Contact Energy Set To Increase Price of Electricity Bills

The price of your electricity bill may be about to grow. Contact Energy are altering their pricing in six regions around the country this winter - Christchurch, Taupo, Far North, Wellington, Central Otago and Northland regions.

A company spokesman said customers would be paying an extra $5 to $12 per month. One resident in the Wellington suburb of Hataitai has had his daily charge rate increase from $2.138 per day, to $2.262 per day.

The move was to account for a change in local network charges, which is the cost in which network companies charge to transport the electricity from the grid to homes, as well as a change in Contact's charges, the spokesman said.

"We carefully consider our product pricing in each region, and for many customers this will be the first time Contact has adjusted the energy component of their bill, which we control, since 2012 or 2013."

The local network charge accounts for about 40 per cent of the bill, he said. In an email to Wellington customers, Contact Energy head of customer service Bryan Middleton said the company had not made changes to energy and service components of the price.

"Apart from reflecting the network changes, our prices are only adjusted to include an amount for the average prompt payment discount and ensure low user compliance."

In the Wellington email, Middleton guaranteed customers would get a better base rate than what they currently pay.

This latest price hike will hit just two months after 15 other regions - southern Hawke's Bay, central Hawke's Bay, Invercargill, Southland, North Otago, Otago, Dunedin, Nelson, West Coast, Buller, Bay of Plenty, Rotorua, Timaru, Wairarapa, and Eastland - also fell victim to an increase.

The average increase for residential customers those regions were between $4 and $12 per month.

Customers were given the option of signing up to a fixed plan to avoid the price change.

They would lock in that rate until October 31, 2018.

Contact Energy customers will be forced to pay an extra $5 to $12 per month, as the cost to get electricity from the ...


April Price Rise Round Over, Now's The Time To Negotiate A Better Power Deal

Are you finding your power bills too high? Most power companies have had a price increase as of the 1st April 2016 and winter is now on its way too. If you have not checked you are on the cheapest power plan recently, now is the time to do it.

Power companies tend to review their prices in April because that is when changes to lines charges are passed through to retailers. A number have put up their charges recently including Genesis Energy, Mercury Energy and part of the Contact Energy network.

Some companies have offered customers the chance to lock in current prices, sometimes with a premium, to avoid the hikes.

Carl Hansen, chief executive of the Electricity Authority, said customers should take the opportunity to check they are on the best plan for their households.

"It's always a good time to check you are still on the best power deal for your circumstances, particularly as power use changes coming into winter. This is especially true if you haven't checked your options recently."

He said most of the April changes for this year had taken effect.

"But it's a dynamic market and many electricity retailers offer discounts on their standard prices. If you've had an increase, it's worth having a chat to your current retailer to see if they are able to sharpen the deal. If not, it's definitely worth checking to see whether switching could save you money."

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