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.

The what and who of daily power charges

 For most people, their power bill is only something they think about once a month when the bill arrives, or the money is deducted from their account. A quick glance to digest the “damage” and then life goes on. But we live in times when it’s worth taking a deeper dive to see what’s what (or watt!) with your daily power charges. The standard costs of electricity should be clearly set out in your monthly bill. But one size does not always fit all in terms of power retailers and how they structure things for their customers.

Setting aside time to get informed on your own daily costs could be just the motivation you need to start shopping around with other suppliers to get a better deal. Once you’ve found out what your daily costs and kWh are, then who your best supplier is ought to be the next step.

One sized per kilowatt hour (kWh) does not fit all

Power can be quietly accruing extra costs if we never stop to add up and stockpile.  Naturally your daily habits for overall power use will vary from that of other households. Your monthly bill is made up of fixed and variable charges and the total amount will depend as much on the structure of your household as it will on where you live in New Zealand. The average Kiwi household is said to consume approximately 7000 kWh per month but the rates charged for your usage can vary considerably between retailers and is reflected in your monthly bill.

Despite a common perception that residential power suppliers don’t have much difference between them, the best and most competitive power companies will tailor services and charges to meet diverse and unique usage. It’s all about adding value to their service for customers - optimising cost benefits, to save you money and deliver exceptional client care that will maintain loyalty. Embarking on an exercise to uncover the ways you use your power should lead you to seek out new strategies and maybe a new supplier for potential savings. 

Paying for electricity at the market (wholesale) spot price 

Signing up to a spot pricing model for your power supply can be an unpredictable roller coaster ride where the market price at any given time is passed onto you.  On the upside, the price you pay will be lower when the supplier is able to pass on the savings in a decreased market. The disadvantages are however, that when the cost of generation inevitably spikes  (for a whole range of reasons) throughout the year, you’ll be stung with a heavier hit to your household monthly budget.

Knowing that you have a set amount through committing to regular rates assures peace of mind and predictability but there are huge benefits to tailoring your plan to work in with your own unique power usage. More and more Kiwis are looking for ways to reduce their spending. If they can find a way to knock dollars off their power bills, then it’s just another useful tool to do just that. 

Regular plan vs off peak times – there’s a difference

Did you know that some power supply retailers in New Zealand offer time-of-use plans to optimise your costs? The power company understands that your household habits will not be the same as those of your neighbours.  An average family of four could be Mum and Dad with two teenagers living in Whangarei or four Dunedin university student flatmates and obviously those two disparate households will have obvious differences in power use. By being more discerning about the way you structure the relationship you have with your supplier, you could pare back your power bill and leave more dollars in your wallet. 

With the current increased cost of living it makes sense to do the mahi, shop around and spend time investing in a plan that’s right for you. Some plans offer an opportunity to enjoy lower charges for off-peak times and more during peak usage. If you’ve already chosen to operate a household using non-standard hours then congratulations, you’re already winning! Adapting your usage to synchronise with these attractive off-peak rates will work in your favour with just a few adjustments in time and therefore energy. Think about putting on the dishwasher at night for example, switching to a cold wash for the clothes or putting household appliances and lamps on a timer -  all of these little changes can alter your power usage and dictate the terms with your power supply costs. 

Are you a standard or a low usage user?

New Zealand may have been described as the land of the long white cloud, but as we all know, the winters can be harsh and the weather less than ideal – with temperatures varying greatly from Cape Reinga to the Bluff.

 Kiwis fall into two categories when it comes to power users: standard and low usage. You may not even know which one you are but it’s easy to work it out. The majority of New Zealand households are considered standard users with the rule of thumb being that North Islanders consume 8000 kWh per annum while the cooler Mainlanders from Christchurch and southward consume 9000 kWh.

The low user power consumer will pay a lower daily charge and a higher per kWh charge. The variations for power use will depend on who’s under your roof and what their daily routines are. The arrival of a new baby in the house for example, will trigger heavier power usage with a washing machine doing overtime, an extra adult at home for longer hours in the daytime, and heating to keep the nursery warm and dry. A retired couple who hit the road in a campervan regularly are not going to have anything like the same habits. Where you live in New Zealand will have an impact too. Solar panels are becoming a familiar sight in places like high sunshine regions like Hawkes Bay, Nelson and the Bay of Plenty so these geographical advantages could give you huge savings if you and your family live in a low user region.

It’s important to note that while standard and low usage may be incorporated into some retailers and plans, the requirement to have low usage categories is being phased out after a government decision. So be sure to check what’s on offer with your retailer.

Powershop’s Powerpack: Add to trolley 

Being able to anticipate electricity supply by purchasing a pack of power ahead of actually using it has some notable advantages as well. With a little forward planning, you can make significant savings on your power costs with Powershop’s unique Powerpacks. Powershop sells blocks of power in a range of values called ‘Future Packs’ - with the intention that by buying your pack ahead of time you have certainty over price, transparency over kWh charges and most importantly, the satisfaction of attractive savings. It’s all set out to follow the prompts when you check in at Powershop’s online Shop where customers get to see the cost, the savings, the number of days, and the daily rate. Once you purchase the Future Pack, it’s locked and loaded in at that amount and will be charged according to the agreed rate at time of purchase. One delighted customer upon seeing the savings they could make described it as “like hedging my bets and collecting the winnings”.

Who could forget the great toilet roll panic of 2020, where consumers went out and purchased bulk packs to ensure they had it when they needed it? Powershop goes one better than that. Their Future Pack not only allows you the tactical advantage to think and budget ahead knowing you have it all taken care of, but also at a better buy price than standard rates, saving you money. Developing a monthly habit of buying ahead so you’re not caught short is critical whether it’s household power or the humble loo roll.   

Is it time to review your power? Let’s chat

 As the cost of living continues to nip at the heels of everyday Kiwis there’s never been a better time to review your power consumption. An estimate of the savings that could be made will be fast tracked by having a chat to the right people. If you’re wondering how to get the power price you dream of and deserve then the team at Powershop would love to hear from you

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