April price rise round over, now's the time to negotiate a better power deal

Last updated 17:21 20/04/2016

Now is the time to ask your power company for a better deal.

Carl Hansen, chief executive of the Electricity Authority, says now is a good time to look at your electricity options.

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If you have not checked you are on the cheapest power plan recently, now is the time to do it.

Power companies tend to review their prices in April because that is when changes to lines charges are passed through to retailers.

A number have put up their charges recently including Genesis Energy, Mercury Energy and part of the Contact Energy network.

Some companies have offered customers the chance to lock in current prices, sometimes with a premium, to avoid the hikes.

READ MORE: *Power companies offer fixed-price deals in the face of increases



Mighty River Power said 28,000 customers had taken up its offer of power fixed for two years at current prices.

That takes its proportion of customers on a fixed plan to 48 per cent, up from a third before.

Carl Hansen, chief executive of the Electricity Authority, said customers should take the opportunity to check they are on the best plan for their households.

That could be done through a website such as Powerswitch.co.nz.

 "It's always a good time to check you are still on the best power deal for your circumstances, particularly as power use changes coming into winter. This is especially true if you haven't checked your options recently."

He said most of the April changes for this year had taken effect.

"But it's a dynamic market and many electricity retailers offer discounts on their standard prices. If you've had an increase, it's worth having a chat to your current retailer to see if they are able to sharpen the deal. If not, it's definitely worth checking to see whether switching could save you money."

Mighty River Power said last quarter had the highest electricity demand on record for that time of year, up 0.5 per cent compared to the same time in 2015.

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