According to the Electricity Authority’s data, there were 48 brands at the start of 2018, an increase of 12 since 2017. Of those brands, 47 are supplying residential households. 

The Authority’s Chief Executive, Carl Hansen, says the increase in choice is good news for households.  “When retailers have to compete by offering better prices or deals, consumers have more choices and can play a more active role in the market by switching providers or asking for a better deal from their current retailer. This encourages retailers to adopt new technology and offer more attractive deals, or risk losing customers.”

Since the start of 2013, when there was a choice of just 22 retail brands in New Zealand, 33 brands have entered the market and 7 have exited. Mr Hansen says this level of activity in the retail market is also welcome. 

“Having new brands and options come into the market and pushing existing retailers to create new and innovative offerings are signs of healthy competition. Consumers are responding by voting with their feet and switching providers in record numbers.”

The Electricity Authority encourages consumers to shop around for the best electricity deal for their situation and take advantage of opportunities in the market. 

“It takes just minutes of your time to check you’re on the best power deal for your household. If you decide to switch, the retailer completes the process for you. And with winter fast approaching, it’s a good time to check you’re on the best deal for your situation,” Mr Hansen says.  

“Some consumers have found significant savings. But it’s not just about price – there’s a range of offers out there that consumers can take up. These include choices of payment options, what information they can receive and how, and plans that respond to changes in wholesale prices or are geared to new technology like solar panels and electric vehicles.” 

Consumers can check out the deals by visiting What’s My Number or calling their current retailer to discuss options.

Regional results

Aucklanders have the biggest choice of electricity provider, with up to 34 retail brands supplying households (an increase of 8 from a year ago), depending on where people live, but even the Northland region has up to 23 brands, 7 more than a year ago. The region with the smallest choice is West Coast, with up to 14 brands, but that’s an increase of 4 (40 per cent) from the previous year.

Consumer choice by region – January 2014

Consumer choice by region – January 2018

Consumer choice by region


Maximum choice
of retailers – 2018

Maximum choice
of retailers – 2017
Auckland 34 26
Waikato 26 20
Bay of Plenty 25 20
Wellington 25 21
Northland 23 16
Hawke's Bay 23 17
Taranaki 23 18
Manawatu−Wanganui 23 19
Canterbury 22 17
Marlborough 21 16
Otago 21 19
Tasman 20 17
Nelson 20 17
Gisborne 18 13
Southland 17 14
West Coast 14 10

Find out more about consumer choice on the Electricity Market Information website.

Each of the 48 retail brands is backed by one of 32 parent companies. Of these, Genesis Energy holds the largest market share, with 24 per cent (507,833 customer connections), followed by Contact Energy with 19.9 per cent, Mercury NZ (18.8 per cent), Meridian Energy (13.7 per cent), and TrustPower (12 per cent).

The combined market share of the small and medium retailers is steadily increasing and at the start of 2018 was rapidly approaching the levels of Meridian and TrustPower.

About the Electricity Authority

The Electricity Authority is an independent Crown Entity with a statutory objective to promote competition, reliability and efficiency in the electricity industry for the long-term benefit of consumers.

It focuses on workable competition for buying and selling electricity. It encourages competition in all electricity-related markets, including the retail electricity market, the spot market, hedge markets, the metering market and all additional service markets (instantaneous reserves, frequency keeping, voltage support and black start). Where possible, it also encourages competition in transmission and distribution services.

For more information:

Amanda King
Communications Manager
M: +64 21 321 831