Electricity account holders in the Far North will have their annual lines charge discount credited directly to their power bills this month.
Far North power company and lines network operator Top Energy switched to this method of payment last year in a move that allows it to pass on to the community nearly a million dollars more than if payment was by cheque.
The lines charge discount will appear as a one-off credit line on the electricity bills that people receive from their electricity retailers during November.
This year all electricity bill payers will have a minimum discount of $150 credited to their power accounts. Most - 89.6 per cent - will get $200. In 2010, when cheques were last issued, 16 per cent got less than $150 and just 74 per cent got $200.
The move can free up cash for Christmas for all electricity account holders, regardless of how they pay their bills.
"Those who get a monthly power bill, either by email or through the post, will have the Top Energy lines charge discount credited by their electricity retailers to the bills they receive in November, making them lower than usual," Top Energy CEO Russell Shaw says.
Those who pay by automatic payment will be able to reduce the amount they pay at each installment, or put a stop to payments for a while. And people with pre-paid electricity accounts can check their balances and choose whether or not to make their usual payments.
Electricity account holders will receive information about the credits during November.
- © Fairfax NZ News