No, we do not currently supply gas, although this is something we may do in the future. You can still switch to Powershop for electricity and remain with your current supplier for gas. You don't need to do anything differently when you fill in the application form to switch to Powershop.
Yes, you can switch to Powershop if you are moving to a new house. When you sign up online, select the option ‘I'm planning to move to a new house soon (and want to set up Powershop for my new house)’. You can give us the details of the property you are moving to and your move in date as part of the signup process.
If you're currently a Powershop customer and moving house see ‘How do I move house with Powershop’.
Yes, you can switch to Powershop if you have been disconnected or there is no supply to your house at the moment. We will arrange for your power to be connected, but a reconnection fee will be charged – see our schedule of fees. However, if you have been disconnected because you have not paid your current retailer they may not allow you to switch until you have paid them any outstanding bills.
If your property has been disconnected for longer than 6 months, you will need to arrange a certificate of verification (COV) signed by a registered electrical inspector. Once you have the COV, it must be presented to our technician when they visit to reconnect your property.
No – Powershop supplies electricity to your home or business just like your current electricity supplier. You don't have to manage your account online if you don't want to, but you will need a valid email address.
No electricity retailer can guarantee a continuous supply of electricity. If you, or anyone else at your property relies on a continuous supply of electricity for critical medical support and if you were cut off it may cause serious harm or loss of life you need to:
Let us know when you switch by filling out the section on ‘Vulnerability & Medical Dependency’ when prompted during the signup process.
Let us know when you are a customer at any time by logging in to your account and selecting the ‘Settings’ section, then select ‘Vulnerability & Medical Dependency’, then select ‘Medical Dependency’ and provide details. Alternatively you can email us, or call us on 0800 IN CONTROL (0800 462 668), Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm.
You also need to talk to your GP or specialist to arrange for a backup power supply if there is an outage.
You can switch by signing up online and it only takes ten minutes. All you'll need is your preferred payment details (credit card or bank account).
We'll do the rest, including contacting your old supplier and they are obliged to complete your switch within 10 business days (provided you're up to date with payments). They will give us your final meter reading, and also use it to send you the final bill for your account with them. Switch to Powershop now.
No, unless your property doesn't have an electricity supply and requires reconnection or connection to the electricity network when you are switching to Powershop (special fees do apply in this situation and we advise you of the costs in advance).
No, your power won't be cut off (unless your current supplier has already threatened disconnection because you haven't paid them). Switching to Powershop just involves the transfer of information. We won't be touching any equipment affecting your supply.
To ensure we can automatically top up your account if you forget or don't get around to buying power we need to set up a preferred default payment method – either a credit, debit card or bank account details.
By entering your bank account details when you sign up to Powershop you are giving us permission to take money out of your account to pay for your power.
And to ensure things go smoothly from the get-go we ask you to verify your bank details within ten days of signing up to Powershop.
Verifying your direct debit is an easy 3-step process:
We deduct $1 by direct debit from your allocated bank account and include a five-character confirmation code in the reference field.
We credit the $1 to your Powershop account for future use, and email you with a link to confirm your direct debit.
We ask you to check the reference field on your bank statement for the five-character code from Powershop. Login to your new Powershop account (or click on the link in the email we have sent you) and enter the code. Your direct debit has been confirmed.
Without your confirmation we will still go ahead and activate the direct debit (after ten days) on the assumption that the details you gave us are correct.
Or for verifying your credit card:
We do a pre-authorisation transaction for $1 against the card. This process does not actually charge your card, but simply checks that $1 could be charged if requested. The transaction disappears after a short time.
However with VISA debit cards this $1 transaction may be reapplied each day for up to 10 days. Again, we have not actually charged this amount to your account, even though it may look like we have. This transaction will continue to show until VISA clear the transaction automatically.
We'll be in contact with you throughout the switching process and we will let you know if you need to do anything.
Feel free to call us on 0800 IN CONTROL (0800 462 668) 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday if you have any concerns.
Switching typically takes less than 10 business days, and we'll let you know when it has been completed.
Don't be surprised if you receive a phone call from your previous power company trying to convince you to stay. Funny how they only seem to love you when you say you want to leave. You can be confident you have made a good choice to join Powershop.
You don't have to do anything after your switch to Powershop is completed, but we do recommend that you enter a meter reading in the first few days to bring your account balance up to date and to help us establish how much power you are using each day.
You can move house online with Powershop and it will only take a few minutes. Login to your Powershop account, select the ‘Settings’ tab, go to ‘Address Details’, then follow the simple instructions from here.
You can organise your move with Powershop up to one month in advance of your move-in date.
This depends on the metering equipment installed at your new premises. Currently we only support installations under 500amps. If you wish to move your business with Powershop but are unsure of the meter configuration at your new location give us a call on 0800 472 952.
On the day you move out of your property and for up to 3 days after you move out, you can login to your account and enter your final meter reading. When you login to your Powershop account to enter your final meter reading you will see an ‘Overview’ screen that allows you to access both your properties.
Select your old property details and select ‘enter my read’ to enter in your final meter reading. Alternatively, if you don't have internet access during your move give us a call on 0800 IN-CONTROL (0800 462 668) and we'll enter this read for you.
Please note, if the final meter reading that you provide does not match what we expect for your usage we might need to complete a final read for your meter instead. (See our fees and charges). As a result we may adjust your final account review accordingly.
If you're concerned you'll forget to take a final meter reading, Powershop can send you a reminder email and/or text to your mobile on your move out date to remind you to take a read. To receive this email and/or text select this option when you login and move house with Powershop.
First thing – check that the previous occupier has not turned off the power at the main switch. If you have no luck with this or don't feel confident attempting it simply give us a call on 0800 IN CONTROL (0800 462 668).
There may be a delay in the supply of power to your house and a reconnection fee (see our fees and charges) if there has been a significant period during which the property has been vacant or if the property was disconnected for some other reason.
If the property has been disconnected for longer than 6 months, you will need to arrange a certificate of verification (COV) signed by a registered electrical inspector. Once you have the COV, it must be presented to our technician when they visit to reconnect the property.
We sell power in different dollar amounts called Powerpacks. You can buy little packs or big packs to suit your budget, and special discounted Powerpacks to save you money. We let you buy power online before you use it so that you can budget ahead, or after you use it like you do now.
We provide you with great information and online features that allow you to monitor your household’s power usage even on a day-by-day basis and keep your account accurate and up-to-date all the time.
Our customer service is proactive and responsive, we email our customers with accurate account information well before any payment is due. Our call centre is here in New Zealand – a real person in Masterton is on the line.
Powershop has no fixed term contracts, and no prompt payment discounts – we reckon our Specials are a much better way to save.
We don’t send out paper bills in the post. Instead we will send you an Account Review email every month. Your Account Review shows you how much power you’ve used, what Powerpacks have been used and how much it has cost.
If you have used more power than you have purchased, we’ll send you a heads-up email telling you by how much, giving you the opportunity to purchase power yourself before the Account Review happens. If you don’t do anything, at Account Review time we’ll buy just enough power to cover the period for you using your preferred payment method.
You can see all of your transactions and Account Reviews online under the Transactions tab.
No, there is no requirement to pay in advance to keep your power going. We will automatically charge your account each month using your preferred payment method if you have not bought enough Powerpacks in advance to cover your usage. You will not be cut off just because you haven’t logged in and bought power in advance during the month.
You’ll make the most of Powershop if you login to our online shop and buy our discounted Powerpacks. You can buy as little or as much power as you want as often as you want, our Powerpacks come in sizes and prices to suit every budget.
However, you can also treat Powershop exactly like every other power supplier you’ve ever had and do nothing differently – we will buy power on your behalf. You need to set up a direct debit or credit card payment default, and select a day in the month for payment that suits you.
So Powershop lets you:
Buy Powerpacks that allow you to budget and plan ahead.
Take advantage of simple online tools to help you understand and track your power consumption, helping you save power and money.
Choose how and when you pay for your power, either before or after you use it. Your choice.
Do absolutely nothing differently – just make sure you have the funds available to cover your monthly statement.
Your electricity supply can be interrupted for many reasons, both planned and unplanned. Interruptions to electricity supply include fluctuations in the frequency and/or voltage of supply and surges caused by high-powered electrical appliances. You can also experience surges through your telephone and cable lines.
Because interruptions can be unexpected, we strongly recommend that you minimise the risk of damage to electricity appliances, and especially to sensitive and expensive appliances like computers, televisions, stereos, washing machines and dryers, and heat pumps.
To do this, you can install products such as:
UPS (uninterrupted power supply)
RCDs (residual current devices) and isolating transformers.
Which of these you use depends on your particular circumstances. We recommend you talk to a local electrician or your local electrical outlet to help you choose the best product or combination of products for you. There are also some great online resources that discuss these issues in depth.
If you are at home and there is an interruption to your electricity supply and you either have no electricity, or your supply voltage drops (you usually notice this if your lights dim), we recommend that you switch off all electrical appliances at the wall outlet. This can help prevent damage if there is an electricity surge when the supply is restored. Just leave a light or two on so you know when supply is restored.
We also recommend that you have insurance that covers you for loss or damage due to electricity supply interruptions or fluctuations.
If you think that your place is the only house affected you should definitely give us a call. We’ll coordinate with the network company and get a fault person to your property as quick as we can. If other houses in your street are out, give it an hour before contacting us. There’s a good chance someone will be on the problem already and it’s just a matter of time before the power is back on.
Powerpacks are the way we package and offer our electricity for sale. Powerpacks come in a variety of sizes and prices so you can purchase as little or as much power as you want at anytime. Monitor your consumption of Powerpacks with the Power Organiser online, it shows you how long you can expect your Powerpack purchases to last, based on your recent usage.
Top Up Packs provide you with power to use immediately, Future Packs are full of power to use at a later date allowing you to budget ahead and spread the cost, and Special Packs offer extra discounts. Powerpacks enable you to buy power incrementally so you won’t have to get lumped with scary electricity bills ever again. Buy Powerpacks weekly or fortnightly if that suits the way you budget.
These are the three types of Powerpack we sell to our customers.
Special Pack – This power will be the cheapest in the Shop for a short time. There may be a limit on how many or how often you can purchase a particular Special. So it’s well worth logging in to the shop frequently to see what’s on offer.
Top Up Pack – The most flexible way to buy power. This power is priced at your Standard Power rate. You can buy as much or as little as you want and as often as you want.
Future Pack – Buy power now, that will get added to your power balance in the future. It’s a great way of budgeting and smoothing out the cost of power over the year.
Simple Saver is a monthly discount available in our online shop. All you have to do is login once a month, click on Simple Saver and you’ll receive a great discount relative to your usage. Couldn’t be simpler.
Login to your online account. Click on ‘Shop’ to start buying Powerpacks.
You’ll see a range of Specials, Top Up Packs and Future Packs. Start adding packs to your cart. Add as many different packs as you like. The Power Organiser calendar shows you how many days we estimate the packs will cover (based on your current rate of consumption).
There are two ways to buy power – either you sit back and let Powershop buy it on your behalf, or you get involved and purchase power in the online shop (or on our mobile app). We recommend you login and make the most of the savings you get from buying our regular specials.
Buy your own power: Login to the shop and top up your account with whatever Powerpacks you choose and we will email you a receipt after each purchase.
Let Powershop buy your power for you: If you want to leave it up to Powershop to buy power on your behalf you don’t need to do anything. Just keep using power as per normal and we’ll send you out a monthly email letting you know how much power you’ve used and how much we will debit your account using your preferred payment method.
By credit card – we accept Visa, American Express and Mastercard. You can set this up when you switch to Powershop, and the money will be debited from your credit card when you are billed or when you buy power yourself through the online shop.
By direct debit – you can set this up when you switch to Powershop, and the money will be debited from your bank account when you are billed or when you buy power yourself through the online shop.
By internet banking – you set this up through your bank’s website. Choose the power you want from Powershop you then use your bank’s bill payment process to make your payment.
By recharge card – you can top-up your account by cash or eftpos card with a Powershop recharge card at any PostShop nationwide. Read more about Recharge Cards.
Your preferred payment method
You can nominate either a direct debit or credit card as your preferred payment method. We’ll then use this payment method when an auto-payment is created on your account. You can pay for your power in arrears or in advance – it’s up to you.
Generally, payments are scheduled for three days after we have purchased power on your behalf. These are called ‘scheduled payment dates’.
Other payment features
Once your active payment method has been set up, there are a couple of payment features we offer:
If a scheduled payment date (a payment on your account triggered by Powershop) doesn’t suit, you can change the date through your account. You can do this by logging in to your online account and going to ‘Settings’. Select ‘Account Preferences’ then click on ‘Move Payment Date’ and follow the instructions. This button will only appear when a payment has been scheduled.
If your account has a negative balance you can add a few dollars without having to buy Powerpacks. Just login to Powershop, go to ‘Settings’, select ‘Account Preferences’ then click on ‘Add Money’ and fill in the details.
If you’d like to set up a regular payment date that coincides with when you get paid, just give us a call.
You don't need to worry if you can't access the Internet to login to pay for your power. Powershop is not a prepay service so your power will not run out or be cut off if you think you might run out of pre-purchased power.
Just carry on as normal and either wait until you can access the internet so you can buy a Powerpack or wait until we email you a bill, three days after which we will automatically debit your bank account or credit card to cover any shortfall. If you are going on holiday you may prefer to buy your Powerpacks before you go or make sure there are enough funds in your bank account to cover your bill.
If you prefer to pay your power bill with cash or by eftpos you can over the counter at any NZ PostShop using a Powershop recharge card. You can use the recharge card to both pay your bill and to buy power in advance.
Your recharge card is associated with your Powershop account. When you use the recharge card the amount you pay automatically gets credited to your account. The minimum amount you can pay is $25 and the maximum is $1000.
Money is not stored on your recharge card; any recharge amounts are simply transferred to your Powershop account (this will normally occur within 15 minutes of payment).
Although on the back of the card it says it needs to be activated before use that is not the case. You can use it as soon as you get it from Powershop.
To get a recharge card you need to either:
Call us on 0800 IN-CONTROL (0800 462 668) to request a recharge card or
Send us a message telling us you’d like a recharge card by logging in to your account and going to the ‘Contact Us’ tab (you must have already switched to Powershop to do this)
We aim to have the recharge card to you within three working days.
We offer you the opportunity to go online and enter your own meter readings as often as you want so you can track your power usage, but regardless of whether you do this or not we will still read your meter.
We read customers’ meters on a daily, monthly or bi-monthly basis depending on what type of meter you have and where you live:
For manual meters in the North Island Our meter readers usually visit bi-monthly.
For manual meters in the South Island: In Christchurch, Dunedin, and Southland our meter readers visit monthly. In all other areas our meter readers usually visit bi-monthly.
For smart meters – remote readings are daily.
If your meter is located inside your house we will need to arrange access.
Common locations for your electricity meter are on an outside wall of your house, or inside perhaps in a porch or near the laundry. Meters will generally be located at the point where the power enters your property so look up to see if you can see where the power line comes in from the road. In some apartment and multi-dwelling buildings, meters will grouped with other tenants’ meters – be sure to identify the correct meter (in some cases you will not be able to access these meters, this just means that your account balance will be estimated between our regular meter readings).
Safety first! Do not touch any part of your meter.
It is easy.
There are three common types of manual meter:
Digital meter: You read a digital meter from left to right – this means that the top reading in this example is 450, and the bottom reading is 1906. You can just ignore the red numbers.
Dial meter: If your dial meter has the 2 top dials in red, ignore them they are for testing purposes only – just read the bottom set of dials. When reading this type of meter, always take the number that the dial has just passed, even though this may not be the closest number to the dial. Don't forget to note the direction in which each dial is moving.
The reading for the dial meter shown in this example is 9704 (digits that are red or highlighted in red represent decimal places and can be ignored).
Be safe when you read your meter. If it's up high make sure that you reach it safely and if there are any loose or exposed wires in the cabinet don't touch them. Call an electrician as soon as possible.
Electronic meter: These displays show readings for more than one meter. You can view the readings by either pushing a button or scrolling automatically. The display will also show a total reading of the two or more meters combined. Please send us only the individual readings.
Powershop has no plans as such. We have prices that suit the type of meter you have, where you live, and when you use power. We’re committed to offering you some of New Zealand’s most competitive electricity prices. Check out Powershop's prices here.
Yes, you will be charged for additional services in certain situations e.g. special meter reads you request – for more information see our schedule of fees. We will tell you if you are going to be charged.
If you use less than 8,000 kWh of electricity per year in your main home, or less than 9,000 kWh per year if you live in the West Coast, Canterbury or further south, you’re eligible for Powershop’s low user pricing.
If applicable, select this option in your Account Preferences if the property is your primary place of residence. You will pay less overall for electricity than you otherwise would until you exceed 8,000kWh/year (9,000kWh/year in the West Coast, Canterbury or further south) - this is the government's threshold for low user pricing.
We will regularly review your account to ensure you continue to get the best option for your household.
Powershop’s pricing is seasonal to reflect the market price – up in autumn and winter when demand is generally higher, and down again in spring and summer when demand is lower. This way when the market price of power is cheaper, it's you that benefits from the savings, not us. We also run a schedule of power Specials to help you save even more.
We give our Christchurch customers with smart meters a 5c/kWh rebate on any power they use between 7am and 9pm on Saturdays and Sundays. We are able to do this because Christchurch’s network company, Orion, charges less for daytime line services over the weekends. Powershop likes passing these savings on – directly to you.
CPD stands for Control Period Demand and is a fixed charge that Aurora – the lines network company for Dunedin, Central Otago and Queenstown – charges some of its customers (mostly businesses). Aurora calculates each customer’s CPD value based on the electricity they used over peak periods from May to August.
The idea is to give customers the incentive to save electricity at times of high demand, generally during cold winter weekdays in the morning and evening. Customers with high winter usage mean Aurora has to invest in additional capacity on its network to cope with the peak usage during winter.
Every Aurora customer can check their individual network charges on Aurora’s website. Select your region and enter your unique ICP number (you can find this 15-digit number on your Powershop monthly account review).
Aurora reviews each customer’s CPD charge on 1 April based on the previous year’s winter usage. This means that if your winter usage was substantially lower than it was the year before, you’re likely to be charged less (and vice versa if your usage was higher in comparison). If your winter usage was similar to the year before’s, you may see no change in your CPD charge.
Unfortunately we can’t afford to absorb these costs, so they are passed onto you. We also pass on decreases in CPD charges.
Many customers in the Mainpower network region, which covers North Canterbury from Kaiapoi to Kaikoura (including Rangiora and Hanmer Springs) receive a 2.19 c/kWh (including GST) rebate for all usage. This rebate is automatically applied to your account at the time of your account review.
Note that customers on the old Kaiapoi Electricity network area do not receive this rebate (but they do effectively pay the same overall rates for their usage).
An easy way to see whether you are eligible for the rebate or not is to look at your ICP number. If you are eligible, your ICP will have the letters MP (for Mainpower) in it, for example 00002xxxxxxMPxxx.
If you are ineligible your ICP will have the letters KE (Kaiapoi Electricity) in it, for example 00005xxxxxxKExxx.
No, we don’t require a bond, and the only time we’ll charge you to join Powershop is when the property you’re signing up doesn’t have an electricity supply and requires us to organise reconnection or connection to the electricity network. Your old supplier may charge you for a final meter read in some circumstances – you'll need to check with them.
We are the same as other retailers and we won't consider cutting your power off unless you have multiple outstanding payments, or repeatedly miss payments.
It is important that you let us know if you or anyone living on your premises:
Depends on electricity for critical medical support such that loss of electricity may well result in loss of life or serious harm
Would find the disconnection of electricity a clear threat to health or wellbeing for reasons of age, health or disability.
Has genuine difficulty paying the electricity bill because of severe financial instability, whether temporary or permanent.
If this applies to you, let us know when you switch by filling out the section on ‘Vulnerability & Medical Dependency’ when prompted during the signup process.
You can also let us know when you are a customer at any time. Login to your account, go to ‘Settings’, ‘Medically Dependent’ and provide details. Alternatively you can email us, or call us on 0800 IN CONTROL (0800 462 668), Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm.
If you find yourself struggling to pay for your power, please let us know as soon as you can so we can avoid having to disconnect you. We can provide you with information on how to manage your electricity payments, or refer you to agencies that can help with budgeting advice and assistance. We also suggest you contact Work and Income by phoning 0800 559 009, as they may be able to provide you with financial assistance.
The Electricity (Hazards from Trees) Regulations 2003 set out tree owners’ obligations for keeping trees free from power lines. Trees or their branches can contact or fall onto power lines and cause power cuts and danger to life. If a tree on your property is encroaching within the hazard area of power lines, or if it is coming close to doing so, a notice will be given to you by the relevant lines company.
The Electricity (Hazards from Trees) Regulations 2003 define when the lines company must give these sorts of notices, and the content of the notices.
If the notice given to you is a "cut and trim" notice and it is the first notice that has been issued by your lines company, then the lines company may perform the cut itself or may meet the cost of that first cut or trim. You will be responsible for meeting the costs of any further cuts of that tree that may be required at a later date unless you tell your lines company you have no interest in the tree.
If you want more information about the Regulations, and in particular, a general description of the dangers posed by contact between trees and electricity lines, an explanation of the distances trees should be from electricity lines, a general description of the dangers of cutting and trimming trees in the vicinity of lines, and a list of offences that tree owners could commit and the penalties associated with them, this information is all required to be on your lines company's internet site. Your invoice identifies who your lines company is.
Regardless of which power company you might be with, your power is purchased from the New Zealand Electricity Market (NZEM) and comes from the national grid. There is no way of knowing (because it's physically impossible) which of the country's generators is the source of your power. It is not possible for Powershop customers to be preferentially supplied with Meridian-generated electricity. Read more about this in our blog Where does my power come from?
A tariff is a pricing structure determined by the meter set up you have. There are many different names for the various tariffs across the industry. But they will normally indicate a time of use (e.g. Day and Night) or control (e.g. Uncontrolled, Anytime, Economy). Your pricing structure will remain the same if you switch to Powershop.
Controlled meters measure power use for appliances (usually hot water heating) which the local network company is able to switch off for short periods, for example when the demand on their network is high, or when faults or emergencies happen on their network. Usually there is a discounted rate given by the lines company for allowing this, which is passed on to the customer. Uncontrolled metering simply means that the local network company has no way of ‘controlling’ or switching off appliances or use measured by that meter.
Day/night metering involves two separate meters (or two registers on one meter), one of which measures ‘day’ usage, and one of which measures ‘night’ usage. This is usually beneficial as it allows retailers to measure (and charge lower rates for) your night usage.
Most properties in New Zealand now have smart meters, the new generation of metering devices. They differ from the old ‘dumb’ meters by being able to measure consumption accurately across different time periods (e.g. days, nights and weekends) in the one meter. They also have two-way communication abilities to enable remote meter reading, and to enable instructions to be sent to the meter e.g. to remotely disconnect, or reconnect a property. Visit the Electricity Authority website for more information.
The New Zealand Electricity Market (NZEM) is regulated and overseen by the Electricity Authority (EA). Electricity generators (or wholesalers) sell their power to large industrial users and retailers such as Powershop via the NZEM. Visit the Electricity Authority website for more information.
Your property has a unique Installation Control Point (ICP) number identifying it on the New Zealand electricity network. You can find this on your current power bill somewhere under the invoice number. It consists of 15 digits – mostly numbers with a few letters at the end.
The network companies (also known as line companies or distributors) own and look after the power lines that transmit the electricity from the national grid to your property. There are many different network companies in New Zealand although each company operates a monopoly in its given area.