Analysis from Consumer NZ has found that potential savings from switching electricity providers has gone up 24% in the past year, with the median saving now sitting at $385 a year.
Data from comparison site Powerswitch found electricity prices are going up across the country, but with that came the opportunity to save more money by making a switch.
“There’s a lot of competition in the market right now, which can lead to big savings for people who take a few minutes to shop around,” Powerswitch manager Paul Fuge said.
“Some new companies are offering better prices and well-established providers have new plans, which enable people to save by moving their electricity consumption to cheaper off-peak or ‘free’ periods.”
Some parts of the country stand to gain significant potential savings. In Queenstown the median saving is $624 a year and in Tauranga, savvy switchers are netting a median saving of $595.
“Many consumers don’t realise that the price of electricity changes, dependent on where you live,” Fuge said. “For example, the latest MBIE [Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment] data shows the price of a unit of electricity in Whangarei is 10% higher than down the road in Auckland. But what this also means is potential savings are often higher in some locations as well.”
Consumer research has shown that concerns about the cost of living have risen sharply over the past year. The price paid for electricity is one area in which consumers have the power to shop around and make significant savings.
In general, electricity prices have gone up about 4% but some companies have put their prices up more than others.
“It’s like when the price of beer goes up, if you shop around, you can still find some cheap beer options,” Fuge said. “Unlike beer, all power is the same quality so you might as well be getting it for the cheapest price.”
Data shows that some consumers have been able to knock 20% off their bills by changing power plans while staying with the same provider.
“Over the last three months, people who have switched via Powerswitch will save a combined total of about $2 million over the next year. I want to see even more New Zealanders take advantage of the opportunity to save hundreds of dollars for a few minutes of work.”