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Source: MIL-OSI Submissions
Source: Electricity Authority (EA)

The Electricity Authority (EA) today announced that it would ban the use of offers to “win-back” customers for 180 days, and Independent Electricity Retailer Electric Kiwi is applauding the decision. Luke Blincoe, CEO of Electric Kiwi, describes it as a big win for consumers.

“We have been calling for this for some time, so it’s a case of better late than never.”

Blincoe says the move is a sign that the authority and the government are finally listening. “Win-back offers allowed the big retailers to keep prices high for the majority, by only offering good rates to the minority of customers who proactively found a better deal, this is how they’ve been able to keep some prices secret and only offer them to some customers after they find a better deal elsewhere.”

According to Blincoe, and other independent retailers, the net result was higher prices for more people. “Saves and win backs have been banned for some time for the telecommunications industry, and what we have seen there is overall downward pressure on price,” Blincoe says. “This change will be good for retail competition in New Zealand, and great for consumers who are sick of sneaky behaviour and rising prices.”

The change comes in from the end of March, and Blincoe suggests that now is a good time to check your prices. “If you have not switched in a couple of years, you are probably paying too much”. Blincoe recommends that customers check the Consumer Powerswitch site to see what they could save.

Blincoe has been critical of the EA in the past but says “credit where credit is due, they’ve acted in the best interests of consumers on this, and we encourage them to maintain that momentum in addressing the wholesale market issues that are also inflating prices for consumers”.

Electric Kiwi has been the fastest growing power company in New Zealand for the past three years. They credit their popularity to fairer prices and their innovative ‘hour of power’ that gives customers an hour of free off-peak power every day.