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Natural Gas and LPG Customers Urged to Compare Prices

Media release


Natural Gas and LPG Customers Urged to Compare Prices for a Better Deal

Auckland, 26 February 2014 – A new survey examining customer behaviour of New Zealand natural gas and LPG users shows they could learn a lot from electricity consumers.

The nationwide survey of 557 natural gas and LPG customers, conducted by Canstar Blue indicates that while three quarters of customers would change suppliers to save money, for many this hasn’t translated into action.

Many customers could be paying more than they need to, says Derek Bonnar, Canstar New Zealand General Manager.

“Nearly 60% say they haven’t gotten around to comparing prices, even though they know they should. Consumers are missing out on potential savings by not completing these simple comparisons.”

In contrast, electricity consumers (surveyed by Canstar Blue in 2013) were far more price aware, with 56% using on online tool to compare plans and providers.

Bonnar says that consumers should be more proactive about trying to reduce their energy costs.

“Not only through price comparisons, but also through bundling utility services.

“No-one wants to pay more than they need to for natural gas or LPG, but to make savings consumers need to invest a little time to research the options. For some who hadn’t shopped around the effort required to compare alternatives was the main reason they had stayed with their provider, while others cited by the complexity of information available,” says Bonnar.

While nearly 60% of respondents bundled their gas and electricity requirements to save money, nearly one in five respondents were unaware that natural gas/LPG and electricity could come from the same supplier.

“Many providers offer additional incentives to win the dual fuel requirements of customers, providing the opportunity for additional savings.”

Whakatane based NOVA Energy has won Canstar Blue’s inaugural Residential Gas Customer Satisfaction Award ahead of Contact Energy, Mercury Energy and Genesis Energy.

Bonnar says that NOVA Energy achieved maximum scores in six of the seven categories surveyed.

“Congratulations to NOVA Energy, which has outperformed larger and older brands. NOVA’s focus on customer service and saving customers money on their energy bills is a strategy which is paying off. Consumers appreciate suppliers that go the extra mile and look for the best outcome for their customers.”

The survey covered nine categories:

1. Overall satisfaction
2. Value for money
3. Uninterrupted supply
4. Availability of payment plan options
5. Environmental sustainability
6. Billing
7. Customer service

About the survey
Canstar Blue commissions Colmar Brunton using the SSI Panel to regularly survey 2,500 New Zealand consumers to measure their satisfaction across a range of products and services.

The outcomes reported here are the results from a survey of consumers who have an active gas account and regularly pay the bills, in this case, 557 people.

Age Groups:
Gen Y: 18-29
Gen X: 30-44
Baby Boomers: 45+

*To view the full results of the Canstar Blue survey go to: www.canstarblue.co.nz

ENDS
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