Payless Energy no longer smallest

Dunedin boutique electricity retailer Payless Energy moving up the ranks; pictured, starlings on power lines at dusk in Highcliff Rd, Dunedin. Photo by Stephen Jaquiery.
Dunedin boutique electricity retailer Payless Energy moving up the ranks; pictured, starlings on power lines at dusk in Highcliff Rd, Dunedin. Photo by Stephen Jaquiery.
Boutique Otago electricity retailer Payless Energy can now claim not to be the smallest company in the growing retail market, having just secured a full 200 customers since its launch in July 2012.

The Dunedin-based Mierzejewski family-owned Payless Energy expanded its services beyond Dunedin into Central Otago last December, and has just secured customer number 200, according to recent Electricity Authority data.

Payless Energy is off the bottom of the rank, now ahead of Opunake Hydro and its 125 customers and Flick Energy's 20 customers; the latter having started in December.

Payless finance director Radak Mierzejewski said when contacted he was pleased with the company moving up two positions, to third-smallest retailer, and making ''consistent progress''.

With lake levels low, Mr Mierzejewski was pleased with progress and not having a larger customer base, given spot electricity market pricing was ''elevated'' at the moment.

He estimated, on present growth, Payless Energy could by the end of the year have 500 customers.

Payless now has customers in Alexandra, Cromwell, Queenstown, Frankton, Clyde Alexandra and Wanaka, buying electricity from the daily spot market and keeping operating overheads to a minimum to make savings.

By comparison, the largest retailer is Genesis Energy, with 536,184 customers at March (Contact Energy had 451,123 and Mighty River Power had 387,850). All had tracked downwards since August last year.

simon.hartley@odt.co.nz

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