Power prices could cost an extra $1,000 a year

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Consumer NZ’s Powerswitch has been crunching the numbers and found some power uses will face price hikes up to $1,000 a year. 

“1 April is traditionally the day power companies put their prices up, but this year is shaping up to be a real doozy,” Powerswitch manager Paul Fuge said. 

Recently, several factors have snowballed to affect annual price rises. 

“It’s kind of like a perfect storm – there are four ways the price rises are hitting consumers. One would be bad enough. First, the industry is phasing out low-use power plans, which has given companies permission to double how much they currently charge low users for having electricity supplied to their home. 

“Second, people with a gas connection will also be affected by gas companies getting the green light to charge more for supplying gas, to recoup some of the cost of their infrastructure,” Fuge said

“The biggest losers will be low-use dual-fuel consumers – consumers who use lower than average amounts of electricity who are also gas users.”

“Finally, the actual prices of both power and gas used is also going up for a lot of people, as we’ve seen in letters notifying consumers of prices changes taking effect from 1 April.”

Power prices are the latest cost increase to slam consumers. The latest data from Consumer’s Sentiment Tracker shows the soaring cost of living is New Zealanders’ top concern. 

Switch to save on your power bill 

Consumer chief executive Jon Duffy shared his notification from his retailer, which shows it’s not just a matter of a few extra dollars each month. His family’s bill for their Wellington home is one hit by a quadruple whammy of rises. 

Their power company will put up the daily charge for supplying power and gas as well as the cost of the power and gas they use. Within a year they will pay about 25 percent more, which works out as $850 in total or about $70 a month.

“The extent of the price rise this year has caught me off guard. I’ll be checking Powerswitch to see much I can save by switching to another company,” Duffy said.

“By switching providers, you keep the power companies on their toes, and they can give you competitive rates to nab you as a customer,” Fuge said. 

“Unfortunately, there are no incentives to being a long-term customer, so you are best to switch and save yourself the dollars.” 

Check how much you can save by switching on Powerswitch. Updated power prices will be available from Monday, 4 April.

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