Best-rated Electricity Providers

Compare Power Companies in New Zealand at Canstar Blue. Electric Kiwi, Powershop, Flick, Frank Energy, Pulse Energy, Mercury, Genesis Energy, GLOBUG, Meridian Energy, Contact, Ecotricity, Slingshot and Nova Energy were compared on Overall Satisfaction, Bill & Cost Clarity, Customer Service, Ease of Sign-up, Online Tools and Advice and Value for Money.

See our Ratings Methodology.

Most Satisfied Customers | Electric Kiwi

Electric Kiwi are switched on to Kiwi power consumers, who rate it No.1 for customer satisfaction.

 

How we rate electricity providers

Our review compares electricity providers on customer satisfaction, so you can discover what other Kiwis think about our compared electricity companies before you sign on with one of them. Think of it like asking hundreds of your closest mates which electricity provider they think is best!


Canstar Blue surveyed 3319 Kiwis who have an account with an electricity company and asked for their feedback on their power provider.

  • The outcomes reported in these ratings are measured via accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics.

Respondents rate their satisfaction with their providers from zero to ten, where zero is extremely dissatisfied and ten is extremely satisfied. Brand satisfaction was rated by respondents on the following criteria:

  • Overall Satisfaction: measures consumer satisfaction with a provider as an individual score NOT a combined total of all criteria.
  • Bill & Cost Clarity: the billing provides accurate and full details of electricity usage and its associated costs.
  • Customer Service: the customer service provided by the electricity provider is helpful, prompt and of a high standard.
  • Ease of Sign-up: the onboarding process is intuitive, simple and speedy.
  • Online Tools & Advice: the power company provides online tools and advice to allow customers to optimise their electricity usage.
  • Value for Money: the electricity provider offers great value for money when comparing services and extras with price.

The winning brand is the one that receives the highest Overall Satisfaction rating once all the scores from the Overall Satisfaction criteria are combined and averaged.

  • Overall Satisfaction is asked as a specific question and represents an individual measure, not a combined total of all criteria.
  • When we cannot determine a clear winner from the criteria for the Overall Satisfaction rating, we will then look at the other criteria measured in the rating.
    • The brand with the highest number of five-star ratings within the supporting criteria will become the five-star recipient in overall satisfaction, and thus win the award. If a clear leader still cannot be determined from the supporting criteria, joint winners will be declared.

Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included, so not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The brands rated in this survey are listed below in order of best overall satisfaction.

  • Electric Kiwi
  • Powershop
  • Flick
  • Frank Energy
  • Pulse Energy
  • Mercury
  • Genesis Energy
  • Globug
  • Meridian Energy
  • Contact
  • Ecotricity
  • Slingshot
  • Nova Energy


Find more information on our Most Satisfied Customer methodology.

Electric Kiwi

Ratings Results

This is the third time Electric Kiwi has won our top award, and this year, once again, it does so in emphatic style: the only electricity provider to earn a top 5-Star rating for Overall Satisfaction from its customers. In addition, it earns further top ratings in four out of five other categories, plus an excellent 4-Star rating for Overall Satisfaction.

This year’s award marks a double victory for Electric Kiwi, as the power provider is also the winner of Canstar Blue’s 2023 Bundled Utilities Award, for its great broadband + power deals. You can read more about our Most Satisfied Customers | Bundled Utilities Award here! 

Editor’s Notes

Electric Kiwi offers four power plans. All plans include one free Hour of Power each day, and Electric Kiwi guarantees that you’ll save money in your first year:

Kiwi

  • Everyday great rates. No commitment needed
  • A low fixed rate for power, regardless of time or day

Loyal Kiwi

  • Slightly better rates than the Kiwi plan
  • Minimum 12-month contract
  • No contract or break fees

MoveMaster

  • Three different rates for power (peak, off-peak shoulder, off-peak)
  • Move your power usage off-peak for the biggest savings
  • Great solar buy-back rates

Stay Ahead 200

  • Account automatically tops up by $200 when you run out of credit
  • Each $200 top-up comes with a $20 top-up bonus
  • One low, fixed rate for power

In addition to power, Electric Kiwi also offers broadband, and is the winner of Canstar’s Most Satisfied Customers | Bundled Utilities Award 2023.


Powershop

Ratings Results

Powershop’s great value power packs are obviously a big hit with its customers, as Powershop is only one of two providers in this year’s award survey to earn a top 5-Star rating for Value for Money. Across all categories it earns three further 5-Star ratings, plus two excellent 4-Star ratings, including for Overall Satisfaction.

Editor’s Notes

Powershop works a little differently from other electricity companies. In addition to allowing you to pay for your power each month like a regular power company, it also has a prepay option, via a range of power packs that are available online, through the Powershop website and app. Many of the prepaid packs come with discounts. Packs on offer include:

Staying Power: A super-discounted special pack that is available once a month. The Staying Power discount starts off at 20% in your first year then increases by 1% each year you stay with Powershop, to a maximum of 25%.

Regular Specials: Available for a limited time each month. The Staying Power and the limited-time specials together contribute to your Special Rates.

Future Packs: Allow you to squirrel away power for the months to come. The further out you buy Future Packs, the bigger the discount. Buy six months ahead to save the maximum 10% against your Standard Rate for the month.

Fixed-price Value Packs: Have the smallest discount out of all the special packs, but come in a range of sizes.

Top-Up Packs: Allow you to buy a specific amount of power (to the nearest whole $) at your Standard Power rate, with no discount.

Standard Power Top-up Packs: Power priced at your standard rate.


Flick

Ratings Results

Last year’s award winner, Flick Electric repeats its great run of top results in our award ratings, placing third on our table. As one of our top-rated power companies, it’s also one of only three providers to earn top 5-Star ratings on our table. In total, Flick earns a triumvirate of 5-Star ratings, including in the all-important categories of Value for Money and Customer Service.

Editor’s Notes

Flick Electric is an independent power company that was founded in Wellington in 2014. It offers two plan options, with no fixed-term contracts or exit fees:

Off Peak

This plan is ideal if you’re using most of your power during off-peak hours, when prices are cheaper. Shift your power usage to cheaper, off-peak times and save between 21-59% (based on meter configuration, network area and load group).

Off-peak times:

  • Nationwide (excluding Christchurch) = 11am-5pm, 9pm-7am and weekends
  • Christchurch only = 9pm – 7am and weekends

Flat

Pay a simple, fixed rate all day and night. Ideal if you tend to use most of your power during peak times (7am-9am and 5pm-9pm) or if you find it hard shifting your usage to off-peak pricing.

Best Plan Promise

We think Flick’s Best Plan Promise is so good, we awarded it our Canstar Blue Innovation Excellence Award 2023!

Every 90 days, Flick reviews your power usage. Flick looks at the times of day you typically use power, calculates your variable kWh and fixed daily charges, and compares them against the rates of its Flat and Off-peak pricing plans.

Flick then works out if you’re on the best plan for your household, or if there are savings to be made by changing to a different Flick plan.

And if you care about your carbon footprint, Flick is Toitū carbonzero certified.


Frank Energy

Ratings Results

Frank Energy distinguishes itself in our awards ratings by being the only electricity company to score a clean sweep of 4-Star ratings across all categories. Frankly, it’s an excellent achievement!

Editor’s Notes

Originally established in 1999 as Energy Online, the company was purchased by Genesis Energy in 2002 and rebranded as Frank in 2021.

Frank doesn’t offer any gimmicks or off-peak rates. Instead it concentrates on no-frills, cheap power across the two standard user tariffs: Low User & Standard User.

As with all NZ power companies, Frank’s electricity prices differ between regions. For more details about the prices for your address, head to the Frank website.


Logo of Pulse Energy

Pulse Energy

Ratings Results

Pulse Energy achieves nearly a clean sweep of 4-Star ratings across our awards grid. It scores just one 3-Star rating, for Online Tools & Advice. This is understandable because, as a smaller community-owned energy company, it doesn’t have an app or offer the same online tools as some of its larger competitors.

Editor’s Notes

Pulse Energy is a community-owned energy company, supplying electricity, gas, solar and broadband services to households and businesses throughout NZ.

As a Pulse Energy customer, you enjoy a low up-front price and no long-term contracts. Pulse offers:

  • All Energy Discount: combine your electricity and LPG/natural gas to receive a discount
  • No mark-up on network services
  • No early termination fee with 30 days’ notice
  • solarZero: access solar power, home automation and batteries under one simple energy supply arrangement
  • 20% off South Island Super Rugby games

mercury energy logo yellow

Mercury

Ratings Results

Mercury is one of the highest profile power companies in the market. Across the board, its customers rate it consistently highly, awarding it 4-Star ratings in every category except one: Value for Money, for which Mercury earns a 3-Star rating.

Editor’s Notes

Mercury is 51% owned by the government and its generation comprises 100% renewable hydro and geothermal. Its plans break down into two bands:

Open term

  • No fixed term or break fees
  • Prices are not fixed

1-year fixed

  • $100 signing on credit
  • Lower, fixed rates
  • Break fee applies

All Mercury plans offer:

  • Additional 2% discount if paying by direct debit and receiving bills by email
  • Regular free power days
  • Complete fun challenges on the Mercury app, earn Mercury Dollars, then exchange them for bill credits or rewards

Genesis Energy

Ratings Results

Like Mercury, Genesis is a major gentailer of electricity that is 51% owned by the government. And just like Mercury, Genesis also earns 4 Stars across every category, except one: Value for Money, for which it earns 3 Stars.

Editor’s Notes

Genesis offers three residential energy plans:

Energy Basic plan:

  • Fixed prices for 12 months (exit fee applies)

Energy Plus plan:

  • A choice between fixed prices for 12 months with a $100 bonus on 12-month sign-up (exit fee applies), or staying flexible with no exit fees or discount
  • Up to 6% in bill discounts for things like paying your bill by direct debit or credit card, or receiving it by email
  • Free Power Shout hours (see below)

Energy EV

  • Half-price power from 9pm-7am every night.
  • Up to 6% in bill discounts
  • Free Power Shout hours (see below)
  • 12-month fixed term

Power Shouts

Genesis customers on the Energy Plus plan regularly enjoy offers of free electricity that Genesis calls Power Shouts. Customers choose when they take their Power Shouts, so they can make the most of them.

For customers who bundle electricity and gas (either bottled or piped), Genesis provides an additional 5% discount off each bill. Genesis is the winner of Canstar Blue’s 2023 awards for both bottled gas and natural gas.


Globug

Ratings Results

Globug earns 4 Stars for Overall Satisfaction, a rating it repeats across all categories, except Value for Money and Customer service, for which it earns 3 Stars.

Editor’s Notes

A retail brand of Mercury, GLOBUG is a prepaid power retailer.

GLOBUG offers simple pricing, with a fixed daily charge and a variable kWh charge. Top-ups start from as little as $10. Consumers can check GLOBUG’s pricing for standard user and low user plans via its website.


Meridian Energy

Ratings Results

While Meridan’s brand Powershop earns a fantastic set of ratings from its customer, Meridian scores less highly. However, like Powershop, Meridian, too, earns a 4-Star rating for Overall Satisfaction, a rating it repeats in four of our six award rating categories.

Editor’s Notes

Meridian is one of the country’s biggest power generators and retailers, and all of its power is from 100% renewable energy sources. The NZ government is a majority shareholder, at 51%.

Currently, if you join on a two-year fixed-term contract, Meridian is offering 12 weekends of free power. It has the following plans:

Fixed-rate two-year plan

  • Power price fixed for the term of the contract

Variable/Flexi plans

  • No contract term
  • Electricity prices subject to change (with 30 days’ notice)

Electric Car plan

  • Fixed plan for two years
  • Cheaper night rates (from 9pm)
  • A free smart meter install
  • Free AC cable or $200 credit

Bach power plan

  • No daily charges
  • Fixed pricing for two years
  • Designed for holiday homes using less than 300kWh per year
  • Only available to customers with another residence or business with Meridian

Contact Energy Logo NEWContact

Ratings Results

While not a top rating, 3 Stars is by no means a measure of dissatisfaction, and still indicated a fair level of customer satisfaction. It’s a rating that Contact achieves across all categories except one: 4 Stars for Ease of Sign-up.

Editor’s Notes

Contact has a 25-year history built on a largely renewable portfolio of electricity generation assets. It owns and operates 11 power stations, and produces 80-85% of its electricity from renewable hydro and geothermal stations.

In addition to its broadband and gas bundles, it offers the following electricity plans:

  • Basic: simple power rates, no fixed term
  • Good Nights: Free power 9pm-midnight every night, no fixed term
  • Everyday Bonus Fixed: Fixed energy rates and 2% energy discount, fixed term
  • Bach Plan: No daily charge, no fixed term
  • Dream Charge: cheaper electricity night rates from 11pm to 7am, plus an AA Smartfuel discount of 10c per litre of fuel once every month that can be converted into ChargeNet credit. No fixed term

Ecotricity

Ratings Results

Ecotricity is a great choice for those who care about the planet and their carbon footprint. Across all categories in this year’s award, the clean, green electricity retailer earns 3 Stars.

Editor’s Notes

Ecotricity is a provider of 100% Renewable and carboNZero Certified electricity, which it sources from the Monowai, Roaring Meg and Teviot hydro dams; from the Flat Hill Wind Farm; and from its Solar customers.

Ecotricity offers the option to go for a fixed rate of power, regardless of time or day. Or to choose a plan with peak and off-peak rates. All plans offer buy-back solar rates:

  • Low eco saver: off-peak rates every night and at weekends up to 40% cheaper than Eco Anytime rates. For smaller households 1-2 people
  • Eco saver: off-peak rates up to 40% cheaper than Eco Anytime rates, fixed for 12 months. Great for EV owners and solar customers
  • Eco anytime: same energy rate 24/7, fixed for 12 months
  • Low user: same energy rate 24/7, fixed for 12 months. For smaller households 1-2 people

Slingshot logo

Slingshot

Ratings Results

While many power companies offer broadband, Slingshot is a telco that offers power. Its customers award it 3 Stars across all categories, except one, for Ease of Sign-up.

Editor’s Notes

Slingshot only offers electricity when bundled with broadband. It offers just two plans based on the standard user tariffs: Low User & Standard User. Its plans feature:

  • No contracts or break fees
  • All on one bill (electricity, broadband and phone plan)
  • Pay weekly, fortnightly, or monthly
  • Save on your electricity, broadband and mobile plan when you bundle

Nova Energy

Ratings Results

Rounding out this year’s award table, Nova Energy earns predominantly 3-Star ratings across all award categories.

Editor’s Notes

Nova Energy is part of the Todd Corporation, which also operates its own geothermal and natural gas generators. Nova Energy offers electricity, broadband and gas. The discounts on offer differ depending on which utilities you choose to bundle:

Off-peak Plan

  • Enjoy off-peak and weekend power savings
  • No fixed term, no break fees, no worries
  • Bundle and save with gas, broadband and mobile
  • Solar buy-back

TV Bundle

  • Electricity and broadband bundle
  • 24-month term
  • Termination fees apply
  • Free 43-inch LG 4K Smart TV

Choosing the Right Electricity Provider

Electricity, whichever company you purchase it from, does the same job. The only real difference in supply is the cost. So it’s no surprise that Value for Money is the biggest driver of satisfaction for Kiwi energy consumers: cited by 45% of those in our survey.

And just as there are different levels of value for money delivered by retailers, there are also big differences in the customer service on offer, which is the second most important factor for consumers, cited by a quarter (25%) of respondents.

Overall, here’s what the consumers in our survey say are their most important considerations when rating their electricity providers:

  • Value for Money: 45%
  • Customer Service: 25%
  • Bill & Cost Clarity: 16%
  • Online Tools and Advice: 8%
  • Ease of Sign-up: 5%

How to Reduce You Power Bill

Aside from using less power by, for example, purchasing more energy efficient appliances, there are three easy steps you can take to further reduce your power bill:

Step 1: Are you a low user or standard user?

Whether you’re a low or standard user affects your power plan and how much you are charged for the energy your household consumes. This is because a power bill is made up of two key charges:

  • Fixed-rate daily charge – a fixed rate charged every day regardless of how much power you use
  • Variable usage/per unit charge – a rate that is charged for every kWh used

And the way these charges are implemented varies depending on whether you are a standard or a low user:

Standard user: a household that uses over 8000kWh per year

A standard user consumes relatively high amounts of electricity each month. As a result, power companies offer competitive variable usage rates. To balance this, they charge a higher fixed-rate daily charge.

Low user: a household that uses under 8000kWh per year

Low users pay a much lower fixed-rate daily charge, but significantly higher prices for the power they use. This means that their fixed costs are much lower than those of a standard user. As long as they don’t use much power, their bills will be lower.

End of user tariffs

However, because most Kiwi homes are now low users, over the next five years the low-user electricity tariff is being phased out. As a consequence, if you’re on the low-user tariff, your power bills could have already started to rise.

This is because for each year of the five-year phase-out, power companies are able to increase their daily charges for low-users by around 30c, until they are on a par with standard-user charges. However, not all electricity companies are increasing their charges. Currently some are charging around 66c per day for low-users, others are charging half that and others have cut the daily tariff altogether.

Of course, you need to balance the per kWh charge of each power plan when comparing the savings you can make from shopping around for the lowest daily charge, but there are big savings to be made.

Step 2: When do you use most of your power?

Many power providers have off-peak power deals, offering cut-price or even free electricity. Off-peak times differ between plans and providers but, generally speaking, peak times are Monday to Friday, 7am-11am and 5pm-9pm. For example, here are the current different standard rates offered in Auckland by one electricity retailer:

Standard electricity rates per kWh

  • Peak: 0.23c
  • Off-peak: 0.14c
  • Night 0.12c

As you can see, if you burn most of your electricity outside of peak times – or can easily move most of your power consumption to off-peak – there are big savings to be made.

Step 3: Compare providers

NZ’s energy market is dominated by four big gentailers, which both generate electricity and sell it through their retail businesses:

  • Mercury – includes the brand Globug
  • Genesis Energy – includes the brand Frank Energy
  • Contact Energy
  • Meridian Energy – includes the brand Powershop

However there are other smaller players, as listed above. To find the best deal, you’ll need to spend a few minutes researching prices on their websites. Plus, of course, refer to our customer research and awards into New Zealand’s best-loved power companies.

What does kWh stand for?

A kWh stands for KiloWatt Hour, which is a unit of energy that measures how much electricity your home uses. Kilo means 1000, Watt is a measure of power and H stands for hour. Appliances are often described in terms of their wattage, that is, the power they require to run.

If you run a 1000W (1kW) appliance for one hour, then it will use 1kWh of electricity. If you run a 5kW air conditioner for one hour, then that will use 5kWh of electricity. One 100W light bulb, on the other hand, would take 10 hours to use 1kWh.

Your home’s electricity usage (in kWh) is recorded by your electricity meter and passed on to your retailer for billing. So, for example, if you’re paying the national average of 32.5c per kWh to run a 1000kW heater for one hour on its max setting it will cost you 32.5c.

If you haven’t got a smart meter, your energy company may estimate your usage between physical readings.

What’s the difference between kW and kWh?

It’s common for people to confuse kW and kWh. The difference is that kW is a measurement of power, while a kWh is a measurement of energy. That might sound nit-picky, but it’s an important distinction.

For example, a 4kW solar panel system has a maximum power output of 4kW. If that output is sustained over an hour, then the solar system will produce 4kWh of electricity. If it maintains that output for four hours, then the system will produce 16kWh.

So if you are considering a solar system and want it to cover half of your home’s electricity usage (say, 10kWh), then you don’t need a 10kW solar system, rather, you should only need a 2-3kW system – subject to the weather. Another way to think about this is to imagine kW as speed and kWh as distance. The higher the speed (kW), the greater the distance you will cover (kWh).

About the editor of this page

This report was written by Canstar’s Editor, Bruce Pitchers. Bruce has three decades’ experience as a journalist and has worked for major media companies in the UK and Australasia, including ACP, Bauer Media Group, Fairfax, Pacific Magazines, News Corp and TVNZ. Prior to Canstar, he worked as a freelancer, including for The Australian Financial Review, the NZ Financial Markets Authority, and for real estate companies on both sides of the Tasman.

More Information

Key statistics

Actively practise energy savings to reduce power bills: 65%

Rug up inside during winter rather than turn up heat: 44%

Worry about size of electricity bill: 41%

Use provider’s online tools to track energy usage: 39%

Energy efficiency is key factor in appliance purchases: 37%

Compared electricity prices over the past 12 months: 35%

Wish home was better insulated: 22%

Moved appliance usage to make use of cheaper/free power: 15%

Switched electricity providers in past 12 months: 12%

Use a prepaid power provider: 8%

Considering/planning installing solar panels in next 12 months: 7%

Have received loan or grant for energy efficiency in home: 5%

 

Average Monthly Bill Amount: $169

Canstar Blue surveyed 5046 New Zealand consumers across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction, via ISO 26362 accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics. The outcomes reported are the results from respondents who pay bills on an electricity account. In this case, 3319 New Zealanders. Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then by mean overall satisfaction. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criterion.

The past winners from Canstar Blue’s Broadband ratings:

  • 2022: Flick
  • 2021: Powershop
  • 2020: Electric Kiwi
  • 2019: Powershop
  • 2018: Powershop
  • 2017: Electric Kiwi
  • 2016: Powershop
  • 2015: Powershop

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