The Eastland Network part of your power bill is going down

• New prices come into effect from 1 April 2020
• You could save up to $20 a month or more*
• Make sure your power retailer is passing on the saving
• Check that you’re on the best tariff for your needs
• Compare options and consider switching retailers for a better deal

Eastland Network’s electricity lines charges will be reducing from 1 April 2020. But, you need to make sure your electricity retailer is passing this reduction on to you. And you should also check that you’re on the right tariff.

New Eastland Network pricing

The Commerce Commission regulates the default price-quality paths (DPPs) which apply to 15 electricity distribution businesses (EDBs) around the country, including Eastland Network. The prices that Eastland Network and the other EDBs can charge for electricity transmission and distribution are set within strict regulatory limits.

These prices are reviewed every five years and, for the next regulatory period starting 1 April 2020, the Commerce Commission has reduced Eastland Network’s allowable returns.

This will be passed on as a reduction in our line charges to all the electricity retailers in the region.

Eastland Network’s charges cover electricity transmission and distribution, and make up a significant portion of the total bill. On average, people in Tairāwhiti and Wairoa should expect a reduction of up to $20 a month or more* on the Eastland Network portion of their bill.

However, electricity retailers are not required to pass this reduction on to their customers. We know some will be doing this, but possibly not all.

Take charge of your power bill

We’re encouraging people to take charge of their power bill and make sure they’re receiving the best deal.

You can call your retailer to check the Eastland Network lines charge reduction is being passed on to you. At the same time, you should see whether you’re on the right tariff for your household.

Also, the government’s research has shown that people who switch retailers regularly enjoy the biggest savings on their power bill.

If everyone in Tairāwhiti makes sure they’re on the best deal for them, the region will collectively save millions of dollars every year.

Q&A

Which tariff should you be on?

Eastland Network has two main tariffs. These are:

1. Low Fixed Charge: For homes that use less than 8,000kW per year. Eastland Network charges are 15 cents per day plus 14.87 cents per kWh (uncontrolled).

If your power bill is for your main place of residence, you don’t run a business from home, and you use less than 8,000 kW per year, you should be on the Low Fixed Charge.

2. Standard Rate: This is for people who use more than 8,000 kW per year.

The fixed daily charge is $1.96 a day and the variable charge will be reduced to 5 cents per kWh (uncontrolled) from 1 April 2020.

Ask your retailer if they are passing the Eastland Network price reductions on to you.

How can you find out how much power you use?

Power bill: Your power bill shows how many units you have used in the last billing period. If you’re using less than 667 kWh on average each month, you should be in the Low Fixed Charge category.

Electricity retailer: You can request your usage information from your current power company. If you’ve switched retailers in the past 24 months, you will need to contact all companies you have used to get a full set of data for this time period. They must provide this information to you free of charge.

How easy is it to switch retailers?

There are over 20 electricity retailers that you can choose from in Tairāwhiti. Switching retailers is easy. Once you’ve found the right retailer for you, it only takes a few minutes to switch, and it could save you hundreds of dollars each year.

Powerswitch.org.nz is a free and independent website run by Consumer NZ. It can do all the hard work for you.

Visit powerswitch.org.nz. Make sure you have a recent electricity bill handy. Once you’ve typed in some basic information about your home and electricity bill, they will display a list of electricity retailers and an estimated saving.

When using powerswitch.org.nz, don’t just choose the cheapest retailer. Call the top two or three options to see if they will offer a better deal over the phone – you might be surprised at how much more you could save.

Compare your options regularly (every 12 – 18 months) and consider switching.

* The exact amount of the reduction will depend on your energy usage each month and the tariff you’re on.