Grey Power members are being promised big savings and easy-to-read bills after a deal was announced with Pulse Energy to supply pensioners with more affordable electricity.
The advocacy group and Pulse Energy yesterday announced they would be offering an average saving of 11 per cent to members through a newly formed venture, Grey Power Electricity.
However, Tauranga's leading power supplier, TrustPower, has questioned whether the company will be able to deliver those savings.
Pulse Energy yesterday said it hoped to pick up new customers in the Bay of Plenty as a result of the plan.
The company has about 34,000 customers across the country but barely registers in the Bay of Plenty, a region that did not feature on a coverage map on their website yesterday morning.
Chief executive Gary Holden conceded its customer base in the area was small. "We have some but not many at this stage. We would love to change that."
The company would be able to provide power to any member that switched over, Mr Holden said.
Grey Power Electricity would operate by renting lines from TrustPower and supplying customers with power already paid for while it was cheap on the ASX NZ Electricity Futures Market, Mr Holden said. "It will be the lowest price in the country. We expect it will be quite popular."
Mr Holden said the price would also be fixed, guaranteeing no change in price for five years.
Grey Power's chair for the national advisory group for energy, Allen Davies, said members would make an average saving of 11 per cent.
"We as Grey Power Electricity aren't interested in making profit at all. We are interested in providing affordable power for our members.
"This is a real special deal. We are really offering something above and beyond what other retailers are doing. We are being competitive."
To have access to Grey Power Electricity, you must become a member and the $5 a year it costs to be a member is expected to help with the cost of keeping the company going, Mr Davies said.
"We've already go lots of applications from people wanting to sign up."
TrustPower spokesman Graeme Purches said the company had no concerns "whatsoever" with the announcement of Grey Power Electricity but doubted if it would deliver on its promises.
Earlier this year Grey Power encouraged members not to swap power suppliers or sign up to any contracts because something better was on the way. Mr Purches said Grey Power Electricity was not a better option.
Who is Pulse Energy?
Pulse Energy is an independent electricity retailer and won the 2012 Deloitte Fast 50 for being New Zealand's fastest growing company. Pulse Utilities New Zealand Limited is the parent company and listed on the NZAX and also trades as Just Energy.