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Are Small Power Providers winning the fight for new customers?

Friday, July 5, 2019
Small and large power companies in NZ

An analysis of the data shows that of the more than 440,000 households that switched Power Company in the last year – the big providers have been the biggest losers.

Data from the Electric Authority shows that over the last year;

  • Mercury lost a net of 16,777 customers,
  • Genesis lost 15,162,
  • And, Trustpower lost 9,693 customers.

In comparison, Electric Kiwi had the biggest increase of 16,578 customers.

What are New Zealanders looking for when they choose a new power provider?

Electricity Retailers' Association chief executive Cameron Burrows said, "Price will be the main factor for some families, but others might make decisions around whether plans have bundled deals including other utilities, or different levels of customer service, or apps that let you monitor usage,"

Smaller power companies can offer benefits over their larger rivals. Luke Blincoe, chief executive of Electric Kiwi, said his company's proposition – with a free daily hour of off-peak power – was interesting to people.

"Our service is as good as anyone's. We're keeping it pretty simple." He said that companies appreciated that Electric Kiwi's marketing was digital with no-cold calling or door-knocking to tempt new customers across.

There are an increasing number of power companies in the New Zealand market, both large and small. The increase in competition has been identified as a potential issue by a recent government review. The Electricity Price Review, from which a final report is due soon, said people who shopped around for power were getting a better deal than those who stayed loyal.

A recent Consumer NZ survey showed that customers were most satisfied with smaller brands. For example, Powershop came out at the top of the research, with 66 per cent of customers very satisfied. By contrast Mercury was at 47 per cent satisfaction, and Contact and Genesis at 46 per cent.

Some households can save hundreds of dollars per year by comparing the options and switching to a new power plan. So, if you feel like you’re paying too much, or you’re not feeling the love from your current power provider - it might be time to compare the options and choose a new plan.

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