April 2022

Six common mistakes to avoid when choosing a power plan

Our guide to making your energy deal work for you

Member comments

Get access to comment

Kevin H.
09 May 2022
Grey Power Electricity ( Pulse) cheaper or not.

My wife and I are well into retirement. We have been with Grey Power Electricity
( Pulse ) for three or four years. Our heat pump serviceman tells me there are cheaper options out there, but it is difficult to compare.
Consumer: Can you please advise if Grey Power Electricity is the best option. It appears to me that Power Shop and one other new power supplier may be a better choice.

Bob R.
12 Apr 2022
Powerswitch and “early” disconnection charges

Beware. I used Powerswitch to recently change providers from Pulse Utilities to Frank Energy. To switch would save me $15 over a year - not much, but it pays to shop around and it keeps suppliers in check.

I got a reassuring email from Powerswitch notifying me that the switch will happen automagically and I had nothing further to do.

That was all good until I received my final power bill from Pulse which included a $150 penalty for a so-called early disconnection charge.

I don’t recall agreeing to this when I originally signed up, so I wrote to Pulse challenging them to supply me with the signed contract clearly showing my agreement to the early disconnection charge - so far no response. I also contacted my bank and told them to put a stop on my direct debit mandate to Pulse.

So be very aware - if you use Powerswitch, it falls very short of checking if the plan that you’re on has the potential to cost you more than you save if you switch.

Whilst Powerswitch has some good intentions, power companies will try and respond by applying these penalties for leaving. I question it’s legality and I think Powerswitch should be improved to take penalties into consideration.

I firmly believe this practice should be made illegal.

Consumer?

Colin N.
07 May 2022
Contractual Agreement?

If you agree to such a term in your contract, why should it be illegal?

Keith H.
07 May 2022
Powerswitch doesn't know.

Powerswitch rates for our current provider did not mirror the low user power rates and daily charge stated in the invoices for our bundled power/landline/VDSL broadband.

We still were advised that we could make "great' savings but based on (incorrect?) information.

We still want to ensure we are getting a good power deal but do not trust Powerswitch to help us achieve it and will switch to fibre broadband, at another's much better price, drop our unused (for telephone) landline and then try to work out a better unbundled power deal with our own "skills".

Peter P.
10 Apr 2022
Annual Usage

Hi,
Every time I try to enter my details it can't give me a realistic response because it can't find my provider. This is probably because I currently have a bundle package which has worked out very cost effective for the last few years. I run a spreadsheet to keep tabs on my annual usage and would really like to have the opportunity to put this into your calculator and have a realistic comparison to my annual usage. I am a low use customer. The comparisons I receive are way too high for what my actual usage is.

Steve
10 Apr 2022
Use the data and apply pricing of various retailers

I downloaded 18 months data from my current supplier, then applied the details of the plans offered by the provider recommended by Powerswitch. This is probably the only way to assess accurately what you might save.

Btw: I am switching away from Mercury with whom I’ve been a customer for many years.

Ann B.
09 Apr 2022
Power supply choices

Cost is not the only thing that people might consider when opting for a particular power supplier. For example, Meridian were the first power firm to use 100% renewable sources of energy (=wind power). This is the reason we chose them at that time. When purchasing a second hand electric vehicle, Meridian docked off $300 form our power bill. This is not meant to be a brief for Meridian, but simply to point out that sometimes it is difficult for the consumer to satisfy all the requirements currently pressing upon them.

Sally M.
09 Apr 2022
Powerswitch

Powerswitch isn’t able to work on our situation and I’ve tried believe me. Have asked PS and they come back no idea. Really frustrating as would really like to compare.

Anika G.
09 Apr 2022
Ditto

Have the exact same issue. And the exact same response. Was frustrating. I gave up.

Paul M.
09 Apr 2022
Automate power switch

How about you build a premium service where consumers can forward their power bill to power switch each month. Your service can parse the bill and reply telling the consumer if they are on a good plan or there are better offers available. The service could build up a profile based on all the bills received to take into account usage over the seasons. You could also lobby the electricity companies to provide open access to power consumption data from their electronic meters, much like the open banking trend. A charge of $5-10/year could help cover the cost of the service. You might be able to provide the service for free for low power users with a graduated scale (not threshold) for households with high power consumption to help ensure low-income households don't miss out.

NZ company share sight currently parse broker trade emails to extract equity trades. They might have insights on the challenges of document parsing.

Robyn G.
09 Apr 2022
Comparing costs

Powerswitch was useful to indicate which companies to look at for cheaper power. However, on the company sites the offers weren't as stated on Powerswitch and many had alerts saying the charges would change soon. In the end I set up a spreadsheet using last years total usage to calculate costs for different plans.
As Powerswitch also gave me a cheaper price for my current provider (who were in the process of increasing charges) I contacted the company. They then offered me a cheaper rate saving me $200/ year on my previous plan! So yes it pays to check up on your provider.

Tom P.
08 Aug 2022
Broad guidance without all the details

I agree about using Powerswitch as a starting point. It drew my attention to 3 providers that seemed to offer better value for money. All of them fell over in the details, e.g. Flick says my house has the wrong sort of metering set-up. But at least I looked around at some options.

C-LR
06 Apr 2022
NO ACCESS TO POWERSWITCH FROM THE LINK IN THIS ARTICLE

The message reads: Oops, something's not quite right — we can't find that page!

Please fix it!

Lyall D.
07 Apr 2022
same problem here - the link is incorrect.

Just try www.powerswitch.org.nz which should take you there.

Carol N.
06 Apr 2022
I can 't access Powerswitch.

It tells me l will receive an email to log in but no email arrives.

Steve
06 Apr 2022
Could be junk?

Hey Carol, check the email isn’t in one of your junk/spam folders, and that you have already signed up for Powerswitch (if not you can sign up).

I used it yesterday, and it was very useful.

Steve