It takes more than just your power company to get electricity to your property. There’s a whole supply chain and everyone’s responsible for doing their bit, and charging for it!
Let’s take a look at who does what, how big a slice they take, and what can lead to your price changing around this time of year.
Who does what?
Generation (wholesale power)
From power stations throughout New Zealand, generating companies produce electricity and sell it on to retailers like us through the wholesale market.
Transpower owns and operates the national grid and is responsible for the transmission of power from the generators to the regional networks for distribution.
Your local lines or ‘network’ company, e.g. Vector, then distributes power to your property. The charges from lines companies include costs for both transmission and distribution.
There are heaps of different types of meters that measure how much power you’ve used. In New Zealand, meters are generally owned and managed by metering companies, and leased by retailers.
Retailers (like Powershop) buy wholesale power and sell it on to you. (Powershop also adds in award-winning customer service, and loads of useful information and helpful tools.)
The Electricity Authority is responsible for the regulation of the electricity industry. Policy and governance is managed by the New Zealand Government and several Crown entities.
All retailers pay government levies to cover the cost of governance.
What is your power price made up of?
Your price reflects all the costs incurred by the various parties in the electricity supply chain. It varies between customers depending largely on factors like where you live and how much power you use.
At Powershop we keep a slice of what you pay us to cover our operating costs (like our friendly Customer Service Centre in Masterton and all the crew that work behind the scenes) and then we use the rest to pay for power from the generator, transmission and distribution charges from your local lines company, metering, GST and government levies.
Here’s roughly how the money customers give us gets spent:
Why does your price change?
Every year, everyone involved in the supply chain reviews their costs and decides what to charge power retailers like us. Changes in those charges often lead to movement in the prices paid by power users like you, usually around 1 April.
We’ve recently communicated price changes (both up and down) to affected customers. This year less than half of our customers had a change in their price from April.
You can see what your rates will be over the coming year right now (or at any time) on the Your Rates page on your desktop account. There’s also a Your Rates page on our mobile app, which shows rates across three months (previous, current and next).
Note that for customers on our Powershop Classic option, your energy rate does vary with the seasons, which means that even if you haven’t had a price change this year you will still see the normal seasonal increase in your rate from March to April.
If you have any questions about your power price, give our crew a call on 0800 462 668, 8am to 7pm, Monday to Friday.