8 May 2013

Power company switching already very easy

7:13 am on 8 May 2013

TrustPower says it's never been easier for customers to switch electricity companies, and plans to improve the system would be a waste of public money.

The Electricity Authority, which is responsible for the efficient operation of the electricity market, is taking submissions on ways to make it easier for consumers to compare and switch retailers.

A retail advisory group is to identify options the industry watchdog might take from May next year.

However TrustPower's community relations manager Graeme Purches said customers can already call retailers directly and make the switch for free and the latest campaign is not needed.

The latest yearly churn rate, or proportion of the New Zealand electricity market that switches companies, is just under 19%.

Contact Energy, which has half a million customers, says its churn rate is in line with the national average.

Marketing general manager Nick Robinson said the high churn rate shows the market is already very competitive.

Consultation on ways to make it easier for consumers to compare power prices and change retailers closes on 4 June.