It's that time of the year again where energy retailers are announcing pricing changes and power providers are adjusting their pricing to cope. For the consumers, it means that power bills might increase in the upcoming months.
The price increase will still depend on the power companies. As wholesale prices have begun to rise, Nova Energy and Mercury are among the first power companies to increase their prices this year. According to Mercury, it had limited the average prices by 2%, while Nova has increased theirs by about 6% or an average of $2.50/week. More power providers might follow through so make sure to inquire or check your current provider’s website for announcements.
There are many factors to consider for power prices to increase such as power generation costs, electricity grid costs, fuel availability, changes in the wholesale market, and more. Mercury's spokesperson blamed the slight price rise on the wholesale market and how it's one of the main challenges most retailers are currently facing, including operating costs and metering charges.
According to Megan Woods, spokeswoman for Energy Minister, the government was closely monitoring the situation. If you're exposed to spot pricing, you might be paying more than the average power prices this autumn and winter due to several factors like the wholesale electricity pricing, the La Niña phase which means more energy demand that may also result to a rise in energy prices, and low hydro storage levels.
On the other hand, consumers with fixed-term retail contracts are less likely to be affected by the increased prices in the near or medium term.
If you're planning to switch to a different power provider or upgrade to a new plan, here are some things to consider:
Figure out how long you want to commit to a contract because most power providers require a cancellation fee. You have several options for power contracts, from an open term, 12 months, or 24 months, depending on the provider. While it's ideal to get an open contract so you can cancel any time without getting charged, a long-term contract will lock in a fixed rate on your power is also worth it, especially if you're worried about your bills increasing.
Take note of your monthly bills from your current provider so you can gauge which plan works for you best. Comparison tools will also give an estimate of your monthly bill as your guide to help you choose from the plans you're comparing.
New Zealand has two types of power plans. It's essential to identify whether you're a Low User or Standard User because you will be charged different rates depending on which type you signed up for. If you're on the wrong kind of plan, you might be paying more than you should for power.
There are plenty of quizzes and guide online to help you figure out which type of power plan you fall into, but some factors you need to consider are the number of people in your household and whether you use gas for cooking and water heating.
There are a lot of options for power providers in New Zealand, and they can be overwhelming as competition can be intense, and the majority of them offer amazing perks and add-ons, especially for new customers.
Make sure to look for plans that offer monthly discounts and rewards. Another thing to look out for are bundling options for your electricity, broadband, gas, etc., which are usually cheaper than when you get them separately.
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