Note: The information in this section is provided as a general guide only. Always consult with your lines company and specific power retailer for the most accurate information on connection for you.
Moving house involves a lot of organising. Switching your utilities like phone, internet and power is part of this process. Whether you’re moving house or simply switching power companies, retailers usually follow a typical process to connect your home with power.
On this page, you'll learn things like:
- The process of connecting power to a home.
- Things to look out for when moving power companies or connecting power to a new home.
- The different roles of generation, transmission, retailers etc.
Make a connection
Power retailers compete for customers every day, but moving home is an especially important moment because it’s the time you start to think about your household costs on the whole. Utilities like power often comes to mind first – can I save a few dollars each month? Sometimes rent or mortgage payments will be going up and therefore we look for ways to reduce costs elsewhere.
Or perhaps the decision to shop around for a new power company isn’t so much price-led but for other reasons like customer service, online platform, billing etc. We know that many people come to Powershop for our unique Shop that enables you to save money through purchasing discounted Powerpacks.
The switching process
The process of moving to a new power company will depend on a few factors, but in our case we’d typically expect to have you moved over to Powershop within a week of signup – it’s often less time than that.
Checking we can get power to your property
It’s pretty rare that we’ll have an issue supplying your property with power – although for new builds it’s good to know well in advance of completion that you’ll be looking for Powershop to supply electricity.
If your home is a brand new build, you’ll likely need to work with the electricity network company for your region to arrange connecting your property into the grid. If you need help with this let us know and we can help get this arranged on your behalf. Just expect some costs associated with connection – how much will depend on the difficulty of connecting into the electricity supply for that area.
Switching over from old to new
Moving from one house to another existing home is pretty simple. Just let your new power company know (by signing up) you wish to get power from them. When you’ve signed up with a new retailer like Powershop, we’ll advise your old retailer that you want to change. Your old retailer’s got around 10 days to wrap up your account, and send you a final bill.
They’ll let us know the final meter reading used to bill you, and we’ll take over billing from that point on. With the final meter reading information, we’ll have you account up and running – at that point you can jump on to your account and buy power through our shop.
Do I lose power at any point of the switchover?
No – power to the home will stay on in most cases through a switchover from one retailer to another. When moving into a new place, your home will still get power – the new and old providers can ensure you’re billed accurately using the meter reading.
If a house has been left unoccupied for a longer period, power supply can get shut off. In this case, we’d arrange a reconnection, typically free and via the smart meter. In some instances where power’s been off for longer than 6 months, a certificate of verification for the property will be needed from a certified electrical inspector to provide to our technician before reconnecting – safety first!
Using smart meters
If the new place has a smart meter installed, our team can check the reading remotely and accurately bill you from the get go. Otherwise you can provide us a reading as part of the sign up process. Smart meters are great because they send us (the retailer) up to date information each day about the usage of electricity via radio or cell networks.
Remember a smart meter relates to a property, not a person. Your meter doesn’t store any information about you – simply the energy usage of your property.
As the new power retailer, we’ll only bill you for usage after your connection through another provider has ended. You shouldn’t experience a double up, based on how the switch over and power retailing process works in New Zealand. If you’re ever unsure however, make sure you give the old and new power retailers a call.
Getting out of an old contract
We don’t lock in residential customers to fixed term contracts - we think our service and shop should keep our customers happy! But not all retailers are like this. If you’re switching, you may encounter scenarios where you’re required under the terms of your old power company contract to pay an exit fee. While we won’t comment on other retailers decisions to enforce this, we think you should know this so you can factor it in to your budget when planning a switch.
Exit fees aren’t specific to power companies – check the terms of your phone, broadband, TV, subscriptions and other utilities to make sure you know all the potential costs to prepare for.
Connecting Power - Quick Tips
Here are some handy hints to take away:
- Do your research on power retailers well before you move. There are excellent independent information sources in New Zealand specifically for the purpose of switching power companies. A quick Google search will see you right!
- Check your agreement with your existing provider – any termination fees to think about?
- Get a connection date at the signup process and make sure they’re advising the old provider of the switch.
- Once you’ve found a potential new retailer –check they can supply power to the new place.
- If you’re building, let your preferred new retailer know well in advance of moving in.
- Chat with retailer and local lines company about the best way of getting power put on if the section doesn’t already have a connection. You’ll need to budget for this!
Switching power when moving timeline
You can read more about moving house in our dedicated guide, but for the purposes of switching power when moving, here’s some key dates to think about:
- 4-5 months from move In (new builds): Arranging power connection to section into local grid
- 1-2 months from move (existing homes): Review options for power retailers, check existing contract.
- 2-4 weeks from move In: Arrange new power provider, supplying move in date and confirming connection window.
- Day of move In: Take a meter reading.
- 0-7 days after move In: Check both new/old power providers to confirm switch over. You should usually receive an email from the new retailer once complete.