New tool helps SMEs to cut their power bills

Tuesday 2 October 2012, 6:13PM
By Phil Heatley

A new tool to assist small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to cut their power costs by switching electricity providers is a welcome initiative, Energy and Resources Minister Phil Heatley says.

The new tool, announced yesterday, has been developed by the Electricity Authority in partnership with Switchme, and follows the successful “What’s My Number” campaign for the residential market.

“This is an easy way for SMEs to switch to their most competitive provider,” the Minister said. The new service involves a basic tender service, where electricity retailers provide quotes within about 10 working days and the selected provider manages the switch within three or four days.

During a six-week trial period, 35 per cent of businesses using the trial switched electricity providers, with individual savings as much as $28,000 a year.

The Government promoted customer switching after the 2009 Ministerial Review of the Electricity Market. It is part of the reforms to make the electricity market more competitive and to constrain future price increases.

“The Government is committed to improving choice for businesses and helping them put pressure on electricity retailers to give the best value for money,” Mr Heatley said. 

“I encourage businesses to use the website – they account for a large part of our annual electricity consumption.”

SME businesses should go to www.whatsmynumber.org.nz/MyBusiness, with a recent power bill.