What does all this information on my bill mean?

We agree, energy bills hold a lot of information. We’ve put together an example of the front page of our bill to help explain things. See next question for info about the charge section. View front page sample bill.

We're always here to help you if you need further information. You can contact us by:

Using the online enquiry form

Calling 0800 80 9000

 

What do the names on the back of my bill mean?

Your bill is generally made up of two main types of charges – your fixed daily charge/s and your variable charges.

Back of bill

Fixed daily charge

The fixed daily charge appears on your bill as a ‘cents per day’ or ‘dollars per day’ amount. Typically, it’s made up of meter rental costs, overhead costs, a margin component and, in most cases, a fixed fee charged by network operators or lines companies.

 

Variable charge

Variable charges appear as ‘cents per kWh’ and is the charge for the amount of electricity and/or gas you’re using. This is the part that will go up and down each bill depending on what you do at your place. 

 

Variable line charges explained

Under your variable charges, you’ll see a line that generally refers to the meter set up you have. Back of bill

The most common electricity examples are shown below. You might even have a combination of these and more than one meter.

 

All day economy 

Anything wired into this meter has electricity supply all the time except the hot water cylinder which can be turned off (or “controlled”) by your local network company during peak times. We can't tell you when as it’s whenever the network company think it's needed. It’s very unlikely you would even notice the supply has been turned off as you should have enough hot water to get you through these times.

In most cases, you get a reduced rate on this charge compared to other options like Anytime.

 

Economy 

This is similar to All Day Economy because it has usage (usually hot water) going through it which can be turned off (or “controlled”) by your local network company during peak times. The difference is you will usually have another charge as well. This option is typically for hot water only and can’t supply most other appliances.

In most cases, you get a reduced rate on this charge compared to other options like Anytime. 

 

Anytime 

Anything wired into this meter has electricity supply all the time. Supply to this meter is not “controlled” by the network company. 

Not all options are shown here, there are a few others such as Day, Night and Night Boost. If you have a line on your bill that is not listed here and want to know more, we’re happy to help. Please get in touch with us.

 

Piped gas

If you're a piped gas customer, you'll probably see a charge called 'Living Smart' which is a simple charge with no 'controlled' conditions like these electricity ones.

 

Can I change the variable charges I’m on?

If you want to make a change, we can help you with that. There may be a cost and an electrician might need to do some work at your property. Please get in touch if you want to chat this through as it’s important that we work out the right arrangement for your household.

 

What are the different ways I can get my bill?

You can get your bill by email or post. Email billing is free and convenient, and you can easily see how much you owe in the email we send you each month with your bill attached. It's simple to sign up for email through My Account

 

*Paper billing is also an option if you like to do things that way. Please note, there is a $1.10 (incl GST) fee for each paper bill sent to you in the post.

 

Am I a Low User?

Our Low User electricity price plan applies to your main home only (sorry, no holiday homes or businesses) and is designed to benefit customers who use less than 8,000 kWh of electricity per year, or 9,000 kWh if you live in some parts of the lower South Island. It has a lower fixed daily charge than our standard plans and a higher variable charge for the electricity used.

To find out how much energy you use in a year, sign in to My Account for your usage history.  Not signed up for My Account? No worries you can sign up for one here. Or if you're not an online customer, contact us.

You can also have a look at the ‘electricity usage’ graph on the back of your bill, or on the Contact app. Find out more about Low User plans and thresholds.

 

Can I get more detailed usage information than what is shown in My Account?

Yes, we can provide more details about your electricity consumption from the last two years.

It's simple to make a request, just email us to let us know and we'll be in touch to check a few details.

Once we have everything we need, results will be emailed to you within five business days. (Electricity Industry Participation Code 2010 administered by the Electricity Authority.)

 

What is a gas conversion factor and why does this change?

Gas meters measure energy usage in cubic metres (m³), while electricity meters measure consumption in kilowatt-hours (kWh). To keep things consistent with billing, we convert gas cubic metres into kilowatt-hours by using a gas conversion factor.

A gas conversion factor is made up of a number of things like altitude, pressure, temperature and calorific value, and can change each month because of variations in temperature and calorific value during that time.

 

Where can I see when my next meter reading is due?

If you have your bill handy, your next meter reading date shows on the top right on the first page of your bill.

Or if you are online, go to My Account, view "Account Summary" and then select "My Account Details".

Sometimes due to unforeseen events, our meter readers may be a day or two either side of the scheduled date.

 

How do I know if my bill is based on an actual meter read?

If you have your bill handy, you can find this on page two of your bill. Locate where your electricity or natural gas charges are printed and here it will show the "Electricity Reading Type". Still unsure of what you are looking for? No problem, check out our Bill Example for further explanation.

The best way to request a refund is online, saving you time and hassle. Register or log in to your online account and make your way to the ‘pay bill’ section to apply for a refund”

Refunds under $300 are usually processed within 24 hours. Amounts over $300 (incl. SmoothPay/ PrePay customers) will be processed within 5 business days.

We have handy ways to help you manage your power bills and stay on budget:

  • You can choose weekly or fortnightly billing to align your power bills with your pay cycle. Learn more
  • SmoothPay helps you even out your energy costs so you pay the same amount throughout the year. Learn more

Contact PrePay 

Pay for your electricity up front, just like a prepaid mobile phone. You control how much you pay and when you pay. You can even build up credit to use over winter. Learn more.

Receiving a bill
We'll send you a bill every week, fortnight or month for your usage. Note that weekly and fortnightly billing is only available on electricity accounts with smart meters.

There are a number of ways to pay your power bill and a choice of easy payment options. Learn more

Why is my bill high?

Here’s a few reasons why your bill might be higher than normal: 

  • Are you at home more than usual and therefore using more energy?
  • Has there been a long spell of cold weather in your area?
  • Maybe an appliance is faulty?
  • Do you have any new household appliances?
  • Have you checked that your hot water cylinder isn’t leaking? Has the temperature been turned up?
  • If you have underfloor heating, how long do you usually have it turned on?
  • If you have a heat pump, how long do you usually have it turned on?
  • Do you have extra people staying?
  • Have your recent bills been estimated?
  • Have you checked to see if your bill covers a longer than usual time period?

To monitor your energy usage, sign in to My Account and visit the ‘My Usage’ page to see your energy usage by the hour, day or month. (The usage graph usually takes a day or two to update, so you won’t be able see what you got up to yesterday.)

These Energy Saving Tips may help you keep your energy costs down too.

Helpful guides

There are a few reasons why your bill might be lower than normal. A low bill is usually a good thing, though it can be interesting to get the bottom of what might be behind it.

  • Are you at home less than usual and therefore using less energy?
  • Has the weather in your area got warmer recently, and therefore the heater isn’t going on as much as it was?
  • Have you been away or had less people in the house?
  • Have your recent bills been estimated?

If none of these things ring true, or you have something else you’d like to chat through, please get in touch. We know that a low bill can sometimes mean a customer is limiting the amount of electricity being used as they may find it difficult to pay bills. If you are worried about this, here’s some options we have to help you.

Also, you can monitor your energy usage to keep an eye on things. Just sign in to My Account and visit the ‘My Usage’ page to see your energy usage by the hour, day or month. (The usage graph usually takes a day or two to update, so you won’t be able see what you got up to yesterday.)

What options do I have if I can't pay my bill? 

The last thing we want you to worry about is how to keep the lights on and your house warm. If you’re finding it hard to pay your bills, here’s some ways we can help:

  • We can set up an arrangement, so you pay off the outstanding amount over a period of time
  • Choose ‘SmoothPay’, where you pay the same amount weekly, fortnightly or monthly (whatever works for you). We work out how much this is, so it covers your energy usage all year round.
  • Choose weekly or fortnightly billing to align your power bills with your pay.
  • Try Work and Income for some possible extra help
  • Visit MoneyTalks for some great budgeting advice

Need help? Please phone us on 0800 80 80 86 during business hours and Saturdays. We’re ready to help.

 

What if I make a part payment?

If you make a part payment, it will show on your next bill. Your payment will be spread across all your services equally if you have multiple services with us and applied to the oldest debt first.

Refer a friend - share a $200 discount

We love having you as a customer, and if you want to share the love with your friends, you could both earn a discount towards your bill!
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