Cost of living: UK power firm Octopus Energy launches in New Zealand, promises 'customers will spend less money'

The company says it's aiming to give Kiwis a low-cost power options this winter. Photo credit: Getty Images

Octopus Energy, one of the UK's largest power companies, has officially launched in New Zealand.

The company said it aims to give New Zealanders a low-cost power option this winter, offering half-price night rates for all its customers. 

Low power users also won't be charged daily fixed fees, with Octopus saying it's the only energy company in New Zealand to offer such a deal. 

Since its establishment in 2015, Octopus has expanded into countries including the US, Australia, Japan and Germany.

"Consumer NZ is glad to now be able to include Octopus Energy on to our Powerswitch service," said Paul Fuge, the manager of Powerswitch - an energy price comparison website.

"New retailers mean more competition. And increased competition is great for consumers as it helps keep a lid on prices and provides more choice for Kiwi households."

Octopus New Zealand chief customer officer Margaret Cooney said the company would pass on cost-saving benefits to Kiwis.

"With Octopus, our customers will be able to keep their heat pumps on all night and pay half-price rates.

"Power generally costs less to supply overnight - there's less demand on networks and a higher proportion comes from renewable sources. We're just passing on that benefit."

In its press statement, Octopus added it guaranteed "customers would spend less money" in the first 12 months compared to their previous retailer. If this isn't the case, customers would be credited $50 and the difference.

"Octopus isn't your typical electricity retailer. The company's intelligent Octopus smart

tech, coming online for Kiwis within the next few months, will help them manage their

electricity use without impacting their lifestyle," the company said.

Its promise of no daily fixed charge for low users comes after Kiwi power companies in April could start phasing out the cheaper rate they charge to low-scale users after electricity price recommendations were made to the Government. 

Up until then, the law required a lower fixed charge rate for customers who only used small amounts of electricity - but are now able to double the fixed portion of the bill from 30 to 60 cents per day, and another 30c every year for the next four years.

Not all companies have completely applied the new charge. Firms including Frank Energy (35 cents per day) and Electric Kiwi (34c) still offer discounted low user rates, according to Powerswitch.