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8 April 2024

As power bills surge it pays to change

Many New Zealanders will see a surge in their power bills this month as the annual power price increases take effect.

“Power prices are not all the same, and they don’t stay static. You may have signed up for the best deal available in the past, but there's a good chance that deal can now be beaten,” said Paul Fuge, Powerswitch manager.

Consumer NZ is urging people to take 5 minutes to check they're on the best power plan to meet their needs, it could save them about $400 on their annual power costs. Nine out of ten Powerswitch users save at least $100.

Powerswitch – the independent power-price-comparison website – features over 3,450 power plans from 18 power retailers, representing about 98% of the New Zealand electricity market.

“People might be surprised to find out just how often electricity prices are changing. We see price updates and new offers coming into the market constantly. What was a good deal a year or even 6 months ago may no longer be.

“In the past 12-months, we have made close to 24,000 pricing updates on Powerswitch. In the last month alone, we processed around 2500 price changes on the site,” said Fuge.

The Powerswitch team also compared the average cheapest and priciest plans on the site throughout March and found a shocking difference of $506. The cheapest price was $2,866 per year on average, while the priciest was $3,372.

“If people took the time to compare the price they signed up at with the price they’re paying now, I think they would be very surprised.

“Let’s face it, few people have the time to do that amount of admin. The good news is, we do the leg work for you.

“Over the past year, the Powerswitch team has compared 3,464 power plans from 18 companies, 448,944 times. You can be confident our maths is correct.”

The team behind the independent power-price-comparison site says a retailer that is leading the pack with the best price one month can soon fall down the rankings, meaning customers who don’t check their plans could end up paying more than they need to.

“Many people are surprised when they use Powerswitch and find they could be on a cheaper plan with their existing retailer.

“New Zealanders are a loyal bunch, and we think our loyalty will be rewarded, in fact, the opposite is regularly true.

“The longer you stay with your power provider the more likely it is you’re paying more than you need to – chances are you’re missing out on the newer innovative plans coming into the market, or introductory pricing being offered to lure in new customers.”

Last year, a record number of New Zealanders used Powerswitch to see if they could get a better deal by switching their power provider.

“We’ve seen site usage increase by a whopping 64% since 2020.”

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