Kiwis urged to shop around after power provider reveals further price hikes

  • 23/01/2024
Kiwis urged to shop around after power provider reveals further price hikes
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Thousands of Kiwis' power bills are about to get more expensive after Genesis Energy revealed it's raising its prices again. 

It's an electric shock, customers were hoping to avoid with a price hike set for next month.  

Customers just received notice from February 23 the cost of their electricity is likely to get even higher.  

It's the second increase in the span of eight months, with some customers saying their daily bill will double under these new changes.  

Around 11 percent of Genesis residential electricity customers will be hit with the hike, which is sitting at an average increase of 1.6 percent and will affect 37,707 customers.  

Genesis Chief Retail Officer Stephen England-Hall said the price rise is the result of inflation, which has caused increases across the company - including the cost of generating electricity and transporting it to customers.  

"We appreciate any increase can be a challenge for customers; the decision to pass on some of our costs has not been taken lightly... we encourage any customers needing support in paying their bill to contact us. We have an empathetic team with options available to help," England-Hall said. 

He said the phase-out of the low user fix charge has added to the need for an increase.  

The low user profile provided discounted daily fixed rate charges to ensure low-income families were not disadvantaged, however a review by the Electricity Price Review Panel found the plan adversely affected many of the users it was attempting to help.  

The findings found the scheme often caused confusion and encouraged households to underheat their homes. 

Because of this, the discounted rate is being gradually removed over the next five years with the maximum fixed daily charge for those on the scheme increasing by $0.30c.  

One person told Newshub the latest hike will see his electricity bill go from $0.60c a day to $0.90c. 

Consumer NZ Powerswitch Manager Paul Fuge told Newshub it all boils down to this low user profile phase-out – which all electricity providers must roll out.  

He said it's the main reason for the large and frequent price hikes.   

"It is a huge change for 60 percent of people who were on that plan and now will be paying an increased amount every year as the price continues to go up." 

His advice for Kiwis facing higher bills is to never settle and remember there are other providers available.

"People often assume with electricity it's all much of a muchness which is not the case. You can get really good deals if you are regularly looking for them." 

He added retailers will often have different options based on circumstance and accommodating those with different or complex needs.  

For example, if you own an electric vehicle there are plans that will specifically accommodate your energy needs to charge it, or if you work from home and tend to use more power there are other plans that will work better for you.  

He urged Kiwis to be aware of their plan and not fall into the trap of staying with a provider simply because they have been with the company for a long period of time, especially if the cost they're paying has rapidly increased.