Still Here To Help

We’re still here to help

There have been a few changes recently that are likely to affect your power bills. Level 4 lock down and working from home has likely increased your homes energy use, and many retailers have changed their rates as of 1 April 2020. You can still use the website compare your bill to make sure you are on the best deal available.

Comparing and Switching Power Companies is Easy with Switchme!

Using Switchme’s free comparison calculator to help you find the best energy deal will get you on your way to energy savings in no time. In just three steps, you can become the newest customer of another retailer!

Step #1: Enter Your Address and Usage Details

First, simply enter your address and usage details from your bill. This is your electricity ICP number, the units (kWh) used and days from your bill. If you’re moving to a new property or simply do not have an old bill handy, simply select “Estimate My Usage.” After loading the address, indicate the number of people in your household, Switchme can figure the rest of the calculation out!

Step #2: Review Your Results

The results page will list the offers from various Retailers who can supply energy to your property, and the cost of the indicated usage. Take some time to review the various prices and details before choosing the best Retailer for your needs. Once you make your decision, click the “SWITCH NOW” button next to that offer.

Step #3: Complete Your Application

Complete your application by filling in the details required by the retailer before hitting “SUBMIT.” Your application will then be delivered to your new Retailer so that they can process the application. To ensure the process runs smoothly, Switchme will monitor your request and be available for any follow-up questions.

Switchme: A Process You Can Trust

Switchme has a reputation that you can trust when it comes to comparing and switching power companies! We have years of experience dealing with New Zealand’s energy industry and offer rates and incentives you won’t find anywhere else. While providing free, independent advice, we pride ourselves on finding the best energy deals for kiwis!

Switchme Can Find You a Better Deal on Energy!

Whether you’re looking for a better price on energy for your home or business, Switchme is here to help! Between our free, online comparison calculator and our phone line support, we provide the easiest way to compare and switch companies. Let us help you find the best energy deal! Contact the experts at Switchme today.

$200 Credit and a huge 15% PPD

Fantastic limited time offer with some of the best pricing we’ve seen!

Genesis Energy is offering an exclusive deal to SwitchMe customers for a limited time. This offer is seriously not to be missed!!!

A welcome credit, special fixed pricing, and an increased Prompt Payment Discount are all available for a limited time.

This unique offer is only available for the month of February, and only through the SwitchMe website.

The offer includes;

- $200 welcome credit for electricity customers, $250 for electricity and natural gas

- An increased 15% Prompt Payment Discount

- Fixed rates for a 12-month term

This is for customers switching to Genesis Energy only and is for a fixed 12-month term. See our website for the terms and conditions.

To see how this special offer compares to your current pricing and to take advantage of the best deal we have seen for a while, head over to the website now

Proof Shopping Around Means Savings

Proof Shopping Around Means Savings

The verdict is in: if you haven’t been shopping around for a cheaper electricity retailer, you’re likely paying more than those who do.

According to a recently released report from Miriam Dean QC, those who shop around end up paying a better rate on their energy costs than those who do not. Here are the details.

New Zealand’s Residential Energy Market Prices is Record-Breaking High

Over the past 28 years, residential electricity prices have increased by almost 80% (after inflation). During this same time period, commercial prices have decreased by 24 per cent and industrial prices have increased by 18 per cent.

As part of the coalition agreement between Labour and New Zealand First, the review found that since 2000, the country’s residential prices have increased quicker than many other OECD countries. That’s why it’s crucial that customers take the time to research other electricity retailers for cost savings.

Two-Tier Market Developing

After inflation, an increase of almost 50% has developed between the least expensive retailer’s price and the incumbent retailer’s price since 2002.

When shopping around, consumers often get confused while comparing prices and contracts. Many consumers are confused by the details in the various plans which can lead to difficulty in choosing the best one for their needs.

Other consumers are missing out on money-saving discounts. Prompt payment discounts, which can be as high as 26 per cent of the energy bill, are often missed out by low-income consumers.

Late-payment penalties can also quickly drive up the energy bill’s costs.

Many Barriers Blocking Fair Competition in NZ’s Residential Energy Market

Although New Zealand has approximately 35 electricity retailers, the big five (Genesis, Contact, Mercury, Meridian and Trustpower) command more than 90 per cent of the market. They are better equipped to offer incentives for customers to remain with their company, preventing a more competitive market from developing.

This makes it difficult for the small to medium-sized electricity retailers to expand.

Switchme Makes Energy Comparisons Easy!

When it comes to your energy bill, wouldn’t you want to save more money? Switchme’s free, online comparison calculator makes it easy to compare other energy retailers! Check out our services today

Most NZers Dont Switch

Many NZers Remain with Same Electricity Provider Despite Benefits of Switching, Survey Says

Canstar Blue’s recently released survey results showed that of 4,200 respondents, only 43 percent compared electricity prices. Despite the overwhelming majority of respondents expressing worry about their power bills each month, only 13 percent actually switched providers.

With New Zealand’s competitive energy market, it’s easy to switch power companies and save on your electricity costs. Unless you’re on a fixed-term contract with break fees, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t check out prices from other electricity providers. Here’s why you should consider switching and how to go about doing so in only two steps!

Experience Greater Savings

It’s never a bad day to save money on your energy costs by switching to a more affordable energy provider. But during the winter months when heating costs quickly add up, the savings are even more welcomed.

More than half of those surveyed use extra blankets and clothing layers to keep warm rather than increase the temperature. Forty percent believe our homes lack proper insulation.

Think of what you can do with the money you could potentially save from switching. Maybe you can finally afford to raise your thermostat to a more comfortable temperature, maybe you can upgrade your heating system or maybe, you will have a few extra dollars each month for your own enjoyment. The possibilities are truly endless!

Say Goodbye to A Provider You’re Unhappy With

With almost 50 retail brands in the market, there’s no reason for you to stay with a provider you’re unhappy with. Whether it’s unhelpful customer service or limited payment options, switching to a new provider is definitely worth considering.

With the ability to research your options before committing to a switch, what do you have to lose?

Switchme Makes Saving on Energy Easy!

Switchme can help you save money on your household’s energy costs!

By offering impartial advice, efficient service and amazing results, we are one of New Zealand’s most trusted sources when it comes to finding the best energy deal.

With Switchme’s free, online comparison calculator, you can quickly compare and switch power companies. In only two steps, you can be on your way to savings – with no power interruption, either!

Sign up for our email alerts to get notice of price increases in your area. Check out our website for further details about how you can start saving on your energy costs today.

Low Switching Rates

High Wholesale Prices Creating Low Switching Rates

Fortunately for Kiwis, saving on electricity costs is normally easy to do.

In only a matter of minutes, switching websites display energy price comparisons and will facilitate the switching process for you. The process is actually so streamlined that there is no interruption in your household’s or business’ energy services!

But compared to the last four years, electricity switching is at an all-time low, and it has to do with high wholesale prices.

Thirteen Percent Decrease in Switches Recently

February 2019 saw only 30,340 customers change energy suppliers which was 13 percent less than one year prior.

The number of switches experienced in both January and February was a four-year low.

February’s Best-Performing Brand

While offering an incentive of one free month of power on a 12-month fixed deal, Contact Energy experienced the most success in February compared to other energy providers.

More than 1,200 customers were added to its customer base – the company’s biggest gain in over seven years.

Electric Kiwi, the second-largest gainer during February, now has almost 40,000 customers.

Low Number of Switches Caused by High Wholesale Power Prices

Since jumping in price during October 2018, wholesale prices have not levelled out. A variety of factors is to blame for the elevation, including declining North Island hydro storage, extensive irrigation demand on the South Island and limited gas supplies caused by maintenance work at the Pohokura field.

Recent cold, still weather also contributes to the price increase. Wind production has been reduced at the same time maintenance work at several plants decreased geothermal and hydro production.

The extended high wholesale prices have made it especially difficult for newer independent retailers to make customer gains.

Retailers Relying on Spot-Based Products Most Affected

Although limited power supplies are felt by all energy retailers, those that rely on spot-based products experience even more ill effects.

Flick Electric’s customer base had decreased recently due to higher spot market pricing, and they released a Fixed pricing option as an alternative to their fully spot market offering.

With power prices what they are these days, it’s in your best interest to keep a close eye on your energy bill! Switchme makes it easy! Join our email list to be notified of future price increases in your area.

Record Number Of Switches

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Record Number of Power Company Switches in October 2018

Did you recently switch your power company provider?

If so, you’re not alone.

October 2018 saw a record-breaking number of switches made from one power supplier to another. Reports from the Electricity Authority showed that 38,870 households decided to go with a different energy supplier, an increase of 6,000 from September.

Wondering why so many Kiwis made the switch? Curious about which companies gained the influx of customers? We have all the details about the recent spike in power company switches!

The Reason Behind the Increase in Energy Company Switches

By the end of October, wholesale energy prices increased to $1,000 a MWh for certain parts of New Zealand.

The majority of NZ households wouldn’t have noticed the price increase. However, the one per cent of New Zealand customers that are on variable plans that follow spot prices definitely would have. Some of these customers saw their energy bills increase to hundreds of dollars per week.

Since variable-price providers’ prices can change at any time, choosing to use a spot-based retailer does have some risk. While having the ability to lower your energy cost, this spring’s energy market also shows that spot pricing can negatively affect your energy bill almost overnight.

Meridian Energy Customer Base Soared in October

Meridian Energy, the country’s largest renewable energy company, added 1,249 new customers during October.

The most popular switching region was Canterbury, which had over 2 per cent of its residential, industrial and commercial customers changing energy suppliers.

Wholesale Price Increase Results in Energy Companies Closing

Citing unsustainable funding pressures, PowerDirect and Payless Energy recently announced they were exiting the market.

The Electricity Authority (EA) is currently reviewing a joint complaint from Pulse Energy, Electric Kiwi, Vocus Communications and Flick Electric about wholesale market conditions. The complaint claims that the unjustified, non-transparent spot prices are threatening independent competition in the energy market.

Too Many Customers Switching from Variable-Price Providers

There were so many customers trying to switch from spot-price providers that some energy companies had to turn customers away. Electric Kiwi and Nova Energy for example had to refrain from taking on additional customers trying to move from spot-price providers.

Are You Using the Best Energy Company?

At Switchme, we pride ourselves on staying abreast of the latest news in New Zealand’s energy sector. Doing so helps us provide our valued customers with the best energy deals. Check out our website to learn more about how we can help you find the best power company for your household’s needs!

Gisborne: Tops Switch List

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Gisborne: The Current leader for Power Supply Switches

In New Zealand, we have choices when it comes to choosing an energy supplier. And with more than 40 energy retailers providing Kiwis with their energy supply, it pays to shop around!

New Zealand’s competitive energy market has numerous retailers each offering their own discounts and pricing to compete for your business. Although many Kiwis country-wide realize this, the Gisborne region saw the highest number of switching rates this past June.

Gisborne Region’s Recent Record High Number of Power Company Switches

With 15 energy companies to choose from in the Gisborne region, many customers decided to recently make the switch to a new electricity supplier.

June’s highest number of power supply switching rates in New Zealand occurred in this region, where 2.31 percent of consumers switched.

Whether Gisborne region’s Kiwis tired of paying high energy rates or dealing with poor customer service, many of them decided to try out a new electricity company.

Electricity Authority Encourages Consumers to Do Their Own Research

You may think that you are getting the best energy deal possible, but how do you know that for sure?

According to the Electricity Authority, you should be doing your research to ensure that what you’re paying for electricity actually is the best rate that you can get.

With New Zealand’s highly competitive energy market, retailers are forced to offer incentive deals to consumers – or risk losing their business.

Consumers: Get Involved in Your Electricity Billing!

Consumers should take an active role in the electricity market by researching other providers’ rates or by asking for a better deal from their current retailer.

New customers aren’t the only one to get discounts! Ask your retailer about available discounts for being a loyal customer or for making the switch to a more efficient payment or mailing method.

Energy Switching Company “Switchme” Makes Switching Energy Easy!

As a consumer, it pays to do your research! Who knows? You could end up with more money in your pocket at the end of the day.

Whether you’re looking for a lower rate or better customer service, it’s not difficult to shop around other electricity suppliers.

Energy switching companies like Switchme make switching energy retailers easy. Within only a matter of minutes, find out what other energy rates are available to you. Check out our free, online comparison calculator today for more details!

Do Loyal Customer Pay More?

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Are Loyal Power Customers Paying More?

When was the last time you switched power companies?

If it was any longer than two years ago, then you may not be getting the best pricing option currently available.

Since the best prices and offers are usually only being offered to customers who switch to a new electricity provider, those who remain loyal may end up being the ones who pay the most.

In many cases, these customers are elderly or low-income; in other words, they are the ones who could benefit from power savings the most.

Are You Ready to Switch?

If you want to ensure you’re getting the best power deal possible, check with a website such as Switchme.

As New Zealand’s largest, non-government funded switching site, Switchme provides thousands of Kiwis each year with the best help and advice navigating the switching process.

By using the online comparison calculator, you’ll know right away if a better power deal is available. If it is, you can easily switch to the new company without having any interrupted service!

Other Options to Switching

If you’re not quite ready to switch to a new retailer but want to receive new incentives from being a loyal customer, there are options available.

First, contact your current power company and inquire about the plan you’re on. Find out if the price and service you’re receiving is actually the best one for your household’s needs.

Depending on what you require from your power company, there may be more suitable plan available. For example, is Standard or Low Using pricing the best option for your consumption? Can you get more incentives by having a direct debit or getting correspondence via email? Are you able to bundle more than one service (such as electricity and gas)? These can make a difference in cost.

Research Special Incentives

It’s also worth asking if your current power company offers any special incentives. For example, do you use a bicycle or own an electric vehicle? If so, your provider may offer you a discount or special rate.

Then, compare what you’re currently paying to what you could get from other power companies. Utilize the Switchme website to compare prices and available offers. Do your research to check and compare or call us to discuss the options.

If you’re tempted by what you see but still want to remain loyal to your current power provider, give them one last attempt. Contact them and tell them about the other company's deal and see if they are willing to offer you anything to keep you around as a customer.

Why wait any longer? Start saving money today! Contact Switchme for more details.

Win Backs and Saves

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“Win Backs” and “Saves”

We’re lucky in New Zealand. Whereas other parts of the world have monopolized electricity markets, we have the choice of almost 50 different electricity retailers. And because of the fierce competition in New Zealand’s electricity market, retailers work hard to keep us happy.

But with many retailers offering incentives to prevent customers from leaving or tantalizing deals to draw them back, the way New Zealand’s electricity retailers remain competitive is starting to be questioned.

Electricity Market Regulator Investigating Fairness of Current Market Practice

In many cases, customers who do not shop around end up paying more than customers who do – a problem identified by New Zealand’s electricity market regulator, The Electricity Authority.

“Saves” are identified as customers who are prevented from leaving before the switching process has completed. “Win-backs” are customers who return to their old retailer after the switch has gone through.

Statistics show that by offering a discount or credit on their power bills, some retailers can win back up to 40 per cent of its customers.

Although The Electricity Authority implemented a “save protection scheme” in January 2015 that provided winning retailers with the option of being protected from saves, it did not regulate win-backs. Doing so has resulted in many retailers waiting until after the switch is completed before trying to win the customer back.

The current review, led by the Market Development Advisory Group, will review the entire customer acquisition process (both saves and win-backs) and scrutinize the resulting competition effects.

How the Switching Process Works

When a customer decides they would like to shop around for a new electricity retailer, the first step is to complete some research. Switchme, New Zealand’s largest, non-government funded switching site, provides helpful information and assistance with all aspects of the switching process, and comparing the power providers.

Once a customer has switched to a new retailer, the switch is recorded in a registry. This ensures the customer receives a smooth, uninterrupted power supply and pays the correct amount to both the old and the new retailer.

The Effect on the Non-Switching Customers

Concern has been raised that loyal customers are not being offered anything for their loyalty. In fact, while on the companies default rates, they may be spending extra, which the retailer uses to offset the cost of winning back customers, or acquiring new ones. New offers with lower rates may only be available to new customers to the retailer, while existing customer are not eligable.

In many cases, customers who switch only enjoy the new, lower rates for a short period of time, too.

The Bottom Line

With its main focus on fairness, the forthcoming power review will determine if we are being well-served by the current market practice.

If it determines we’re not, the review will uncover the changes that need to be implemented.

Switching Power Companies

How to Avoid Problems when Switching Power Companies

Are you annoyed with the customer service at your current power company?

Are you tired of paying more than your neighbour does for the same energy services?

If so, you’re not alone! An increasing number of fellow Kiwis have been making the switch to a new energy supplier. But before you do the same, eliminate any problems during the switch by checking out the following details first.

More Choice = Better Rates for Kiwis

The number of electricity companies continues to increase in New Zealand. With a total of 48 electricity brands (backed by 32 companies), there are now 12 more companies than last year.

With the increase in electricity companies comes an increase in the competition field. As a result, better pricing or deals on energy become available for New Zealanders.

Ask the Right Questions Before Your Switch

Now’s the time to review the contract you initially signed with your current energy supplier! If you no longer have a copy of your contract, contact your supplier who should have one in your file.

Carefully review the details to see what’s entailed with breaking your contract. Check details such as:

  • Break-Fee: See what the fee would be to break your contract before its end date. Compare the cheaper, new supplier’s rates to the break-fee to see the difference. If your current supplier has an expensive break-fee, it may not be worth switching at the present time.
  • Automatic Renewal: Some companies have a clause in their contract that allows them to automatically renew their customers’ contract agreements. This date can creep up quickly on customers, so be sure to mark it down if you’re thinking of switching companies. That way, you’ll know when your deadline is to decide if you’re switching companies – before you’re automatically renewed again.
  • Pricing Details: Become familiar with how your current rate and service compare to the competition. Don’t be afraid to ask your current supplier if they can offer you a better plan. Who knows? They may be willing to give you a deal, rather than risk losing you as a customer to the competition.

After you’ve done your due diligence and would still like to switch to a new energy supplier, let Switchme help. For almost a decade, we have helped customers complete energy comparisons and assist them in the switching process.

Contact us or click here today to learn more about how our free, convenient service can make switching energy suppliers easy!

48 Brands and a record number of power switches

Image result for increasing graphRecord Number of Power Company Switches in 2017

Are you one of the record number of New Zealanders who made the switch to another electricity company during 2017?

If not, what are you waiting for?!

Almost 441,000 Kiwis Switched Companies in 2017

It’s no surprise that 2017 now holds the record for the number of Kiwis who switched power companies. With more and more New Zealanders realizing the options when it comes to energy companies and more energy companies entering the market, more switches are being made.

In fact, almost 441,000 households switched to another power company last year as opposed to almost 418,000 households in 2015.

Compared to 22 years ago, there are currently 48 retail brands in the energy market, making shopping around a smart consumer decision.

Whether you want to get a better deal or take advantage of an innovative business model, switching is worth looking into!

Save Money – and Headaches

No longer are Kiwis resigned to stick with a power company if they’re unhappy with their service. Due to the high competition in the retail electricity market, there are many other companies that could be used to provide New Zealanders with the same service.

Not only does New Zealand’s competitive electricity market make it easy to switch when you’re unhappy with your provider, but it also provides a great way to save money. Certain companies not only offer better prices, but there may be credits and freebies that you’re eligible for from the new company.

Plus, electricity products can now be purchased in ways unavailable in the past – saving headaches with billing.

Competition Keeps the Market Stable

Because of the competitive pressure in the electricity market, prices have remained stable in both the retail and wholesale components.

Plus, the increased competition gives retailers of all sizes a chance to secure new customers. New companies in the electricity market are creating innovative offers to attract new consumers and grow their customer base by up to 20 percent.

And it looks like it’s working: more than 10 percent of the retail market is now comprised of these small and medium-size retailers!

Switchme Makes Switching Power Companies Easy!

With Switchme, New Zealand’s biggest, non-government funded switching site, it’s easy to see if you can get a better energy deal!

With our free online comparison calculator, find out right away (in only two steps!) if you could be saving money by switching. If so, we make the process easy and are here to help you along the way!

Why wait? Check out today to find out how much money you could be saving by switching your electricity provider!

Benefits of Switching Power Companies

New Zealand has one of the fasting switching times around the globe. This year alone, hundreds of thousands of Kiwi households have switched their power company. Have you been thinking about changing power companies yourself? If so, there’s no time like the present to start reaping the rewards of another energy company!

Reduce Your Energy Costs

By easily using Switchme’s free, online calculator, see how your household’s energy costs compare to similar households. Within seconds of entering certain data, find out if you’re overpaying on your electricity and gas bills. With an average of only four and half days to change over to the new company you choose, you’ll experience price savings almost right away!

More Ways to Pay

Be sure to check out what companies are offering regarding electricity plans and payment options. Even though a company may offer the cheapest rate, their billing arrangement may not work the best with your own household’s needs.

Many companies also offer new consumers freebies and account credits. If you’re currently on a fixed term contract involving a break fee, talk to the new, prospective company. To get your business, many may work with you to offer a deal you simply can’t refuse!

Start Saving More Money!

When managing a household, one of the best ways to save money is to look at reducing your current overhead costs. By switching power companies to a more affordable energy provider, you can start seeing the savings add up fast!

In 2015 alone, the Electricity Authority (EA) estimated that an average of $175 was saved when Kiwis switched to the cheapest power retailer available. Switch to a cheaper power company and put away extra money for Christmas gifts, buy new shoes for your kids or start saving for a family vacation. What you choose to spend that extra savings on is entirely up to you!

Plenty of Choices on the Market

Because more people are switching power companies these days, new companies are getting involved in the power industry. This, in turn, makes the price for electricity and gas more competitive for Kiwis.

Although the big five retailers are still the most dominant, there has been a surge of small, independent companies. In 2016, these small companies had a customer base of almost 80,000, which was 12% more than the previous year. With the popularity of these new retailers increasing, the major retailers cannot afford to be as complacent now as they were in the past.

Let Switchme Help You Find a Better Deal on Energy!

Whenever you’re ready to consider the options of switching to a new energy provider, Switchme is here to help you! Between our free, online comparison calculator and our phone line support, we provide an easy, stress-free way of finding the best energy deal on the market. Contact us today for more details!

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How Do I Switch Power Companies?

Not happy with your current energy provider? Or, looking for a better deal on power? If so, it’s comforting to hear that New Zealand has one of the fastest switching times in the world! Partnering with Switchme ensures you can switch power companies as quickly, easily and pain-free as possible.

Switching Power Companies is Easy with Switchme!

Using Switchme’s free power comparison calculator to help you find the best energy deal will get you on your way to energy savings in no time. In just three steps, you can become the newest customer of another retailer!

Step #1: Enter Your Address and Usage Details

First, simply enter your usage and address details from your bill. Easily choose as many metres as needed and also the period length. If you’re moving to a new property or simply do not have an old bill handy, simply select “Estimate My Usage.” After indicating the number of people in your household, Switchme can figure the rest of the calculation out!

Step #2: Review Your Results

Right away, review the offers from various Retailers who can supply energy to your property. Take some time to review the various prices and details before choosing the best Retailer for your needs. Once you make your decision, click “SWITCH.”

Step #3: Complete Your Application

Complete your application by filling in your name, contact and property details before hitting “SUBMIT.” Your application will then be delivered to your new Retailer so that it can be switched immediately. To ensure the process runs smoothly, Switchme will monitor your request and be available for any follow-up questions.

Switchme: A Process You Can Trust

By helping over 60,000 kiwis to date, Switchme has a reputation that you can trust when it comes to switching power companies! We have years of experience dealing with New Zealand’s energy industry and offer rates and incentives you won’t find anywhere else. While providing free, independent advice, we pride ourselves on finding the best energy deals for kiwis!

Switchme Can Find You a Better Deal on Energy!

Whether you’re looking for a better price on energy for your home or business, Switchme is here to help! Between our free, online comparison calculator and our phone line support, we provide the easiest way to compare and switch companies. Let us help you find the best energy deal! Contact the experts at Switchme today.

NZ Power Customers Switching Suppliers In Record Numbers

There are now many more electricity brands on offer to consumers.

According to data from the Electricity Authority, if every New Zealander switched power companies within the last year, a combined total of $307 million could of been saved.

In the year to December 2015, 12 of New Zealand's 16 regions had an increase in the number of electricity retail brands available for consumers to choose from.

Consumers switched among them in record numbers – almost 418,000 consumers changed their electricity supplier during the year.

The Electricity Authority said the average amount they could save was $175 a year.

Carl Hansen, Electricity Authority chief executive, said the market was becoming increasingly competitive, as consumers started to take more notice of what was available to them.

The report showed growth in small, independent brands. Together, these brands now have almost 80,000 customers, up 12 per cent compared to the year before.

"While many of these retailers remain small, they are adding competitive pressure from the margins, which means the larger players need to keep innovating in order to maintain their market share," Hansen said.

"As well as more choice in the number of retailers available, a big trend in 2015 was more innovative electricity plans and payment options on offer," he said.

The number of pre-pay electricity contracts has increased substantially. At the end of 2015 there 43,560 pre-pay accounts, compared with 30,804 pre-pay accounts at the end of 2014. There is also a trend for contracts that have different pricing at different times of the day—119,953 consumers are now on this type of contract."

The Authority's review lists a range of other new options that are now available to electricity consumers including one retailer offering a "free hour of power", one retailer bundling electricity with gas, telecommunications and pay TV, other retailers passing on spot electricity prices and a range of new consumer apps and web tools available to help customers manage their bills or monitor their usage online.

Some retailers are now offering electricity plans targeted to electric vehicles or solar schemes.

Hansen said consumers should regularly check they were getting the best deal they could.


NZ Ranked Second for Switching Power Companies

When it comes to consumers switching power companies, New Zealand has been ranked number two, according to a World Energy global study, with New Zealand ranking up from 5th place in 2009 to 2nd place in 2011.

The report shows a steady increase in New Zealanders looking for cheaper options and getting the best deal for their money by switching energy retailers.

New Zealand was noted to be a fastest rising in rankings, fast approaching the ranked number one, Victoria Australia. Thanks to comparisons services such as the Electricity Authority’s What’s My Number campaign and independently owned, both offering free energy comparisons.

New Zealand’s switching rate has been heading upwards since 2008, from an annual rate of 10.5% in the year 2008 to a high 19.5% in the year 2011. The report shows that there has been an increase in retail competition, giving the consumer more of an incentive to switch power companies. Proving the free comparison services such as What’s My Number and Switchme are working.

Carl Hansen, The Electricity Authority Chief Executive says placing greater pressure on the electricity companies has made the energy industry much more competitive, which is increasing the number of consumers to switch to another energy company that can offer them a better deal.

“From our perspective switching rates are part of a more complex equation. What we may in fact find in the future is that lower switching rates may also indicate a highly competitive market as it may show that retailers are being driven to offer very similar prices, removing the incentive for consumers to switch.”

Over 350,000 New Zealanders choose to switch power companies in 2011 and collectively stood to save $8.7 m. In the first six months of 2012 almost 180,000 made the switch to a new retailer.

The What’s My Number and Switchme have also combined to launch a free comparison tool (RFP) for businesses. This is the first free business comparison tool to be launched in New Zealand and will revolutionise the small to medium businesses compare sign sign up to a cheaper power company. So far the Request for Pricing (RFP) tool has proven to be very popular and already has saved businesses across New Zealand thousands on their power bills.

For more information regarding saving money on your energy bills for your home or business, please call the Switchme team on 0800 179 482 or visit