Power companies are performing better, with more customers happy with the service they are receiving, a Consumer NZ survey has found.

The survey shows that overall satisfaction with electricity providers is 73 per cent - up from 65 last year.

The online survey questioned 8488 people during August and showed that Powershop, an online electricity provider, was the top performer for the second year running with a 92 per cent satisfaction rate.

The company allows customers to buy power, track and pay their bills and manage their accounts online.

"Pretty much everything is online," Powershop chief executive Ari Sargent said yesterday.

"Traditional companies send you a bill once a month and you pay it by the due date - the full amount - whereas with us, you can buy $50 worth of power every payday rather than $200 at the end of the month."

Mr Sargent was "rapt" with the results, particularly since the company began operations only in February last year.

Energy Direct, on 83 per cent, and TrustPower, on 78 per cent, also performed consistently well.

Survey supervisor Bev Frederikson said she was pleasantly surprised to see overall ratings going up.

"They seem to be lifting their game a bit," she said of the providers.

Poor service was noted as a factor in complaints about Contact Energy and Empower, which Ms Frederikson said had been the "poor performers" in the survey since 2008.

Customers were now more likely to switch providers if they were unhappy, with 17 per cent saying they had done so. That is up from less than 7 per cent in 2005.

COMPANY RATINGS
Percentage of clients satisfied
1. Powershop - 92
2. Energy Direct - NZ83
3. Energy Online - 83
4. TrustPower - 78
5. Nova Energy - 77
6. Mercury Energy - 75
7. Meridian Energy - 75
8. Bay of Plenty Energy - 74
9. Genesis Energy - 70
10. Contact Energy - 66
11. King Country Energy - 66
12. Empower - 56
13. Pulse Energy - 48