Consumer switching fund
The purpose of the Consumer switching fund is to promote competition in the electricity market.
In this section you will find:
- What's My Number
- Consumer switching fund programmes
- Campaign statistics
- Consumers have choice
- Annual review of the What's My Number campaign
- National surveys
- Campaign tracker surveys'
- Global consumer switching report
- Authority contact
- Related links
What's My Number is the central programme of activity for the Consumer switching fund, a $5m per year contestable fund for three and a half years (1 November 2010 - 30 April 2014) to promote to consumers the benefits of comparing and switching retailers and to improve the capability of the Consumer Powerswitch website.
The What's My Number campaign (campaign) has been developed to provide consumers with information about their ability to switch power suppliers, the ease of switching and the potential savings consumers can make on their power bill by switching.
The campaign encourages New Zealanders to shop around for power.
The campaign website allows consumers to see how much they may be able to save on their power bills by switching power supplier. A simple calculator, provided by Consumer Powerswitch, helps consumers assess their potential savings. Users can then click through to the Consumer Powerswitch website to allow them to see details of the different offers available and decide whether to switch.
Consumer switching encourages retailers to become more competitive.
1. What's My Number - Providing information to consumers regarding their ability to switch power suppliers, the ease of switching and the potential savings consumers can make on their power bills by switching.
2. Contracting with switching facilitators:
- Citizens Advice Bureau - assisting consumers to compare and switch power suppliers by explaining to them the benefits of comparing and switching power suppliers and, if required, taking them through the What's My Number and Powerswitch websites;
- Vendor Sales Support Limited - have been engaged to train nominated budget advice centres on how to assist their clients to compare and switch power suppliers.
3. A switching tool for small to medium-size businesses (SME) - Switch Me Limited has been engaged to introduce an online tool to help the SME community shop around for power - The What's My Number business tool was launched on 20 August 2012.
The following statistics will be updated monthly:
|Key statistics||29 May 2011 to 31 October 2013|
|No. of visitors to What's My Number website||1,359,399|
|No. of unique visitors||1,083,294|
|Average time spent on the website||2 minutes and 10 seconds|
|Switches completed 1 June 2011 - 31 October 2013||931,164|
Figure 1: Comparison of completed switches January 2010 to 31 October 2013
- This figure illustrates completed switches recorded in the month the switch was initiated.
- Switch counts are subject to change as further switches are completed, and withdrawals are processed.
- The numbers in the parentheses in the legend are the total across the period shown.
Consumers have choice
There are 22 retail brands operating in New Zealand. Depending on where people live they will have between 5 and 17 retail brands to choose from. To find out what brands are serving installation control points on your network look at the chart below.
Retail brands serving installation control points (ICPs) on networks at 31 December 2012
(click to enlarge)
* A retail brand must serve more than 3 Installation control points to be counted. Stars denote new retailers to the network during 2012
The Authority conducts an annual review of the What's My Number campaign and of the broader consumer switching fund. Two reviews have been completed to date. The first review focused on the first seven months of activity from 1 June to 31 December 2011. The second review focuses on the 12 month period from 1 January to 31 December 2012. The reviews will be undertaken annually over the life of the campaign.
- 2011 Review: What's My Number - A changing landscape for NZ electricity consumers
- 2012 Review: What's My Number - Competition is Key
In establishing the strategy for the Consumer switching fund, one of the key pieces of work that the Authority undertook in 2011 was a national switching survey to measure consumer and small and medium enterprise (SME) awareness, attitudes and behaviour regarding switching.
The 2011 survey provided the Authority with a benchmark to measure changes in switching decision-making and behaviour and provide input into the What's My Number campaign approach. National surveys will be undertaken annually (over the life of the Consumer switching fund).
Surveys undertaken to date:
In addition to an annual national survey, the Authority is conducting periodic `tracker' surveys to monitor the effectiveness of the What's My Number campaign.
The Authority has, to date, conducted six `tracker' surveys. Surveys undertaken:
- May 2011 survey
- July 2011 survey
- October 2011 survey
- June 2012 Survey
- September 2012 Survey
- May 2013 Survey
- August 2013 Survey
The 2012 VaasaETT World Energy Retail Market Rankings Report ranks New Zealand as number two in the world when it comes to customer switching in the electricity market.
VaasaETT, a global energy think-tank based in Finland conducted the study comparing 38 competitive electricity markets around the globe.
New Zealand was the biggest riser in the rankings, rapidly approaching the number one ranked Victoria, Australia. It credited the Electricity Authority's What's My Number campaign with the shift.
If you have any questions regarding the project, please contact Todd Collings, at email@example.com or 04 462 0602.
This page is related to: Consumer Information.