Electricity bill payers based in Auckland are urged to confirm how they want the annual Entrust cash dividend to be paid as the use of cheques comes to an end.
It follows moves by banks to become cheque-free: Kiwibank stopped accepting cheques for deposit from 28 February 2020 and ASB confirmed it’s phasing them out during 2021. For the first time, Entrust confirms there will be no cheque in the mail for account holders to bank.
Account holders can choose to receive the payment, to be made in September, in one of two ways:
- By direct credit their bank account (it’s required to be the account held by the person named on the ‘dividend roll’ and is based on the information held by their power company), or
- Applied to their power account (this will show up as a credit).
Entrust confirmed 344,500 dividend forms (including a reusable envelope) were posted to account holders in the Entrust district from 25 June, asking them to confirm their dividend information. So far, around 12,000 forms have been returned.
Entrust chairman William Cairns said to avoid frustration, particularly for account holders who used to receive a cheque in the mail, it’s important they confirm how they want this year's dividend to be paid.
"It’s really important they send us their bank account details now, as if we haven’t received their details by August 6, it will slow down their payment," Cairns said.
He suggests power account holders check two things on their 2021 Entrust dividend form:
1. Check the name on the form matches their bank account.
"If it's not, ask your electricity retailer to update the name on your power bill to match,” Cairns said.
2. Those who need to change the payment method (e.g. from cheque to a bank account) should indicate their preference on the form and post it by Friday, 6 August, 2021.
"If you don’t choose one of these two options, Vector will send you a dividend notification form at dividend time," Cairns said.
"You'll need to return this form with your bank account details so we can then pay you the dividend."
The amount of this year’s dividend is not yet confirmed. Entrust said it depends on Vector’s annual results (the company is 75.1 percent owned by Entrust), and the number of people eligible to receive it. Last year, the amount paid was $280.
The annual dividend is paid to all customers on the Vector electricity network (includes Auckland, Manukau, eastern Franklin and northern Papakura - see map below).
To receive the dividend, households are required to be in the Entrust district on the roll date of 5 August, 2020, be paying vector electricity lines charges as part of their power bill - and be the person named on it.
Entrust confirms some new residential and commercial developments (and some apartment buildings) aren't connected to the Vector network, and therefore aren’t eligible for the dividend.
Previously called the Auckland Energy Consumer Trust, Entrust has a shareholding in Vector and distributes dividends to beneficiaries. The trust was established in 1993, under reforms to the electricity industry.
More information about who qualifies for the dividend payment can be found here.