Common Electricity Supply Issues

Date Sep 4, 2020
Blog category Power
By Michelle S
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Your customer contract with power retailers lays down your rights and responsibilities in the electricity services that they’ll provide you. The Consumer Guarantees Act outlines the guarantees and acceptable service quality of the electricity services. 

The contract may be a standard agreement but it still helps to understand and read the terms before signing up. Knowing your consumer rights in electricity services is essential because they protect you from unfair contract terms and help you in dispute resolution, among other things. As we delve into what your consumer rights as Kiwis are, we’ll also lay down common problems that are encountered in electricity supply and what you can do about them.

Two Common problems in electricity supply

Among others, electricity supply issues usually point to power cuts and disconnection. 

Disconnection 

Can your power supply be cut off? Yes, but before your power supply is cut off, your power provider will send you heaps of notices. Disconnection occurs when you fail to pay your monthly bills. The provider has all the rights to disconnect your supply if you fail to comply and to respond to notices of late payment and of disconnection. You, on the other hand, have all the rights and responsibilities to inquire about your bills and possible disconnection. Providers can make stretches when it comes to late payments because of financial hardships but they also need to be fair to other Kiwis who pay their bills on time.  Find out more in this article Can Your Electricity Supply Be Cut Off? about retailer responsibilities.

Power cuts 

You’re watching television on a perfectly comfy day and suddenly your electricity shuts off. No one wants sudden power cuts, no matter the circumstances, especially during these times when we’re shifting to an online environment and our tools are dependent on power supply. If your power suddenly goes off and you know that you’ve paid your bill, then you better check with your provider. Ideally, you should be informed about power cuts but there are unpredictable instances such as an earthquake, sudden storm, and other natural phenomenon. You can also check if there’s some maintenance work in your area. 

What are your consumer rights when buying electricity?

When you buy electricity, the retailer must guarantee that the electricity they provide is safe, reliable, and consistent. The guarantee, however, doesn’t apply if you used the electricity in an unreasonable manner and if you’ve accepted the limited quality and reliability of the electricity supply - which should have been explained by the retailer. Always remember to read and understand your customer contract because this is the basis of your relationship with your provider. 

Getting the right provider 

Your power provider matters because each one has a set of plans that can suit various Kiwi consumer needs. It’s best to know if they represent your best interests. It’s important to understand if there’s a break up fee and to know the different payment options. If you feel that your current retailer isn’t providing the quality of electricity that you want, check other power companies and see their other offers.

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