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New Zealand - Electricity

New Zealand’s electricity system works on the 230/240 volt system. For appliances that work on other systems adaptors and converters will be required. Most plug sockets are the 3 flat pin type although some use the 2 pin type. The electricity supply in New Zealand is generally very good and power cuts are rare. In rural and remote areas it may be necessary to have your own form of generator, either a standard generator or alternative forms of energy such as solar panels or a wind turbine although most areas do have mains electricity.

It is common in New Zealand for residential electricity customers to have more than one contract. The first is with the retail company which sells the electricity and the second is with the company that provides the lines for the electricity to be delivered to the home. In some cases the retail company will deal with the line provider and supply the consumer with one bill but there are areas in which the consumer will receive a bill from each company. Each company has been given guidelines for their terms and conditions for consumer’s contracts in order to regulate the service. Retailers are currently being monitored to ensure that they are providing good service and are altering their contracts to meet the minimum requirements.

As with the UK and the UK, the cost of electricity fluctuates and consumers will find that they vary according to the region they are in. In most areas there is a choice of electricity companies and there are several price comparison websites which can be used in order for you to find the best deal for you. The ‘Powershop’ option is used by a number of electricity retailers so that consumers are able to pay for their electricity as they go along, rather than waiting for a bill.

With most companies it is simply a case of contacting them to arrange for the electricity supply to be switched on at your home and setting up a contract. Some companies have a minimum length of contract but this is not always the case. Most have a freephone number to contact their customer service department and some have the facility for you to register online as a new customer. You may be asked to provide some form of ID and confirmation that you are the legal owner or tenant of the property that is to be connected.

Meters are usually read every two months and the readers will have an ID card to present to the customer. Every other billing period is based on an estimated meter reading. It is possible for the customer to read the meter themselves to ensure that the bill they are getting is fairly accurate, and if it is not a reading can be supplied to the company for a more accurate bill. If there are any problems with the meter at your home the supplier is responsible for the maintenance so this should be reported to them as soon as possible. The consumer is responsible for the upkeep of other electricity equipment on the property.

Some electricity companies in New Zealand may also offer the option of an advanced meter, which can be read remotely by the electricity company, so that there is no need for a meter reader to visit your property.

Most companies now operate a paperless billing option where consumers are sent an electronic bill. Some offer incentives for customers to sign up for this, but most still have the option of receiving a paper bill through the post. There are a number of ways in which a bill can be paid. These include paying online with a debit or credit card, setting up a direct debit for automatic payments, paying over the counter at one of the retailer’s offices, post office counters or banks or sending a cheque via the post. The payment methods that are accepted by each company will be listed on the bill.

Useful Resources


Contact Energy
PO Box 10742
The Terrace
Wellington 6143
Tel: 0800 80 9000
Email: help@contactenergy.co.nz

Mercury Energy
Private Bag 92008
Victoria Street West
Auckland 1142
Tel: 0800 10 18 10
Email: online enquiry form on website

Genesis Energy
Private Bag 3131
Hamilton 3240
Tel:0800 300 400
Tel:0800 600 950 (rural team)
Email: online enquiry form on website

Read more about this country

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