Geekzone: technology news, blogs, forums
Guest
Welcome Guest.
You haven't logged in yet. If you don't have an account you can register now.


Gurezaemon

~HONYAKKER!~
869 posts

Ultimate Geek

ID Verified
Lifetime subscriber

#281443 18-Feb-2021 09:01
Send private message

I'm looking to change my electricity provider - I'm with Mercury at the moment.

 

-I use a LOT per year - 11304 kWh/yr, but that's not the issue. I work from home with a large, power-hungry computer, and with 3 kids, so I can live with it. It also means that a higher-than-average amount of electricity usage is during the working day.
-After inputting details (including a month-by-month breakdown of usage), powerswitch.co.nz suggested Powershop and Electric Kiwi as the top two options, both saving $6-700 over the course of a year.

 

However, both of these appear to be very finicky - Powershop seems cheap only if you spend ages grabbing discounts and buying power in advance, whereas Electric Kiwi seems cheap only if you make use of the free hour, which I suspect I won't. Both of these options seem like a real PITA.

 

Given that a decent chunk of my power usage is during the working day which is generally classed as off-peak (is this right?) - does anyone have any suggestions for a provider that would offer cheap rates for this? Ideally I'd be able to set things like having the hot water cylinder on only at certain times.

 

At this point, I'm getting more and more confused by all the options, so any suggestions would be welcome.





Get your business seen overseas - Nexus Translations


View this topic in a long page with up to 500 replies per page Create new topic
 1 | 2 | 3
  #2658803 18-Feb-2021 09:03
Send private message

Where in the country are you?


Affiliate link
 
 
 

Affiliate link: Life360 protects each family member with advanced driving, digital, and location safety features. Choose the plan that fits your family’s size and life stage.
Fred99
13684 posts

Uber Geek


  #2658807 18-Feb-2021 09:13
Send private message

higher-than-average amount of electricity usage is during the working day

 

If you're "making hay when the sun is shining", you may as well get some solar panels.  

 

 


BlinkyBill
1443 posts

Uber Geek
Inactive user


  #2658808 18-Feb-2021 09:24
Send private message

I’m with Powershop for one of my properties; it takes about 3 minutes per month to grab all the discount packages. But overall the savings aren’t much really.




shanes
226 posts

Master Geek

Lifetime subscriber

  #2658809 18-Feb-2021 09:28
Send private message

Gurezaemon:

 

However, both of these appear to be very finicky - Powershop seems cheap only if you spend ages grabbing discounts and buying power in advance, whereas Electric Kiwi seems cheap only if you make use of the free hour, which I suspect I won't. Both of these options seem like a real PITA.

 

 

I'm with Powershop it's not too bad, at the start of each month you go grab a couple of future packs, then each week or so you get a notification of a "special" and go grab that, about once every three months I find that the "specials" don't cover usage so I get a normal pack.

 

Buying is pretty much just a couple of clicks, not ages.

 

Every now and then I use the usage history and work out what it would have cost with a couple of other providers, Powershop is usually $100's cheaper, well worth the couple of minutes spent.


jonathan18
6204 posts

Uber Geek

Trusted

  #2658810 18-Feb-2021 09:30
Send private message

As someone who’s been with EK for quite some time I’d disagree with your description of it being ‘finicky’!

 

Yep, to absolutely maximise one’s hour of free power it’s possible to set up as much as you can to be done in that timeframe, but my own experience is that their prices are competitive enough to not even need to worry about this. (That said, if you need to heat your house in the morning, it’s a no-brainer to select your free hour as 6-7 and have the heating turn on at 6.)

 

On top of this they offer a sizeable discount for paying in advance - an automatic $200 credit when the account balance is low (from the credit card, with no charges) is topped up with a $20 bonus, providing an additional 9% discount.

 

Also, always found the service to be good. Would totally recommend them, and happy to PM you a code that gets both of us $50 credit!


Gurezaemon

~HONYAKKER!~
869 posts

Ultimate Geek

ID Verified
Lifetime subscriber

  #2658812 18-Feb-2021 09:37
Send private message

Fred99:

 

higher-than-average amount of electricity usage is during the working day

 

If you're "making hay when the sun is shining", you may as well get some solar panels.  

 

 

I've been mulling that idea for a while, but we're not sure about our long term plans for living here.

 

We're in Whangarei. 





Get your business seen overseas - Nexus Translations


itxtme
1919 posts

Uber Geek


  #2658819 18-Feb-2021 09:47
Send private message

Was the EK plan the stay ahead 200 plan?  You get the equivalent of a 10% discount if you use this method.




wellygary
6725 posts

Uber Geek


  #2658822 18-Feb-2021 09:48
Send private message

-I use a LOT per year - 11304 kWh/yr, but that's not the issue.

 

With 3 Kids, I think you will find that's not actually that unusual...

 

Instead of looking at it from the $$$ end, have you had a look at it from the Kwh end?

 

...my bet is your biggest use is probably hot water...  and you may be able to find reasonably cheap ways to pull that down... cyclomer wraps, pipe lagging.. alarm clock in the shower for the kids. :)

 

 


jonb
1675 posts

Uber Geek

Trusted

  #2658826 18-Feb-2021 09:55
Send private message

Fred99:

 

higher-than-average amount of electricity usage is during the working day

 

If you're "making hay when the sun is shining", you may as well get some solar panels.  

 

 

 

 

Yep sounds like a better than average use case for solar.


sidefx
3611 posts

Uber Geek

Trusted

  #2658838 18-Feb-2021 10:31
Send private message

Gurezaemon:

 

whereas Electric Kiwi seems cheap only if you make use of the free hour, which I suspect I won't. 

 

 

 

 

Why not?  At the very least you've already said a lot of your power is during the day, so set you free hour of power to during the day and immediately you'll be saving more during that 1/24th of your day than you would otherwise. 

 

Then I find simply putting my dishwasher or washing machine on during the free hour of power bumps that up even more.   During winter put the heating on full blast during the free hour of power and that increases the savings even more and with decent insulation keeps the house warm for a few hours. 

 

And as others have pointed out the stay ahead 200 plan with EK gives you another effective 9% discount.  

 

My vote would be EK - I've done comparisons a few times with other providers and never found one that gives better prices (based on just 4% in hour of power - which is 1/24 and the 9% stay-ahead 200 plan)





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


Gurezaemon

~HONYAKKER!~
869 posts

Ultimate Geek

ID Verified
Lifetime subscriber

  #2658844 18-Feb-2021 11:00
Send private message

wellygary:

 

-I use a LOT per year - 11304 kWh/yr, but that's not the issue.

 

With 3 Kids, I think you will find that's not actually that unusual...

 

Instead of looking at it from the $$$ end, have you had a look at it from the Kwh end?

 

...my bet is your biggest use is probably hot water...  and you may be able to find reasonably cheap ways to pull that down... cyclomer wraps, pipe lagging.. alarm clock in the shower for the kids. :)

 

 

The breakdown of usage I downloaded from Mercury showed that on average, 1/3 of usage was "controlled" - that means the cylinder, right? 

Reducing usage makes sense though. We had the shower mixer replaced a year back, and I've just remembered that it was set by default to a very high flow. I've now adjusted it to half what it was, and hopefully that might reduce hot water usage a bit. Clambering around under the house to put in some pipe lagging probably wouldn't hurt either.

 





Get your business seen overseas - Nexus Translations


Geektastic
16816 posts

Uber Geek

Trusted
Lifetime subscriber

  #2658851 18-Feb-2021 11:06
Send private message

We use Meridian because (a) we hold shares in it, (b) it generates by renewables.

 

 

 

I have no idea what we use in terms of actual electricity, but our bill is about $300/month with two of us and no kids. However our house is climate controlled 24/7/365 with ducted heat pumps that are never off, our water is heated by electricity and all our cooking is electric. I work at home all the time and my wife 1 or 2 days a week on average.

 

I have found Meridian to be reliable, helpful when there are issues (never their issues - always the line company) and no more or less expensive within an order of magnitude worth bothering with than anyone else when I have looked at the change website to see what other companies would cost us.






timmmay
18592 posts

Uber Geek

Trusted
Subscriber

  #2658921 18-Feb-2021 12:13
Send private message

That seems like a moderate amount of electricity. I used 13,572KHw last year, of which 3167 was free on Electric Kiwi hour of power. We keep our well insulated house at about 23 - 24 degrees with heat pumps, one 4 year old who has a bath every day, lots of showers. To make the most of the free hour you need to do things like get your hot water on a timer, which costs about $250 so there's a payback period.

 

Computers don't use all that much power unless you're doing CAD / 3D stuff / gaming. A modern PC at full power might use 150W (not just a guess, I measured it), plus a monitor, say 200W. 2KWh is 40c per say. The power to heat / cool the room is much higher. Have you measured your PC power consumption?

 

Solar can help with the base load during the day, and if you set it up it can do hot water heating and such. A friend of mine put in solar at about $14K and saved about 30% on their power bill overall. I saved that much moving to Electric Kiwi, it cost me $300 to set up some timers. We also use timers on clothes driers, dishwashers, the big heat pumps come on during free hour etc. We do free hour 5am most of the year. Some years we change it to 9pm to run air conditioning but with the new ducted unit it doesn't seem to use much power as heating - air conditioning is trying to reduce the temp by maybe 5 degrees, heating much be trying to increase by 15 - 20 degrees.

 

If you want to sign up with EK you can use my link to get $50 credit, I get credit too.


jonathan18
6204 posts

Uber Geek

Trusted

  #2658993 18-Feb-2021 13:06
Send private message

timmmay:

 

To make the most of the free hour you need to do things like get your hot water on a timer, which costs about $250 so there's a payback period.

 

 

But, as I mentioned in my earlier post, such additional changes are not necessary to still get well-priced power from EK - my sense is that making a lot of this point risks putting many potential customers off using EK, as it does seem 'finicky' as the OP (mistakenly) believes. (I note EK's advertising - as irritating as it is - doesn't go into this too much either.)

 

Clearly PowerSwitch must make some generalisations about what customers will save in that 'hour of free power', and I'm thinking it's probably a fairly conservative estimate. Running my own numbers through PowerSwitch shows it over-estimated our electricity charges for the whole of the 2021 calendar year by 22% (site said it would be $1881 for the year, vs $1595 in reality [this is for 7,200 kWh]), but I imagine that's primarily driven by our relatively high usage in the 'free' hour (31% of total).

 

This will partly be because we have gas hot water, but I'd emphasise the active things we do to make the most of that free hour are amazingly low effort given the savings it brings: as mentioned, there's heating the whole house (ducted heat pump), but also timing the charging of our electric car, washing machine and (if used) dryer - and none of these had set-up costs to recover.


Gurezaemon

~HONYAKKER!~
869 posts

Ultimate Geek

ID Verified
Lifetime subscriber

  #2658995 18-Feb-2021 13:08
Send private message

timmmay:

 

That seems like a moderate amount of electricity. I used 13,572KHw last year, of which 3167 was free on Electric Kiwi hour of power. We keep our well insulated house at about 23 - 24 degrees with heat pumps, one 4 year old who has a bath every day, lots of showers. To make the most of the free hour you need to do things like get your hot water on a timer, which costs about $250 so there's a payback period.

 

Computers don't use all that much power unless you're doing CAD / 3D stuff / gaming. A modern PC at full power might use 150W (not just a guess, I measured it), plus a monitor, say 200W. 2KWh is 40c per say. The power to heat / cool the room is much higher. Have you measured your PC power consumption?

 

Solar can help with the base load during the day, and if you set it up it can do hot water heating and such. A friend of mine put in solar at about $14K and saved about 30% on their power bill overall. I saved that much moving to Electric Kiwi, it cost me $300 to set up some timers. We also use timers on clothes driers, dishwashers, the big heat pumps come on during free hour etc. We do free hour 5am most of the year. Some years we change it to 9pm to run air conditioning but with the new ducted unit it doesn't seem to use much power as heating - air conditioning is trying to reduce the temp by maybe 5 degrees, heating much be trying to increase by 15 - 20 degrees.

 

If you want to sign up with EK you can use my link to get $50 credit, I get credit too.

 

 

We're in a very sunny house in Whangarei, but with old and draughty wooden windows. We don't use electricity for heating, just a wood heater. No air-con - opening the windows lets plenty of breeze in, which is enough.
One exception to the heating thing is a small wall panel heater I have in my office on a timer for 3 hours before I start work. Once this turns off, the computer and the sun coming in keep the room warm enough.
Timer on the water heater - how does that work? Is that something installed by a sparky?

 

Computers - that usage sounds about right. I have 4 large monitors that I suspect use a fair bit of power, but by putting a TrickleStar on the power supply for monitors and other peripherals has helped - this turns these off fully when I shut down or hibernate the computer.

 

I'll definitely have a think about how we could get everything power-hungry done in an hour. I could even see myself getting OCD about it and seeing wifey roll her eyes at me :)

 

 





Get your business seen overseas - Nexus Translations


 1 | 2 | 3
View this topic in a long page with up to 500 replies per page Create new topic





News and reviews »

GoTo Launches IT Helpdesk Functionality Within GoTo Connect
Posted 18-Aug-2022 16:55


HP on Track With Recycling Program
Posted 18-Aug-2022 16:51


Belkin Screenforce Tempered Glass Screen Protector and Bumper - Apple Watch
Posted 15-Aug-2022 17:20


Samsung Introducing Galaxy Z Flip4 and Galaxy Z Fold4
Posted 11-Aug-2022 01:00


Samsung Unveils Health Innovations with Galaxy Watch5 and Galaxy Watch5 Pro
Posted 11-Aug-2022 01:00


Google Bringing First Cloud Region to Aotearoa New Zealand
Posted 10-Aug-2022 08:51


ANZ To Move to FIS Modern Banking Platform
Posted 10-Aug-2022 08:28


GoPro Hero10 Black Review
Posted 8-Aug-2022 17:41


Amazon to Acquire iRobot
Posted 6-Aug-2022 11:41


Samsung x LIFE Picture Collection Brings Iconic Moments in History to The Frame
Posted 4-Aug-2022 17:04


Norton Consumer Cyber Safety Pulse Report: Phishing for New Bait on Social Media
Posted 4-Aug-2022 16:50


Microsoft Announces New Solutions for Threat Intelligence and Attack Surface Management
Posted 3-Aug-2022 21:54


Seagate Addresses Hyperscale Workloads with Enterprise-Class Nytro SSDs
Posted 3-Aug-2022 21:50


Visa Launching Eco-friendly Payment Solutions in New Zealand
Posted 3-Aug-2022 21:48


NCR Delivers Services to Run Bank of New Zealand ATM Network
Posted 30-Jul-2022 11:06









Geekzone Live »

Try automatic live updates from Geekzone directly in your browser, without refreshing the page, with Geekzone Live now.



Are you subscribed to our RSS feed? You can download the latest headlines and summaries from our stories directly to your computer or smartphone by using a feed reader.







GoodSync is the easiest file sync and backup for Windows and Mac