Competitive Electricity Deals Indicate a Thriving Market in New Zealand


In New Zealand, the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment uses sales-based information to track the average commercial, industrial, and residential costs for electricity. In essence, the amount of total sales for electricity is divided by the amount of supplied electricity. Sales-based electricity cost data is supported by the Quarterly Survey of Domestic Electricity Prices (QSEDEP) indicator.

Information That Is More Transparent

The Ministry has made improvements in sales-based electricity cost information by providing a greater consistency of data between retailers. The Ministry now offers more detailed guidance for retailers about what should and should not be included in sales statistics. In particular, discounts are clearer and more consistent between retailers.

Data is collected more frequently as well, now being collected quarterly rather than yearly. This is designed to enhance the consistency and quality of the information. The average household electricity cost and average demand per household are added to determine the cost data for sales-based activity. These figures are meant to provide added context to help stakeholders better interpret data.

Steps for Calculating the QSDEP

The QSDEP itself is a price indicator series that is used to complement sales-based cost data for electricity. The indicator is therefore a measure of how published residential tariffs have changed over the course of time. The method used to determine the QSDEP for a power company in NZ is as follows:

  • A limited selection of publicly advertised retail tariffs are surveyed for about 40 cities and towns across the country
  • Prices are reviewed as a snapshot at the middle of each quarter, or 15 February, 15 May, 15 August, and 15 November annually
  • The average prices are quoted for a consumer using about 22 kWh daily, or 8000 kWh yearly
  • Prices assume that immediate payment discounts are claimed. They do not include online discounts, multi-fuel discounts, retention or incentive payments, or the rates paid by consumers on fixed-term contracts.
  • Lines prices cover the combined services of transmission and distribution
  • Prices do not cover ownership-based distributions or discounts from consumer trusts. If these prices were included, the costs would be reduced

Do Not Get Tied into a Contract

The above information enables you to figure how your electricity usage is calculated and makes the market more competitive for retailers of energy services. If you find a company that works toward delivering simple energy solutions, or does not tie a customer into a contract, then it is a utility you should strongly consider.

Look for a power provider that is an award-winning company – a firm that supplies both electricity and gas to area New Zealand homes. When selecting a provider, it helps to have a firm grasp of your power bill as well. For example, the daily fixed rate is a charge that applies, regardless of whether or not you use electricity. This charge covers metering costs and maintenance, and varies across networks. It can range from a mere 70 cents to $3.00 per day for standard user plans.

Variable rate charges cover the electricity that you actually use, measured in kilowatt hours. Different kinds of variable rate charges are featured, depending upon the type of metre you use.


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