New Year, new you - new power company?
We’re about a month into 2018 and if you’re anything like us you’ve probably already fallen off the bandwagon once or thrice in regards to your New Year’s resolution.
Don’t beat yourself up about it - you’re not alone.
As you ignore the growing pile of voicemails from your recently estranged personal trainer or accidentally drop half your paycheck on a new pair of gorgeous (if wholly impractical) shoes, take solace in the fact that more than half of all people fail their New Year’s resolutions, according to research published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology.
What can you do to increase your chances of success?
Well, you could tap into your inner ascetic, aim for new heights of self discipline, and attempt to resist every temptation and burning desire on the journey to fulfilling your New Year’s resolution.
Or, you could set your sights a little lower and aim for something that’s, you know, actually achievable.
Yes, while it probably wasn’t top of your 2018 bucket list, one thing that everyone should be resolving to do this year is find a better power company. Before you do so, however, there are a number of things to consider when shopping around.
Here are three questions to ask before signing up to a new power company in 2018:
1. How much is it going to cost?
Money isn’t the be all and end all, but there’s no denying that the price is going to factor heavily into your decision when it comes to choosing a power company. With this in mind, one of your first questions should be how much money the prospective power company is going to save (or cost!) you. Remember that your bill will typically be made up of a few different charges, including:
- Daily fixed charge: A fixed amount you pay per day to cover the cost of meter rental, meter reading and levies imposed by the lines company. This is usually expressed as ‘cents per day’ or ‘c/day’.
- Variable rate charge: The amount you pay depending on how much electricity you use. This is calculated by multiplying the variable rate by the number of kilowatt hours you used over the billing period.
You can learn more about our rates here.
Many companies will also offer a prompt payment discount (PPD) to incentivise their customers to pay on time. On paper, this may look like a good deal, but it’s worth noting that PPDs work both ways and effectively give power companies the ability impose hefty fines on customers who pay late. We do things a little differently at Pulse and build our PPD into our normal pricing to ensure everyone gets a great deal on electricity right from the get-go.
Finally, remember to check that the power company provides transparent billing so you can know for certain where your hard-earned dollars are actually going.
2. How easy is it to set up?
Although the idea of changing energy providers may sound like a chore, it’s actually a very simple process. Just about every major power company in Aotearoa is able to switch you over seamlessly to their network on your behalf, without interrupting the flow of electricity to your home. Simply put, you won’t even notice the switch is taking place!
In addition, be sure to ask the prospective power company about your payment options. Direct debit, for example, offers a fantastic level convenience, while SmoothPay allows you to better plan and stick to a budget by ‘smoothing’ out your energy use across the year and taking a consistent amount of money out of your account each billing period.
3. How long are the contracts?
What will your life look like in a year?
Few of us know what the future has in store and there’s a pretty good chance that your lifestyle - and your power needs - is going to change substantially over the next few years. An electricity plan that works for you today may be ill-suited to your needs in the future.
Despite the obvious need for flexibility, many power companies will try to lock you into agreements for years on end. As such, when comparing electricity providers it’s vital that you ask about contract lengths and early termination penalties before you commit to anything. This is particularly important if the company is offering sign-up credits and/or other incentives, as these goodies usually come with a bunch of strings attached. Ideally, try to sniff out a power company that offers great prices without locking you into any long-term contracts.
Sticking to a New Year’s resolutions is hard - switching power company is not. If you’re thinking about changing to a new energy provider in 2018, we’d love to hear from you. Pulse Energy offer no long-term contracts, transparent billing and best of all, commit to beating the rates you are currently on.* Give us a call on 0800 785 733 to learn more.