Choosing the right electricity retailer

 

When selecting your electricity retailer, or if you are thinking of switching, then here are some things to consider:

  • check with your electricity retailer about billing options available and the payment method that best suits your needs
  • before you start your search it's a good idea to have copies of your last few bills with you. This will tell you how much energy you use and the price you pay which will make it easier to compare other offers
  • comparing prices is quick and easy. You can complete a quick and easy questionnaire to find out what savings you could possibly make and if you’re on the right plan. To find out more, visit the Electricity Authority What’s My Number site and/or Consumer Powerswitch
  • if you decide to change your mind about a new contract, and you have called or signed up directly online with a retailer, you are bound by the terms and conditions of your agreement and can only cancel according to those
  • if you decide to change your mind about a new contract, and you have signed up via an uninvited direct sale*, you can change your mind and cancel the agreement for any reason within five working days of receiving a written copy of the agreement
  • if you are on a fixed term contract, or if you have to give a contractual minimum notice, you may be charged a fee if you switch before the contract has expired, or if the notice was not given. Check your contract to make sure you understand your obligations
  • make sure that after you switch electricity retailers you arrange to pay your final bill, and any outstanding amounts you owe, to your old electricity retailer.

*an uninvited direct sale is when:

  • a business, or their agent, approaches a customer uninvited at their home, workplace, or over the telephone, to try and sell goods or services; AND 
  • an agreement is entered into for goods or services costing $100 or more (or a price that is uncertain at the time of supply).

*an uninvited direct sale is also where:

  • a customer provides their contact details to a business for another purpose (such as a competition entry) and the business then contacts them to sell goods or services
  • a customer responds to an unsuccessful attempt by a business to contact them (such as by returning a missed call or responding to a calling card)
  • a customer enters into negotiations with a business at the time they receive an unsolicited quote or estimate.

For more information, refer to the Commerce Commission's fair trading act fact sheet