Electricity retailer Flick is telling customers to move on to fixed-price plans after some were hit with power bills of up to $1500 for a single week.
A Wellington boarding house owner who used Flick was this week blindsided with a hefty bill as spot power prices surged.
Posting to a Facebook group, Matthew Wright called the price spikes "ridiculous" and asked for recommendations for an alternative electricity provider.
Wright said the bill was normally about $500 per week but in the past month it had gone up to $600.
"And now this $1500pw bill, I note on one single day last week the consumption was over $400! As we don't live there we have no control over consumption times etc," Wright said.
Other stories of bill shock emerged throughout the week and Flick has now told customers paying spot prices for power to switch to fixed-price plans.
"Because of these unpredictable market conditions we want you to seriously consider moving onto our FIXIE plan ... if you decide not to flick plans, we want to give you a heads up that your next few bills are likely to be much the same as the bill you received this week," Flick said in an email to customers yesterday.
"We still wholeheartedly believe Freestyle [Flick's spot price plan] delivers great savings for customers long term. What we don't believe in, however, are our customers riding a spot market that we feel is being manipulated by big companies acting opportunistically. Until we get the answers that we are entitled to - and that we want to give you - we don't want to leave you exposed,' the company said.
The Electricity Authority earlier this week rejected Flick's claims that the level of spot prices being charged by generation companies is unprecedented and unjustified.
The Electricity Authority told the Herald on Thursday that it is keeping a close eye on high spot prices which are causing big spikes in power bills for the 1 per cent of Kiwi households on spot price contracts.
But the authority said the market is doing as expected, given a tight electricity supply.
"The level of pricing is not unprecedented but is unusual for this time of the year. Prices around current levels are more common during winter months in unusually dry years," said acting chief executive Rory Blundell.