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Topic # 222710 25-Aug-2017 02:18
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Is it standard practice for the controlled hot water electricity rate to be discounted as opposed to anytime hot water being charged extra for?

My new build is gas hot water and I've been backwards and forwards with Mercury over my Low User Plan rate. The bill says $0.3227/kWh but their website says $0.2672/kWh for my address. They tell me this is because I am on the uncontrolled plan and their website defaults to the controlled plan rate.

Additionally, Mercury say "As this is how your meter is configured we are unable to change your tariff.
To change the tariff (controlled hot water) of your meter, you will need to do a meter reprogram and this would include a cost of $135. But you would need your electrician to do all the internal wiring required first, at your own cost."

Was the build done correctly by the sparkie/meter company or should it have been done differently given my gas hot water scenario?

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  Reply # 1852174 25-Aug-2017 02:39
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I hit this exact thing when I built last year. We went gas too so not cylinder, If I had known about this at the time I would have got the electrician to put me on the controlled plan when it was all setup.

Thats a big difference in your companies prices though, with Electric Kiwi my neighbours with controlled plans can all get power at $0.1652+GST where I'm paying $0.20+GST. Which doesn't work out that much more each month. Probably worth getting the electrician to swap me over if possible though if I work it out over a year or two. 


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  Reply # 1852176 25-Aug-2017 02:48
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I take it that you are currently on an "uncontrolled" rate. And you want to go onto the "controlled" rate? If so then what load would you have controlled by the meter? As often an electric hot water cylinder is the only approved load able to be controlled. Sometimes other fixed loads such as underfloor heating, nightstore heaters, spa pool heaters etc. Might be allowed to be used as a controlled load.

 

What lines company supplies your area? As they set most of the policies for what counts as "controlled", "uncontrolled" etc. And is there a ripple control receiver installed next to your electricity meter? If you have the right load type, they pass on a discount in the fees that they charge Mercury, who then pass that discount on to you.

 

Depending on those policies, the only way to get the controlled pricing might be to switch to electric hot water. Which would probably mean getting a ripple receiver installed, a pilot wire installed between the meter box and your swtchboard, A new main switch, and finally a new hot water circuit to a new hot water cylinder. Job would require an electrical inspection in addition to the electrician's and plumbers work. And depending on your interpretation of the building code, installing a electric hot water cylinder to replace a gas water heater might require a building consent.

 

Gas hot water is cheaper to install from scratch than electric hot water. Therefore developers and builders like gas hot water. (also avoids complaints of hot water running out in a brand new house, and a developer is highly unlikely to install a correctly sized electric hot water system anyway). And since you would be paying almost 27c per unit for electricity even with electric hot water. Gas might still be cheaper overall. If you did have controlled hot water, would the power used by the hot water cylinder be charged at a cheaper unit rate?

 

[edited to add]

 

The lines company won't knowingly let you go onto a controlled plan unless you actually have a controlled load connected that meets their policies.

 

 






 
 
 
 




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  Reply # 1852178 25-Aug-2017 03:02
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I wanted gas hot water, no desire to change to electric, I have nothing else for them to control. None of the ripple control stuff will have been installed as it was a gas hot water build from the start.

Had I been asked at the start "Do you want us to set you up for electric hot water even though you don't have an electric hot water cylinder, it will make your power cheaper?" and the cost wasn't prohibitive I would likely have done it. Seems ridiculous though that by rewiring for controlled, even though there wouldn't be anything for them to control, my power would be cheaper.


EDIT: I see your edit now, thanks.

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  Reply # 1852182 25-Aug-2017 04:11
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I come across lots of properties that originally had electric hot water, which have been converted to gas. Yet the property is still on a controlled power plan. (same thing with properties that have had nightstores, spa pools, fixed electric heaters etc removed). But the owners are still getting the cheaper controlled rate. I have even seen smart meters with ridiculously low readings on them.  My neighbour has 2 smart meters on his house, one of them reads 0000007 units. Despite the meter having been there for at least 5 years. The only thing it supplies is a power point underneath his house. That power point used to feed his spa pool that was removed 20+ years ago.

 

Because of things like the above, Vector in Auckland only give a 0.8c per unit discount if you are on a controlled plan compared to uncontrolled. Also surprising that the metering company didn't bother checking anything. They were happy to install meters that are not even getting used. Also on the North Shore and West Auckland, the controlled plan is closed to new connections. Probably next year, it will disappear completely, and everyone currently on the controlled plan, will get moved to uncontrolled.

 

On the other end of the scale. I have found properties that have electric hot water, but the property is on an uncontrolled plan. And even some that have natural gas connected, and yet still have electric hot water on an uncontrolled plan. (The most expensive pricing combination possible).






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  Reply # 1852202 25-Aug-2017 07:50
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I just got PowerShop to switch me to a peak/offpeak charge to suit the massive increase in my power use since we bought an electric car a few weeks back. Depending on your use case, I get 19c offpeak and all weekend, but 32c/KWh for peak (7-9am and 5-9pm on weekdays)

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  Reply # 1852234 25-Aug-2017 08:54
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We have our hot water cylinder on controlled power, the rest of the house is uncontrolled. When we get the power bill we have one line which shows how much uncontrolled power we've used and how much controlled power we've used. The cheaper rate is because the power companies can turn off the power to those items at times of high demand on the grid.

If we had gas hot water instead of the electric cylinder we wouldn't have the controlled power part on the bill.

You can't run the whole house on controlled power as the reason controlled power is cheaper is that the power companies can turn off those items remotely at times of high power demand. If your whole house is run on controlled power the company would turn off the supply to your whole house! Bad way to be at 7pm on a cold winter's night!

For the OP, because you have had hot water and no electric hot water you won't get the controlled rate.

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