Power consumers in Hawke's Bay could be next in line for a chance to take more control over how they pay power bills, after a new multimillion-dollar investment from Z Energy.
Flick Electric Co yesterday announced that Z had invested $46 million into the online electricity retailer, for a 70.1 percent shareholding, a move Flick chief executive Steve O'Connor said would help Flick realise its potential.
"Over the past four years, we've proven there's an appetite for a new engagement model in energy retail, which has entrenched our vision to bring disruptive energy technologies to as many people as possible. This partnership, and the expertise and capital it brings to Flick, will allow us to do more, faster, and have a greater impact on New Zealanders' lives."
Mike Bennetts, chief executive of Z, said the partnership represented another step towards the long-term sustainability of Z, and the role it will play in a lower-carbon transport future.
Launched in 2014, Flick was the first power company in the country to offer customers access to the wholesale spot price of electricity.
To enable customers to optimise their electricity usage using market price signals, Flick developed a suite of tools to facilitate consumer-market participation, including their world-first personalised carbon counter.
The company, which is still 20.7 percent owned by Gisborne-based Eastland Group, which operates the Eastland Network lines company in Wairoa, has about 25,000 customers and is New Zealand's only Consumer NZ "Trusted" electricity retailer.
A company spokeswoman for Flick said the company was "particularly interested" in furthering its Hawke's Bay presence.
"We rolled out in Central Hawke's Bay in June and we are so excited to continue expanding into the regions.
"Our focus is on getting the best in smart tools to as many Kiwis as possible. We believe strongly that regional New Zealand can benefit from Flick's offering - for example, shift workers like nurses can the most of load shifting their power to cheapest times using our tools."
Hawke's Bay residents could expect "some interesting initiatives coming shortly".