Slingshot, owned by ASX-listed telecommunications company Vocus Communications New Zealand, was the top growing power company in Auckland last month, despite not being officially launched and only selling power to existing broadband customers during a soft launch phase, the company said.
Data from the Electricity Authority showed an ICP or installation control point count of 596,308 in Auckland in June and a gain of 755. Of that total, 3,009 ICPs were with Switch Utilities - the name Slingshot trades as - with a gain of 523. Switch Utilities showed the largest gain across 27 different providers. The bulk of power users in New Zealand's largest city are with Genesis Energy, Contact Energy and Mercury New Zealand.
Slingshot is now selling power nationwide to new customers as well as existing broadband customers and "the response to date in Auckland has exceeded expectations and we're expecting the momentum to build nationwide for an even stronger month in July," said general manager Taryn Hamilton.
When a customer buys broadband they are also offered power and Slingshot said it has priced its rates "aggressively" and also applies a prompt payment discount to the broadband and power bill when they are paid on time and they are wrapped into a single bill.
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Hamilton said the electricity industry is less competitive than the telco sector and while the industry reports that tens of thousands of people switch power provider each month, the stats include people who move to a new house and stay with their current provider.
"It really comes down to how you interpret the switching stats. When the industry says that someone has 'switched' power companies, most would assume they have changed provider, but the stats don't actually work like that - the stats recorded also include house moves," he said.
Rather, the Electricity Authority statistics show that almost one third fewer people are switching their power company for their existing home compared with five years ago despite the growing number of providers, he said.
"People aren't making the most of the price savings out there, and many don't seem to care," he said.