isn't that the way the internet works? 10% Factual and 90% assumption (without consideration)?

 

Price comparison websites can only do so much. Consider a long distance return flight from NZ to the UK and back. $300 saving on some sites, but an extra 16 hours on your journey? Along with all the additional unforeseen extra costs associated with that, you can often end up paying more.

 

I think price comparison sites are only able to give you a starting point. From there, your own brain needs to kick in and start asking some questions.


Hammerer
2231 posts

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  #1568805 9-Jun-2016 16:26
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RUKI:

 

frednz:

 

Thanks very much for your replies and the link to the powerswitch site. This site has 16 companies listed which is a surprise, ...

 

 

I found that site inaccurate. Used actual Mercury bills to check that...

 

In another forum found people comparing the "price of unit" without considering fixed monthly prices...

 

 

I've found the site to be very accurate given due allowance for the many potential issues as there is quite a lot of data to be coordinated and many calculations involved.

 

It would help the rest of us if you said what you think is inaccurate:

 

 

 

 


frednz

1434 posts

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  #1568822 9-Jun-2016 16:46
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DaveB:

 

frednz:

 

Thanks very much for your replies and the link to the powerswitch site. This site has 16 companies listed which is a surprise, but it seems that only 8 of these deal with both electricity AND gas. The consumer ratings are interesting with Energy Direct NZ coming in top at 89% followed by Energy Online at 85%.

 

I am currently with Genesis and overall they have been pretty good. However, I went on to a fixed dollar per month 12-month contract for our gas and this has turned out to be difficult to manage because you are given a maximum number of kWh of gas you can use in a 12-month period. This means you have to keep on calculating your usage to see that you don't exceed this limit because if you do, you must go on to more expensive options! I think the "standard" monthly gas rates plan is far easier to manage given the problems you can experience with these "fixed dollar" gas plans and the warnings you receive about your usage to date!

 

Regards

 

Fred

 

 

I think you will find that when you compare the gas price alone, the Genesis flat monthly plan (in our case $99 monthly) seems to compare quite favourably. I certainly prefer the costs spread over the course of a year (and a nice warm house 24/7 on those colder days).

 

 

Thanks for your reply. Yes, if you prefer the costs spread over the year, then the $99 fixed charge per month plan (including GST) is an option if you think you might use up to 13889 kWh of gas per year. The $99 fixed charge per month works out as $1188 per year compared with about $1500 for using 13889 kWh at standard rates (including GST, less 10% and plus the daily fixed dual fuel charge of $1.31).

 

Although this may seem to be a reasonable deal, I intend to check what it would cost me if I used 13889 kWh of gas with another power company. When you sign a 12-month fixed charge per month plan you are tied in to that company for 12 months and can't move to another company unless you pay the early cancellation fee of $150. If, for some reason, you use a lot less gas than anticipated, with a fixed charge per month plan, you could end up paying for a lot of gas that you haven't actually used.

 

And, I prefer to pay the actual gas costs that you use each month on standard rates rather than spread the costs over the year. You are then fully aware of what it costs you each month and can economise if you want to. And, if you spend a few weeks overseas, you aren't then paying for gas you don't use! You can also change your power company easily without paying an early termination cost.

 

Regards

 

Fred


DaveB
1139 posts

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  #1568934 9-Jun-2016 20:05
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frednz:

 

DaveB:

 

frednz:

 

Thanks very much for your replies and the link to the powerswitch site. This site has 16 companies listed which is a surprise, but it seems that only 8 of these deal with both electricity AND gas. The consumer ratings are interesting with Energy Direct NZ coming in top at 89% followed by Energy Online at 85%.

 

I am currently with Genesis and overall they have been pretty good. However, I went on to a fixed dollar per month 12-month contract for our gas and this has turned out to be difficult to manage because you are given a maximum number of kWh of gas you can use in a 12-month period. This means you have to keep on calculating your usage to see that you don't exceed this limit because if you do, you must go on to more expensive options! I think the "standard" monthly gas rates plan is far easier to manage given the problems you can experience with these "fixed dollar" gas plans and the warnings you receive about your usage to date!

 

Regards

 

Fred

 

 

I think you will find that when you compare the gas price alone, the Genesis flat monthly plan (in our case $99 monthly) seems to compare quite favourably. I certainly prefer the costs spread over the course of a year (and a nice warm house 24/7 on those colder days).

 

 

Thanks for your reply. Yes, if you prefer the costs spread over the year, then the $99 fixed charge per month plan (including GST) is an option if you think you might use up to 13889 kWh of gas per year. The $99 fixed charge per month works out as $1188 per year compared with about $1500 for using 13889 kWh at standard rates (including GST, less 10% and plus the daily fixed dual fuel charge of $1.31).

 

Although this may seem to be a reasonable deal, I intend to check what it would cost me if I used 13889 kWh of gas with another power company. When you sign a 12-month fixed charge per month plan you are tied in to that company for 12 months and can't move to another company unless you pay the early cancellation fee of $150. If, for some reason, you use a lot less gas than anticipated, with a fixed charge per month plan, you could end up paying for a lot of gas that you haven't actually used.

 

And, I prefer to pay the actual gas costs that you use each month on standard rates rather than spread the costs over the year. You are then fully aware of what it costs you each month and can economise if you want to. And, if you spend a few weeks overseas, you aren't then paying for gas you don't use! You can also change your power company easily without paying an early termination cost.

 

Regards

 

Fred

 

 

Your earlier post indicated that you have already gone onto a fixed term "dollar per month" plan and I assume, you are coming up for renewal. You will therefore know what your usage has been and unlike many others will have access to your past usage.

 

Fixed term, fixed price contracts are generally cheaper, as confirmed by your figures above. Let's call that "Swings and Roundabouts" - you are paying more for when it is not being used (on average) and less when it is (again, on average).

 

I am struggling to understand if you have been paying too much and feel a little annoyed at that, or you are not happy to have to pay more because your previous usage requires a new higher contribution bracket?

 

let us know how you got on.

 

 


stevenz
2788 posts

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  #1568954 9-Jun-2016 20:27
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I found powerswitch hard to use as power companies make it very hard to work out the correct plan that you're on. We moved to Flick and the pricing seems to be much the same as Powershop was who we were with previously but without needing to worry about buying the power packs.

 

Not so keen on the "big" companies, having seen what goes on behind the scenes at some of them is pretty eye opening.

 

 





frednz

1434 posts

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  #1568978 9-Jun-2016 20:52
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DaveB:

 

frednz:

 

DaveB:

 

frednz:

 

Thanks very much for your replies and the link to the powerswitch site. This site has 16 companies listed which is a surprise, but it seems that only 8 of these deal with both electricity AND gas. The consumer ratings are interesting with Energy Direct NZ coming in top at 89% followed by Energy Online at 85%.

 

I am currently with Genesis and overall they have been pretty good. However, I went on to a fixed dollar per month 12-month contract for our gas and this has turned out to be difficult to manage because you are given a maximum number of kWh of gas you can use in a 12-month period. This means you have to keep on calculating your usage to see that you don't exceed this limit because if you do, you must go on to more expensive options! I think the "standard" monthly gas rates plan is far easier to manage given the problems you can experience with these "fixed dollar" gas plans and the warnings you receive about your usage to date!

 

Regards

 

Fred

 

 

I think you will find that when you compare the gas price alone, the Genesis flat monthly plan (in our case $99 monthly) seems to compare quite favourably. I certainly prefer the costs spread over the course of a year (and a nice warm house 24/7 on those colder days).

 

 

Thanks for your reply. Yes, if you prefer the costs spread over the year, then the $99 fixed charge per month plan (including GST) is an option if you think you might use up to 13889 kWh of gas per year. The $99 fixed charge per month works out as $1188 per year compared with about $1500 for using 13889 kWh at standard rates (including GST, less 10% and plus the daily fixed dual fuel charge of $1.31).

 

Although this may seem to be a reasonable deal, I intend to check what it would cost me if I used 13889 kWh of gas with another power company. When you sign a 12-month fixed charge per month plan you are tied in to that company for 12 months and can't move to another company unless you pay the early cancellation fee of $150. If, for some reason, you use a lot less gas than anticipated, with a fixed charge per month plan, you could end up paying for a lot of gas that you haven't actually used.

 

And, I prefer to pay the actual gas costs that you use each month on standard rates rather than spread the costs over the year. You are then fully aware of what it costs you each month and can economise if you want to. And, if you spend a few weeks overseas, you aren't then paying for gas you don't use! You can also change your power company easily without paying an early termination cost.

 

Regards

 

Fred

 

 

Your earlier post indicated that you have already gone onto a fixed term "dollar per month" plan and I assume, you are coming up for renewal. You will therefore know what your usage has been and unlike many others will have access to your past usage.

 

Fixed term, fixed price contracts are generally cheaper, as confirmed by your figures above. Let's call that "Swings and Roundabouts" - you are paying more for when it is not being used (on average) and less when it is (again, on average).

 

I am struggling to understand if you have been paying too much and feel a little annoyed at that, or you are not happy to have to pay more because your previous usage requires a new higher contribution bracket?

 

let us know how you got on.

 

 

 

Thanks for your post. Because we are using a lot of gas at present, as a matter of routine we simply want to check what other companies are charging for using this quantity of gas to ensure that we give our business to the power company that offers the best deal. It may take a little while to complete this review, but I think it's prudent to review every year or so what other companies are offering.

 

Regards

 

Fred


frednz

1434 posts

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  #1568985 9-Jun-2016 20:55
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stevenz:

 

I found powerswitch hard to use as power companies make it very hard to work out the correct plan that you're on. We moved to Flick and the pricing seems to be much the same as Powershop was who we were with previously but without needing to worry about buying the power packs.

 

Not so keen on the "big" companies, having seen what goes on behind the scenes at some of them is pretty eye opening.

 

 

 

That's interesting, but why would "what goes on behind the scenes" influence your choice of power company if the "big companies" are offering the best deals?

 

Regards

 

Fred


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