How I Saved $350 On Our Energy Bill

Longtime readers of this blog will tell you that I normally don’t give out a lot of tips on saving energy, but I was so impressed with what I’ve recently learned that I wanted to share it with all of you, my lovely readers.

FYI – This will mostly apply to NZ readers, but the overall message of researching companies can apply to anyone.

When we moved to New Zealand and moved into our apartment, we were advised to keep the energy supplier that had provided for the previous tenant.  Since I knew next to nothing about energy providers or prices in the country, this was OK with us.  We signed up but didn’t sign a contract, so that if at any point we wanted to make a change we would be free to do so.

After about 3 months of living in our new home, I heard about a free service provided through Consumer.org.nz.  The service is called Powerswitch, and it allows you to input your electricity and gas information in order to compare what your current pricing is with what you could be paying.

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I figured it wouldn’t hurt to check it out, so I went online and filled in the information {you’ll need to know your energy user plan, how you heat your water, if you have gas/electric cooking, and how many kWh you use in a month – you can get most of this information off your bill or online}.

I was surprised to learn that our current supplier was one of the most expensive options out there.  As part of their free service, Powerswitch offers a contact form where you can request a switch with the company of your choosing.  I spoke with Chris about it, looked at the various options and considered price as well as average customer satisfaction rating, and filled in a switch request.  Within the hour, I received a call from the new company – they got the rest of my information, contacted my current energy provider, and started the process of switching things over for us.

But it didn’t stop there.  My current energy provider gave me a call about a week later.  The man I spoke with was very honest and upfront about the fact that there was no way they could compete with our new energy provider’s gas rates, and that since those rates were fixed for 15 months, we would definitely save a lot of money by switching over to them.  However, he pointed out that our new provider’s electricity rates were just a little bit higher than what we had been paying, and that if we would stay with our old provider for the electric, that they would give us a $150 credit on our next bill.  Was I interested?  Of course I was interested!  I told him that this sounded great, asked a few questions in regards to whether this constituted a contract, what would happen if we moved, etc., and decided to accept the offer.

So, my lovely readers, that’s how I got a $150 credit on our electric bill and how I switched to a company that will save us around $200 a year on our gas bill.  All from taking about 15 minutes to fill in an online form.  If you live in New Zealand, I strongly suggest that you check out Consumer.org.nz and fill out the Powerswitch form.

If you live outside of New Zealand, then I probably don’t know how things work in your area.  Where I came from back in the States, there was usually only 1 major energy supplier for the region.  If you live in an area where there’s more than one, I’d strongly suggest you shop around.  You may find a lower rate, or your current company may offer you incentives to stick with them.  It’s worth it!

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3 comments

  1. Jenny @ Practically Perfect... says:

    I have heard of them (they were included in the Powerswitch comparison), but they had a lower customer approval rating and the price difference wasn’t that significant from what we were using. so we decided to just take the $150 credit and stick with ours… for now!

  2. Sarah (Chez Lee) says:

    Have you heard of Powershop – giving ‘power to the people’ too? – http://www.powershop.co.nz/about-us.html

    ‘About’: We’ve put customers in control of how much energy they buy and use. We’ve got rid of the complicated tariffs and put a full range of energy products and suppliers on the shelf to give choice – and power – back to the people. So shop around – it’s simple!

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