When you sign up with a new electricity provider you will sign a contract. This contract outlines your rights and the electricity retailer’s responsibilities including billing.
Most electricity retailers in New Zealand follow the voluntary minimum terms and conditions set out by the Electricity Authority
These minimum terms and conditions include processes about what to do when a customer doesn’t pay their bill, and guidelines for medically dependant or vulnerable customers.
When you sign up with a new electricity provider you will sign a contract. This contract outlines your rights and the electricity retailer’s responsibilities including billing. You may not be able to negotiate the standard terms of your contract with the company, but it is there to protect you and your rights, so it is important to read and understand it.
Consumer Protection have a great guide on terms and conditions of contracts to find out more.
Check the contract for key information about:
- connections, disconnections and contract termination
- the actual supply of electricity including metering
- contractual terms and conditions, such as being fair and reasonable
- how billing and payments will be handled
- how the retailer will request access to your property
- how complaints will be handled.
Source: Electricity Authority
A key tip from Consumer Protection: some contracts allow power companies to automatically renew a fixed-term deal unless you opt out. Once the automatic renewal happens it may be harder to switch providers without incurring early termination fees.
Find out more about your rights as an electricity consumer in New Zealand.