Winter is over without two initiatives yet delivering on cheaper electricity but both groups say progress is being made.
Grey Power hopes to offer its 64,000 members a cheaper electricity deal next month, while the Kiwi Energy Trust says it plans to have its discounted offer in place by next winter. Neither will name the companies they are negotiating with.
Grey Power, the organisation for 50-plus citizens, has been negotiating a deal with an electricity retailer. President Roy Reid of Takaka said the draft agreement would go to its federation board meeting on September 10.
Grey Power launched a "power prices must fall campaign" in April.
A four-member committee has been working on a deal to lower winter power bills. He hopes to see the proposed agreement by the end of this week. If it is ratified at the September board meeting it would then be offered to the membership. Pulse Energy marketing manager Sharnie Williams said the company was aware Grey Power was seeking a low cost supplier "and we would be very pleased if it was Pulse".
Kiwi Energy Trust is chaired by Nelson mayor Aldo Miccio and other trustees are Solar City chief executive Andy Booth, commercial lawyer Alex Reith, businessman Galen King and Nelson Grey Power president Neville Male.
In March, the trust said it recognised an opportunity to develop buying pools of residential consumers to secure lower rates from energy suppliers.
Initially it had aimed to get 20,000 consumers to register their interest then negotiate a collective deal for discounted electricity.
What began as an Nelson initiative then became a national one with a more ambitious 100,000 target.
Now Mr Miccio said they were in discussion with two power companies, an electricity retailer and a distributor wanting to work with the trust to get to its target.
One of the companies would contribute to the trust's marketing budget for its campaign through social media, newspaper and other advertising.
"It's a big step forward," he said.
While the trust wanted to achieve 10 to 20 per cent electricity savings it also wanted to set up a Fuel Poverty Fund to make allocations to residents who needed to keep warm whether it be a woodburner, heat pump or other device, he said.
"Our ultimate goal is to make sure we have everything in place and up and running providing discounts before the next winter," Mr Miccio said.
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