Electricity meter
Research report

Electricity complaints: your rights

We answer some common questions about electricity supply.

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David B.
08 Apr 2020

Hey so question what are my rights as a consumer i got a power bill for $486 dollars im at work during the day and my power bill is around $110 now i was just told today that there has been a fault since January 2019 15 months later i get a bill for $486 for power i have used since then. My bills have always seemed normal then get this bill out of the blue

Consumer staff
16 Apr 2020
Re: Power

Hi David,

It depends what caused the problem and whether the retailer should have picked up the fault before now. 

Have a look at our information on receiving late electricity bills, and if this doesn't answer your question go to Utilities Disputes for help - you shouldn't have to pay all this bill at once anyway.


Kind regards,
Maggie - Consumer NZ staff

Brian W.
13 Apr 2019
Nova Energy replacing my meter

Hi all I have had an email from our supplier Nova Energy stating that they intend to replace my existing meter with a smart meter. I have no objection to this but where does it leave me if I choose to change suppliers in the future?

Consumer staff
15 Apr 2019
Re: Nova Energy replacing my meter

Hi Brian,

Having a smart meter doesn't affect your right to switch energy providers whenever you want. So if you've had a smart meter installed but you want to move to a new supplier, you will still be able to do so.

There’s no law requiring you to have a smart meter. However, most retail power contracts say the provider can replace the meter at its discretion, and it is likely that most, if not all, traditional meters will be replaced by a smart meter eventually. You may find our article on smart meters useful: https://www.consumer.org.nz/articles/smart-meters

Kind regards,

Natalie - Consumer NZ staff

Moana H.
11 May 2018
Power usage on shared meter

As the above title says. I share a power meter with 2 automotive workshops. I was told by my property manager that I was on industrial rates.." Loads cheaper" she said. I pay $50 per week, which is added to my rent. Over 12 month period it amounts to $2400.00. The consumers in my apartment are myself and my High School aged son. We have a heat pump which was used sparingly during the Winter and Summer months. I've been charged and extra $250 as my daughter her partner and their 4 year old moved in back in November. The landlord increased the power by $2.00 per week to cover them. A total of $300.00 per month for power. Im on a shared meter how do they know I used the extra power? Ive never been given a power bill. What are my rights in this case? Please help

Vaevae T.
18 Jan 2017
Power poles on private section

who can I talk to in regards to power poles in my private section?

Previous member
18 Jan 2017
Re: Power poles on private section

Hi Vaevae,

We’d suggest calling your lines company. You can find out which one services your area here: http://ena.org.nz/find-my-line/. You could also try contacting your local council.

Fonda – Consumer NZ staff

Previous member
10 Oct 2016
Trustpower New House Construction Power Supply Marketing

The builder of our new house has an arrangement with Trustpower to provide electric power during construction. Trustpower are pushing on line and phone plans for us to assume responsibility for these costs all based on signing a long term agreement with them . We understand the requirement to have construction power costs assigned to us but Trustpower will not be our supplier once construction is complete. So far Trustpower has not been able or willing to present an agreement for this term and in fact their information does not agree with advice from the builder. Has this aggressive and questionable practice by Trustpower been resolved previously? Comments appreciated.
Thanks Bob Rejall

Previous member
21 Oct 2016
re: Trustpower New House Construction Power Supply Marketing

Hi Bob,

I understand one of our advisers has been in touch about this issue. If you'd like more advice, feel free to give us a bell on 0800 266 786 between 9:30 - 4:00, Monday to Friday. Your membership includes this.

Fonda - Consumer NZ staff