Meridian Energy review

Electricity generator and retailer Meridian Energy generates power from 100 per cent renewable energy sources, stating that it’s “committed to meeting future energy needs with renewable energy and helping to minimise the electricity industry’s contribution to climate change”.

Meridian Energy, which provides residential and business services, is New Zealand’s largest electricity generator, generating more than 30 per cent of New Zealand’s electricity from its different generation assets.

Meridian Energy states that enough electricity is generated by its hydro stations to power around 1.4 million homes each year, with its wind farms generating enough electricity to power around 152,000 homes each year.

“Continuing global population growth and resource scarcity have only increased the importance of including community, customer and environmental interests in our business planning,” Meridian Energy states of its approach.

“We’ve developed a sustainability framework to help us focus on areas where our core business activities impact the external world, and where we can positively influence outcomes.”

What’s on offer from Meridian Energy?

Consumers interested in Meridian Energy’s electricity offers can enter their address details via the Meridian website, bringing up a rough estimate of pricing and rates, and have the option of signing up online.

Consumers can choose between fixed-rate pricing (with the charge and network charge each month fixed for the term of the contract) and variable pricing (no fixed-term contract, with Meridian able to change rates by giving 30 days notice).

Meridian Energy advises consumers to choose fixed-rate pricing when:

  • Some certainty is wanted to help budget, even if it means paying a bit more now than on variable pricing
  • They are happy to sign up to a contract of up to three years

Meridian advises that consumers should choose variable pricing when:

  • They don’t want to be tied into a contract
  • They’re happy for rates to change (with 30 days notice)

With regard to its Low User option, Meridian states that for consumers using less than 8,000 units a year at their primary residence (9,000 units in parts of the lower South Island), that it may be the best option, as opposed to its Standard User option.

Under its Low User and Standard User options, Meridian advises that consumers pay:

Low User

  • A lower daily fixed charge
  • A higher variable charge for each unit of electricity used

Standard User

  • A higher daily rate
  • A slightly lower rate for each unit of electricity used

Meridian additionally offers buyback rates for households exporting excess energy, which it states apply to all solar panel systems with a rated capacity of up to 10 kW, stating that customers interested in equipment that generates more than 10 kW should talk to it about their options.

Customer service

Meridian Energy provides a range of information via its website, with consumers also able to search for specific topics via its website’s search engine. Consumers can contact Meridian by phone or email, and also have the option of sending Meridian a message via its website. Meridian is also active on social media website Facebook.

“Email or phone us – you’ll get great Kiwi service from our friendly customer support staff in Christchurch,” Meridian Energy states.

Account management

Meridian’s MyMeridian online service provides customers with a range of account management and monitoring tools, with customers able to login and register via the Meridian website.

“We’ve designed our online tools so you have everything you need to get a handle on when you use power and what it’s costing you, in addition to some of the things you expect to do online, like see past bills and make payments,” Meridian Energy states.

Via MyMeridian customers can (with not all features available for customers who don’t have a smart meter):

  • See how much power has been used, grouped by hour, day or month
  • Get regular updates on how much power has been used and how it compares to previous days and weeks
  • Receive smart alerts, getting an email when power use changes and goes outside of conditions set
  • See account history
  • Get bills
  • Make payment
  • Update details

Meridian customers can choose the day of month that they want to pay their bill, with payment methods comprising via:

  • Credit card
  • Direct debit
  • Internet and phone banking
  • LevelPay, via which customers can level out their bill over the year, paying a set amount each week, fortnight or month
  • In person at an NZ Post shop or Westpac branch
  • Cheque via mail

Meridian recently replaced prompt payment discounts and now offers a new lower rate which they view as a simpler and fairer approach for everyone. Meridian also provides regular and changing offers for new customers.

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