Simon Collins

Simon Collins is the Herald’s social issues reporter.

Grey Power cuts deal on electricity

Lobby group secures up to 10 per cent discount for members from small retailer

Photo / APN
Photo / APN

About 60,000 Grey Power members will get up to 10 per cent off their power bills if they sign up to a new joint venture.

The lobby group, representing about a tenth of the 635,000 New Zealanders aged 65 and over, has done a deal with one of the country's smallest power retailers, Pulse Energy, which has 34,000 customers.

Pulse will supply electricity to Grey Power members at prices that chief executive Gary Holden said would be "somewhere between zero and 10 per cent better than the best offer on Powerswitch", the consumer website where consumers can compare what they would pay to different suppliers.

He said the company offered 210 different price plans in 27 regions with seven or eight metering types, so individuals would need to check the details for their own consumption patterns.

"For example, for a standard user in Birkenhead using 8360 kWh per year, the best offer according to Powerswitch, from Energy Online, Genesis' discount power company, is a bill of $2192 per year. Grey Power electricity would be $112 lower for that user," he said.

A check on the Powerswitch website shows that Nova Energy, owned by the Todd Corporation, offers the cheapest current price of $2106 a year for that consumer, but the Grey Power deal would still be $26 cheaper at just $2080 a year.

Grey Power energy chairman Allen Davies said the biggest advantages would be for consumers using less than 8000 kWh of power a year because the deal includes no fixed daily charge for that group.

"That's a new innovation," he said.

Mr Holden said the deal also guaranteed no rise in the energy component of power prices for the next five years. Line charges, which Pulse has to pay to line companies, such as Vector, may still vary.

"Because we are signing up to a five-year price protection, and the consumer can get out at 30 days' notice, we are finding that people can prefer this contract over another even if there is no saving," he said.

Auckland-based Pulse Utilities is listed on the NZX Alternative Market and is majority owned by Buller Electricity.

- NZ Herald

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