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Free electricity info and power-saving advice

Free electricity information and power-saving advice for consumers

With the onset of winter, Consumer Affairs Minister Judith Tizard says consumers who want to find out if they are getting the best power deal and want tips on how to save power can use the free Consumer Powerswitch service.

Consumer Powerswitch (http:// http://www.powerswitch.org.nz) is an online service that compares electricity prices and plans, and provides tips on saving power. It is a free service funded by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs and provided by the Consumers' Institute and the Citizens Advice Bureaux.

“The main purpose of Consumer Powerswitch is to provide information about switching power companies, whether there is a plan better suited to consumers’ circumstances, and to help them make savings on their power bills,” says Judith Tizard.

“Although reasons for switching are not always related to cost savings, we have funded the Consumer Powerswitch service to provide a one stop shop for comparing prices to ensure consumers are kept informed.

“With this free service, consumers can compare prices across power companies offering services in their area or check plans offered by their current company. This will help them decide whether to switch plans or companies.

“To get the most from Consumer Powerswitch, people need to make sure they have a recent power bill handy. The more information consumers can provide will mean Consumer Powerswitch can supply information tailored to their circumstances.”

As well as using the Consumer Powerswitch website to compare power plans to see if they can save money and save power, consumers can also find information on electricity contracts, common questions about power, and information on the role of the Electricity Complaints Commission.

Consumer Powerswitch is also available through local Citizens Advice Bureau for consumers who do not have Internet access. Consumers need only call in or phone them for more information on 0800 367 222. Powerswitch can also be accessed through the Internet at local libraries.

More information is also available on the Ministry of Consumer Affairs website (http://www.consumeraffairs.govt.nz/electricity-issues.html), and the Citizens Advice Bureaux has a helpful pamphlet called Finding Your Way in a Changed Electricity Environment.

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