See how much you could save on power. Upload a recent bill and get a free estimate.

See how much you could save on power. Upload a recent bill and get a free estimate.

How do you know which power supply company is right for you? While the power that comes out your plug may be the same that doesn’t mean all power retailers are. Getting stuck in and doing some research can help you make the right decision. We know, there are more exciting things in life that comparing power companies, so we’ve made it easy. Here’s some ideas of what to look for. 

Know the power of a easy to use online account 

Almost all of us have a natural reluctance to change and it’s all too easy to put changing power companies in the too-hard basket.  

We’re all short on time and money and overloaded with life admin. The last thing you want is more admin every time you want to track your usage or pay your bill.  

The ease of logging on and reaching the information you need is well understood - evidently, we have 8 seconds to have our attention grabbed - less than the average goldfish so you don’t want to be wasting those 8 seconds on accessing your account. 

What if your  power supply company already knew you were busy as and made it easy to manage your power your way?  At Powershop our customers love our easy-to-use web and mobile app. . Once logged in our online tools show you how much power you’re using and when you use it the most. You can even see your average dollar cost per day and if you have a smart meter, you can dig into your usage pattern to see how you can be more energy efficient to help you save.  

When exploring your options for the best power supply retailer, be sure to ask them how their online account and apps work for your benefit. What information is at your fingertips and how can you interact with the data? After all, this is your account and you want to be empowered to see how you’re using your power so you can control your costs.  

Choose the right retailer and save money  

If you’re anything like us, you start the new year off with all sorts of resolutions Many of the actions we resolve to do are underpinned by two core goals: spending more time doing the things we love and having more money to do them with. “The power of an idea is in its implementation” as the saying goes, so apply that wisdom to assess whether you are with the right electricity supplier.  

Every dollar counts, right? It could help to deliver on the promise you made to yourself back in January by reviewing your power company to see if you can make a saving.  The first step is to analyse how you use electricity – what you’re doing, how you’re doing it and when it’s happening. A family with parents and teenagers out of the house during the week is a different power consumption picture than a retired  person who is mostly home all day. Have a look at where the power spikes every day and what’s causing them. Is it doing the laundry or cooking dinner? Having established that, you may identify opportunities to be more efficient and this ties into the next step.  

Does your current retailer offer a plan that allows you to realign and even anticipate consumption of power that saves you money? At Powershop we’re proud to be at the leading edge for empowering our customers to make savings. Instead of paying for their electricity when they get their monthly bill, Powershop customers can pre-purchase their power by buying Powerpacks and pay for that power when it suits them within their billing cycle. Because, you know, not everyone budgets monthly or has a regular income.  

And best of all, with the dollar savings, those extra luxuries you wished for in January may be back on the list. Once you’ve analysed your usage, and made some changes it’s time to sit back and see the results. If you haven’t looked at your plan lately and you have a spare 5 minutes to compare apples with peaches and pears then we have a guide to do just that.

Open plan vs. long term commitments and the potential savings  

Ever heard of gamophobia? Loosely interpreted as a fear of commitment related to human relationships. We know that for some people they feel the same way about their power company. While it can be tempting to sign a long-term power contract to get that free TV, you’ll also be stuck for the next two years with whatever pricing and service that retailer provides so make sure you compare the rates you’ll be charged and check out their customer service reviews.   

At Powershop we’re not looking to lock you into a long-term contract but we are keen to build a strong relationship with you to supply your electricity. Most retailers offer open-ended plans where you’re free to cancel at any time but ask questions and check the Ts & Cs in the fine print to ensure that you are not “stuck” when you want to leave. Loyalty is a two-way street so make sure you understand the terms of your contract, so that if you want to “end things”  there won’t be any unexpected surprises.  

Working out whether a promotion is beneficial 

Set and forget is a good rule of thumb for lots of our life events. Mobile phone plans, gym memberships, internet providers and donations to charity to name just a few. Life is hectic – we are all busy being, well … busy. An irresistible deal from your power supplier being promoted to you as an awesome opportunity to get a great freebie may not be all that and a bag of chips.  

Take the time to read the fine print and assess whether a promotion that appears to save you money is not going to cost more in the long run – or if it’s even applicable to your individual circumstances. The greatest favour you can do for yourself is to see the bigger picture. Make sure that you’re not actually paying for those promotional prizes and giveaways hidden inside higher power charges on your monthly account. At Powershop we regularly offer online and social media promotions that give winning customers dollar credits that appear on their accounts. Through our Facebook page we’re all about making it fun for our customers and giving them prizes to make their day. We’re not a regular power company, we think you deserve better and we’re pumped every time we can share the love. 

Addressing the issue of your power charges 

Across New Zealand one size does not fit all when it comes to paying for power. But hang on – surely the electricity needed to run your dishwasher in Dannevirke is the identical electricity that does the dishes in Dunedin?  

 So why is there such a disparity between what people pay for power in different towns, cities and regions across our relatively small country? Like tangible goods, the cost of supplying power comes down to the distance for delivery from the power station to your home. With 40% of what you pay taken up with line charges, where you live is pivotal. If you’re in a sparsely populated region some distance from a power station like the Bay of Islands you will be paying more than folk who live in Hamilton with its proximity to the Waikato River where nine hydro-electric power stations supply the grid.   

The Ministry of Business, Innovation, & Employment regularly surveys and monitors costs and pricing. This is an interesting tool if you’re an analytical sort who gets their kicks from the facts and figures. However, a more straightforward exercise to discover the lie of the land at your place is to jump online to check out one of the many power estimate tools on retailers' sites. Enter your address and learn more about comparisons between suppliers and whether what you are being charged for electricity is fair, relevant and reasonable. It’s easy to do and only takes a minute to see what savings to expect from your power supplier too. If you’re moving to another area, minimise any power price shocks by running your new address through an online estimate tool.  

Make hay while the sun shines 

 If you’ve harnessed the power of the sun at your place with solar panels then you already know a thing or two about saving on your power costs. . You’ll know about the buyback options for energy credits applied to your bill for excess, unused solar energy that you’ve sold back to the grid. Around 20,000 residential households (and climbing) are connected to solar panels across New Zealand. Although there are no government subsidies yet for installation as there are across the ditch for our sun-baked Australian neighbours, the option to reap financial benefits while you do your bit to save the planet doesn’t go unrewarded. To make hay while the sun shines, a number of power retailers have a mechanism to buy what you don’t use. You can find Powershop’s buy-back rate on solar power here. As a solar customer, when you sign up to Powershop, start utilising the online tools and app to monitor what’s being used and what’s feeding back to the grid.  

Do your values align with your retailer’s? 

If you’re a person who genuinely cares about what happens to the planet then selecting your preferred electricity provider will be more than just a box-ticking exercise around the rates they charge. Naturally, a retailer’s ability to tailor their approach which delivers savings in line with your schedule is important. But making comparisons between one company and another goes further than the rates they are charging.  

Take the time to get a handle on their corporate citizenship, company principles and the source of their energy supply. More and more, the public are keen to know the processes and practices of the companies they connect to for their services. Research across the various energy retail suppliers will show you who is responsive to the environment and who is investing in the development of long-term goals for renewable energy. Some criteria to consider include proportions of renewable electricity generation; investment in renewable energy; active support for household solar; and whether or not they are involved in fossil fuel extraction.   

A power shift can make all the difference  

 The only way to know with any accuracy what your electricity usage habits look like is to review your energy consumption and the intel set out on your bill. Not unlike structuring your fixed and floating mortgage rates to suit your time frame and plans, selecting a power plan should take into account your own situation. Do you have an EV, spa pool or are you a low user? You can literally get shifty around times of use and peak and off-peak rates with Powershop. You’d be surprised how using this knowledge and then synchronising showers, turning on the dishwasher and using the dryer can move the dial and see you paying less at the end of the month. 

Need more help comparing power companies? 

Our website is full of information and we’re always here to help if you need to know more about our services and the way we manage your electricity supply. Check out our dedicated guide for info about comparing bills, rates, benefits and more. If you still need specific questions answered about Powershop compared with our competitors then bring it on – we’d be delighted to chat. 


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