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Flick Electric Co. promises to shake up market


Monday 18 August 2014

New entrant Flick Electric Co. promises to shake up electricity market

Flick is NZ’s first domestic power retailer offering spot prices

Foundation customers are saving 18% on average

[Wellington, New Zealand] New Zealand’s newest, truly independent, electricity retailer Flick Electric Co. has entered the market in Wellington and Hamilton offering New Zealanders access to the spot market price of electricity for the first time.

The Wellington based company, started by a team with more than 60 years collective experience in the electricity industry across innovation, systems and customer experience, has been in market since May. Founding customers are saving on average 18% compared to their previous retailers.

“New Zealanders have never had any other option but to pay a flat per kWh rate for their electricity. We think that grossly limits consumer choice, and is indicative of a stale electricity retail market,” says CEO Steve O’Connor.

“Consumers should be demanding more of their power company by way of cost transparency, access to cheaper prices, and tools and information that help them use power differently to optimise the best market price. That’s what we are offering for the very first time.”

The systems that support the Flick Electric Co. model have taken more than a year to develop. They receive market information from Transpower, and property usage data from smart meters, and present this back to customers in a highly personalised, useable format.

Professional director Marcel van den Assum, who is also Angel Association New Zealand chair and has extensive experience with technology start-ups and entrepreneurism, chairs the Flick Electric Co. board. He is joined by former Meridian Energy executive Matthew Jansen, and investors Mike Carter and Trevor Dickinson.

“In Norway 58% of consumers buy their electricity based on the the spot price rather than at a fixed rate. That represents a huge market opportunity for us, and an opportunity for consumers to get a better deal from their power company,” says van den Assum.

Flick Electric Co. passes all of the costs of supplying power to a property on to the customer without any mark-up, breaking this out clearly on weekly bills, and charges a transparent retailer fee on top.

“Electricity is a huge household outgoing but people typically don’t know the true cost of supply, and don’t get genuine opportunities to use their power differently and make savings. We just think that’s wrong.

“Traditional models effectively ask the consumer to pay a kWh flat rate premium that serves as an insurance against changing market prices, but our analysis of the past five years of half-hour spot market data prove that this is unnecessary over the long run. 41% of our foundation customers are what we call ‘set and forget’ and they are still saving 18% on average just by riding the market,” says O’Connor.

All properties in Wellington and Hamilton with an AMS smart meter are currently eligible to join Flick Electric Co.


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