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Great weather for power savings

31 July 2015

Great weather for power savings

With New Zealand in the middle of an El Nino event, hydro lakes are headed for optimum levels meaning it’s a good time to lock in lower power prices, says electricity expert and executive director of Utilise, Simon Young.

According to NIWA's latest quarterly climate forecast, the El Nino weather conditions will continue through winter and spring, and into summer, meaning New Zealand can expect enough water – and perhaps even more than normal – to fill hydro lakes.

Mr Young says this is essentially free fuel for New Zealand's electricity system which relies on hydro for about two thirds of its output.

"What this means is that electricity prices are likely to remain flat, or even lower than normal, for the near future. It’s a great time to review your power bill in the next two to three months and lock in a lower price.

“Of course electricity companies will want customers to stay on the current rate they are on so it’s also a good time to switch providers, and shop around for a better rate and savings on your monthly power bill.”

New figures released this week by the Electricity Authority show large numbers of households around New Zealand have switched providers in the last year and made substantial savings – and the same applies to businesses, says Young.

The EA also pointed out that electricity customers need not be worried about the reliability of their supply if they switch because it is the same regardless of who their retailer is.

Utilise, which is focussed on the business market, has a new customised pricing model where businesses receive a tailored power plan to suit their business operations. And the El Nino powered glut of hydro-electricity enables Utilise to pass on even more savings to businesses.

“All companies have different wants and needs and the beauty of Utilise is that we can cater for the many and varied ways people run their business and therefore consume energy.

“Our customised pricing capability means we can come up with a power plan that suits their business operation, and that enables us to pass on our best possible energy price to customers.”

Mr Young says as well as hydro storage running above average for several months now, prices are likely to be even more favourable for businesses and consumers if New Zealand Aluminium Smelters announces in early August that the Tiwai smelter will reduce its load.


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