Why comparing power companies is worth the time.
Getting power put on at a property is often thought of as one of the more minor considerations in a moving home list that can include moving company, broadband, or even completing the purchase of a home. Unfortunately that means many Kiwis have been powered by a plan and provider that just doesn’t make sense for their needs. Households can end up way over paying for electricity when that money could be much better spent elsewhere.
Power companies all provide power – true. But the differences in the online experience, customer service, rates and promotions do mount up. For example, if you’re the type of household that likes to take advantage of cheap deals when they’re available, you might want to consider a feature like Powershop’s The Shop. If you’re confident you can concentrate the majority of your big appliance usage into a single hour, there’s a provider for that. Some providers even combine internet, gas and electricity into a single service, although you may prefer to have complete control over each of these things individually.
Promotional deals from energy retailers – why digging deeper is important.
There’s no shortage of compelling deals in the energy sector; Powershop included! And while we’re all for promotions and offers, it’s really important that you don’t make your energy company decision based purely on this. For example, a free home appliance like a TV might be tempting, but you’ll want to make sure that the cost of that TV isn’t outweighed by paying more over the course of the contract (because a free gift will lock you into a contract).
As a consumer, you need to estimate the cost of your power usage for each retailer beyond the next month. How much will you pay over a year, even with a sign up credit or cashback promo taken into account?
We’re not here to rain on anyone’s promo parade. But rates should help you decide the right provider in the long term.
How to plan your research of different retailers
We’d suggest keeping a list of different providers' daily charges, kWh rates, and also noting down what sort of app or account management each provides. Once you’re signed up and paying for power, you’ll be much happier using an app or website that’s quick and easy to navigate!
You might want to lay out all this information on a simple spreadsheet like Google Sheets or Excel.
And once you’ve done all your online research, we’d strongly recommend giving your short list a call to talk to their customer service team. This can be a good indicator of what an ongoing relationship might be with this company. A poor experience here can save you a lot of headaches later.
What other resources are available to me?
A Google search is a good place to start. Chances are you’ll build up a list of possibles quickly just by jumping on social media, news media or watching the TV – us power companies are all pretty vocal!
You also have the option of using comparison websites, of which there are a number to try. These will provide you with some information around current deals as well as rates based on where you are.
Have we missed anything in this resource?