22 November 2016 - Electricity myths busted in latest consumer research
The Electricity Authority’s new research shows the most savvy electricity customers focus on the price of electricity rather than worrying about the brand they buy from.
Consumers who had switched electricity retailers rated the price (85%) and discount offered (85%) as the most important factors in their decision making, and placed less emphasis on brand factors.
In comparison, those consumers who did not switch or review their options, placed more emphasis on brand values (60%) and less on price attributes that those who had switched.
Chief Executive Carl Hansen says all consumers need to understand electricity is a commodity “All electricity is exactly the same. There are 31 retail electricity brands in the market. Just because the brand has been around longer, doesn’t mean your electricity supply will be more reliable.
It’s also a myth that some retailers can provide you with more renewable electricity, it’s all purchased from a pool and how renewable it is at any time simply depends on what generators are operating at the time.”
The Authority’s research also showed 31% of consumers weren’t willing to switch electricity retailers unless they could save $250 or more a year. Mr Hansen says this is a shame as the time cost to check or switch is so low.
“It takes only two minutes to check if you are on the best electricity deal at www.whatsmynumber.org.nz and the estimated average saving available is $175. Unless you are earning millions each year, $175 for two minutes is a pretty attractive pay rate.
Switching electricity retailer is incredibly simple – it’s not at all like the complex and time-consuming processes in some other utilities. In electricity, the newly chosen retailer takes care of all the arrangements.”
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