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Growth in electricity brands boosts consumer choice

Growth in electricity brands boosts consumer choice

6 April 2018

New data on the electricity market shows consumer choice has reached record levels, with 47 different retail brands now supplying New Zealand households.

According to the Electricity Authority’s data, there were 48 brands at the start of 2018, an increase of 12 since 2017. Of those brands, 47 are supplying residential households.

The Authority’s Chief Executive, Carl Hansen, says the increase in choice is good news for households. “When retailers have to compete by offering better prices or deals, consumers have more choices and can play a more active role in the market by switching providers or asking for a better deal from their current retailer. This encourages retailers to adopt new technology and offer more attractive deals, or risk losing customers.”

Since the start of 2013, when there was a choice of just 22 retail brands in New Zealand, 33 brands have entered the market and 7 have exited. Mr Hansen says this level of activity in the retail market is also welcome.

“Having new brands and options come into the market and pushing existing retailers to create new and innovative offerings are signs of healthy competition. Consumers are responding by voting with their feet and switching providers in record numbers.”

The Electricity Authority encourages consumers to shop around for the best electricity deal for their situation and take advantage of opportunities in the market.

“It takes just minutes of your time to check you’re on the best power deal for your household. If you decide to switch, the retailer completes the process for you. And with winter fast approaching, it’s a good time to check you’re on the best deal for your situation,” Mr Hansen says.

“Some consumers have found significant savings. But it’s not just about price – there’s a range of offers out there that consumers can take up. These include choices of payment options, what information they can receive and how, and plans that respond to changes in wholesale prices or are geared to new technology like solar panels and electric vehicles.”

Consumers can check out the deals by visiting What’s My Number or calling their current retailer to discuss options.

Regional results

Aucklanders have the biggest choice of electricity provider, with up to 34 retail brands supplying households (an increase of 8 from a year ago), depending on where people live, but even the Northland region has up to 23 brands, 7 more than a year ago. The region with the smallest choice is West Coast, with up to 14 brands, but that’s an increase of 4 (40 per cent) from the previous year.

Consumer choice by region – January 2014

Consumer choice by region – January 2018

Find out more about consumer choice on the Electricity Market Information website.

Each of the 48 retail brands is backed by one of 32 parent companies. Of these, Genesis Energy holds the largest market share, with 24 per cent (507,833 customer connections), followed by Contact Energy with 19.9 per cent, Mercury NZ (18.8 per cent), Meridian Energy (13.7 per cent), and TrustPower (12 per cent).

The combined market share of the small and medium retailers is steadily increasing and at the start of 2018 was rapidly approaching the levels of Meridian and TrustPower.


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