Really want to save money on power?

One word: Powershop.

No I do not work for them, I just really want all the people getting ripped off by their power company to know that there is an alternative. For some reason powershop is not listed in the online comparison calculator.

I want to share my experience with this company, they are fantastic and so exciting that they really deserve my writing this opinion. If just one person signs up as result, I will be stoked, and so will they.

Ok first this is a cut and paste of my powershop account what I have paid, or will be paying, in power the last 6 months.The proof is in the pudding. Averages $81 per month, and that's over the winter months with electric heating. Apr 09 May 09 Jun 09 Jul 09 Aug 09* Sep 09* Total Monthly Cost $ - - - 60.32 66.52 85.02 97.41 88.25 92.44 489.96 * = provisional based on current usage patterns - ie, not confirmed.

We have a heatpump (sparingly used however), and are a two adult, one child family. Powershop is easy to use (maybe a little scary at first) and easy to change to. The funniest thing of all, when we swapped over (automatically through the website) Contact rang and offered us $250 to stay with then as long as we signed a contract for, I think it was three years, maybe two.

Why could't they just have saved me that money in the first place? I have never been so excited about a company, or posted comment on one in this fashion, but I cannot stand the fact that Dunedin residents are being so clearly ripped off by power companies, I want all to know there is a cheaper alternative. There are no line charges, we pay on;ly for the power we use, and the unit cost is cheaper than what we were paying on Contact.

It's not like the prepaid cards - if you run out they automatically purchase you the cheapest power available, not cut off your power.

The government intends to raise power prices

Standard inclusive unit price after discount is 14.8 cents for Dunedin on the Mercury website. Compared to other companies you're getting a good enough deal until the government add their increase to ther prices as well.

Right Honourable Gerry Brownlee talks the talk about power prices to simply make it quicker for people to change from one power company to another power company.

I changed from Contact back in February right before a proper meter reading was going to read by Contact. To avoid changing a time of a lousy estimate account, better to settle the last bill with an actual meter reading.

With power bills coming monthly up to a week or so, to change companies is no big deal at all compared to real long term savings.

I received a reply email from Gerry Brownlee with lots of spin on how wonderful the new small stadium is going to be for us in Dunedin. So good that the government has only put in 15 million which was the go ahead for the DCC to help themselves to at least 150 miillion from Dunedin ratepayers over several years.

With any luck the National government will see real Dunedin democracy in action at the next local body elections next year. Don't be surprised if there isn't a much larger voter turn out for the Dunedin 2010 elections.

Is the ministry of social development also an enigma??

Read for yourself, these guys confirm it. You can argue with me all you like, but I would imagine the Ministry of Economic Development knows what it is talking about. 

Here is a link to the report it released on power prices:

By the way, my unit price on Powershop has dropped to 15.51c; no specials, no trickery, shelf price, with no line charges at all, and it's not even summer yet. Bring on the savings, Powershop!

Try checking out the facts first, thanks

Actually, you can do prepay or postpay or a combination of both on Powershop. There is no need to keep your account in credit.

Correcting your false mercury Dunedin charges was no mistake

I use up to date Power company websites for the true figures. I did post the links to the Mercury Energy Dunedin page charges for anyone to check the true figures that I had posted. But when posted the links had disappeared. I'm now using information from the Powershop website. From their FAQ pages actually.Powershop is wholly owned by Meridian Energy - a NZ Government owned State Owned Enterprise (SOE).What happens to expired power?Once power has expired it can no longer be used and cannot be refunded, just like a 'best-before date'. We do everything we can to reduce the risk of this happening.It also says you can get a refund on prepaid power as long as it's within 48 hours of the purchase.No matter which power company people choose to use. Not everyone would choose to do their business online compared to getting a bill in the mail at the end of the month, which people can then make sure that the charges are correct before paying that bill before any money has even changed hands.When it comes to online business you can bet that the company websites are secure as they can be, but not every personal computer with personal business records are secure at all.Fair enough that power doesn't have to be purchased in advance. I saw these advance prepaid deals on the Powershop website after seeing someone I know post in NZ General that they had joined Powershop and had bought a few prepay power packs. I don't know if they joined because of your original post or not but they did refer to your post in the nationwide NZ General newsgroup. The person I know also has a large wood burner so doesn't need much electricity for heating.The best deal I've seen on the Powershop website is for people in Christchurch thanks to a special deal that Powershop has done with the local network company Orion.On the day that the guy reads my meter for Mercury I then know what the bill will be within a dollar before the actual bill arrives about 2 weeks later. A cost per day is also shown on the bill along with a graph of electricity usage showing each month for the year. It's well informed giving the average kwh/day for each month.

You seem to be quite mistaken

This is copied and pasted from powershop website:
Do I have to buy my power in advance?
No, you don't have to buy you power in advance and you can treat Powershop just like you would any other power company. However if you do pay in advance through the online shop you could save more money by picking up special deals and purchasing in bulk.
You do not have to pay in advance. Period, so I suggest you do your research on that one. It is easy to post pay on powershop and still save money. Check it out for yourself, read up how the system works while you are at it.
Ok I will say again, yes your power is cheap. But here's the deal.
your friend paid $218 for 900 units of power.
Your calculations for mercury said this would have been $40 cheaper at $182, Great.
900 units of power through powershop would cost $157.86 - 17.56 per unit, and this is over estimating assuming the power was used over winter months.
It is quite clear from your statements that you do not really know how the powershop system works, maybe now you will accept that. I also accept that the prices you have quoted are cheaper than what is displayed on powerswitch run by the consumers institute, where I got my figures from, but I believe you, and yes that is cheap. However powershop is still cheaper.
You really shouldn't run down a great company without being aware of the facts.

Try researching the true power prices, thanks

Where exactly on the Mercury Energy website under Dunedin electricity prices did you find your figures from, Kasil? You claim the standard inclusive charges per day is $1.05. The true standard inclusive charges per day is 93.82 cents before prompt payment 10% discount as stated on the Mercury Energy website. You claim that Mercury Energy charge 17.98 cents per kilowatt. The Mercury Energy website very clearly states that the inclusive charge per kwh is 15.98 cents before prompt payment discount. Now using the real figures try working out what your electricity charges would've been from Mercury Energy, not forgetting to add GST and then take away the prompt payment 10% discount. When I last checked the Powershop website there was no prompt payment discount which isn't surprising since as you well know Powershop expects their customers to pay for electricity before they've even used 1 lousy kilowatt of it. You need to keep your Powershop account always in plenty of credit. Which works out real well from a business point of view when you have well over 100,000 customers all making sure they have plenty of credit to keep well ahead of what they actually owe at the end of each month. Sure if you're in credit of $50 dollars at the end of the month that goes towards your next month use of power charges. Except that you'll need to have a lot more than just $50 in credit for the next month and not just the exact amount that you hope to use. No, instead you'll have to be well ahead in credit yet again to easily cover whatever amount that your power bill actually comes to at the end of that month. Now get well over 100,000 people paying far more than they have to by way of a crazy prepaid power credit scheme then there's real good interest to be made by using all that prepaid money knowing that people will need to keep well in credit with their accounts instead of falling short at the end of each month. I also noticed the Powershop's prepaid pricing blocks had expiry dates on them meaning those credits had to be used by a certain date or it's tough luck Charlie but thanks for the money anyway. Most people will also notice on the Mercury Energy website that their residential power charges are fixed until April 2010. Also a guy I know showed me his Meridian low user power bill just the other day, quite pleased he was that his 900 units of power cost him about $218. His lower user bill stated that he is paying 22.8 cents per kilowatt. Well I happen to be on a low user account with Mercury Energy paying only 18.28 cents per kilowatt before prompt payment of course. At a quick guess I told him that his bill would've been $30 cheaper from Mercury Energy. When I got the calculator out that night I found that I was $10 out as he would've saved about $40 by using Mercury Energy. While you're busy keeping a real good on eye what you're using, try to find some comfort in knowing that Powershop is making real good interest out of all the money that you prepay in advance before even knowing how much power you're going to be using. Wonder if some service stations will be smart enough to offer a similar scheme where you could buy a $1,000 of fuel in credit but also must use that fuel before a certain expiry date, a few months should be long enough for you. And why not since you're happy with your very similar scheme with Powershop. At least Contact never thought of taking money off people in advance before 1 kilowatt is even used like your money borrowing outfit.

Information supply

Kasil, Bensan will give the information you want. We are on a variable supply charge at Standard 15KVA and we quote from our account instead of Powerswitch. Your information is incorrect and it matters little where you obtained it. If you consider my reaction as "combatant" then perhaps you missed the issue. Correct information is the point. We also received directly from Powershop, the information that they could not better the Mercury conditions. That is the point I am making and hopefully this clears it up.

Information supply

Im not sure why you seem to have adopted a combative attitude Benson, as I wish only to save people money, not have a row about the best power company in the world.
The figures I have used are directly from powerswitch for mercury. $1.05 per day and 17.9 per unit, check it out for yourself, if you are on a different plan than standard inclusive, please name it and I will check the facts out myself and stand corrected. Mercury only list two plans on powerswitch, standard inclusive and lowuser that I can find. No misrepresentation here, and I find your implication that that is my intent childish.
The figures I have provided of the unit cost for Dunedin from powershop are from exactly what I have paid, powershop provide a whole series of detailed graphs that show exactly what a user has paid per month, and per unit of electricity. I'm sure powershop would be happy to supply that information to you also if you wish them too. My information is obviously within my own power account.
If indeed you are paying 15c per unit, that is good, I will be paying that (or less) for most of the year too, and no line charges.
Your power company is good for you, mine is good for me. The message here to the populous is obviously to shop around. Contact in particular need a serious wake up call, and maybe if enough people switch suppliers they will.
Many people seem a little hesitant of powershop because it is so different from what we know, and are used to, we were hesitant initially too, but have had a great experience, and wish powershop was around years ago, its simple, and best of all cheap. I find it odd when people that do not use the system call it "complicated" - how would they know?
So again, to remind you benson, my figures are from powerswitch, provided by the consumers intsitute - I would consider this a reputable source and not an "enigma".

hmmmm kasil indeed

The facts are as follows Kasil: The powershop calculations online, have shown us in their, they can't better the Mercury charges. So what you are claiming is not factual. You are misrepresenting the facts. The facts are: Daily fixed charge: 93.82 cents; Standard usage charge 15.83 cents per kwh so your figures do not stack up. Whatever you have gleaned by way of information is faulty and it would be in power consumers' interest to be properly informed. What you have quoted is not to be taken seriously and all Electricity Consumers are at the mercy of the power generator owners, and they are S.O.E s. Just where you get your figures from is an enigma.

and for a lower user

40kw a day is really a lot of power, even with our heat pump on 24 hours at 25degrees we would only use about 25kw. If you were a lower user on Powershop, say 20kw per day (we average that in winter in summer some where around 12) in winter you would pay $106.96. On Mercury you would pay $139.98. - yes Mercury is cheap. On contact you would pay $151.71 and that is on the low user plan, if you were not on that contact would charge you $154.87. In summer, if you are like us and drop your usage to 12 units approx per day, that bill would cost you $53.64 on powershop with contact $105.83. They still charge you$1.10 per day just for line charges. Powershop have no line charges, Mercury charge less, if you were on the low user plan they would charge you $95.52. It's quite easy to do the math, ( I say hoping I haven't made any errors) Whichever cheap provider you could potentially change to Powershop, Mercury, the main message is, don't stay with a company that rips you off as a consumer.

I have to agree with bensan

I have to agree with bensan. Mercury are by far the cheapest power provider for higher users than any other provider in Dunedin. Our power bill can range from $250 to $500 per month, and although Powershop is a great mechanism - it's only as good as the amount of effort that you put into it - and if the costs are lower than anyone else. I showed friends of our the difference between their very high power bill - and calculated the same costs on Mercury. Saving of $200 for the month. It's saddening that a North Island company provides better rates than our local companies. Where-ever possible I always try to support local business, but I refuse to line their pockets with gold.


Hi, I'm really pleased that others out there don't want to take the extortion offered by other companies lying down. I totally agree that Contact are waaaay over priced. Without knowing which plan you are on, I assume you are on Mercury's standard inclusive plan? If not, by all means correct me. On average most months we pay through Powershop under 17c per kilowatt, and no daily charge.
The most we paid over winter per kilowatt was 18.01c. Mercury standard inclusive charges $1.05 per day for supply. Their kilowatt charge is 17.98 cents. So if you used 40 kilowatts per day with Mercury you should have paid 247.26 minus a prompt payment discount of 24.70 making $222.56? If you were with Powershop that month when the kilowatt all inclusive rate was 17.78c you would have paid $213.96. I hope this makes sense - it is still cheaper, it may be that you are on a different plan however.
The main point also here is that July is one of the dearer months for power with Powershop, in warmer months the rate drops and still no line charges. If you were using the same amount of power in January with the rates down under 15c your power bill would be $178, where as with Mercury you would still be paying $213.96. You still pay less with Powershop as a "comfortable" high user. Most people I know are low users (and still comfortable) and have the potential to save a great deal more.
The Powershop system is in no way awkward, it can be set to automatically purchase you the cheapest power available when you need it, pre paid, up to date paid or post paid. It's really simple. I prefer to keep an eye on exactly what I am using and monitor what changes different appliances such as the heat pump make to our bill. It's awesome. No more nasty surprises.
Glad you are happy with your company, what works for us may not work for everyone, but we really enjoy the savings, All the best! :) Again I am not an employee of Powershop. People moan a lot about poor service and getting ripped off. Well I like to champion great service and a way to free yourself from the giant power rip off merchants.

Really saving power?

If this Powershop is the way to go, then consider going to Mercury. We did the exercise online, to check our rates and the answer from Powershop was: Stick with Mercury, they are giving a better deal than we can. Contact is the most expensive company, Trustpower is not far behind them, remember the $1000.00 account someone in Alexandra had to pay? Before switching to an awkward system, do your sums and remove yourself from any power supplier that charges too much. At the moment Mercury are the best, we used to be with Contact and then Meridian and switched to our present one. Meridian actually own and operate this Powershop company and if anyone switches to them, they are making a fundamental error. It may be that the usage of those who accept it, is very low, as our consumption in July was 40 kwh per day, but then we like to be comfortable.