Competition is as willing as ever between power companies. New electricity deals are regularly arriving to market, and it can pay to both shop around and keep an eye out for bonus offers. In fact, it could be the extra perks served up on top of a power plan that ultimately sway you. From bundle deals to loyalty programs and sign-up incentives, there’s plenty on offer.
While making sure your household is on the right tariff should remain a priority, it certainly can’t hurt to weigh up any sweeteners that arrive with a plan. It may well be that you can effectively drive down your overall costs by tapping into these types of bonus offers.
Bonus offers: what to keep in mind
As we mention above, first and foremost you should ensure you are on the right type of tariff for your household. It’s important that you look to the long term, and take into account a range of factors. From the amount of power you use to the time of day that you use it.
Bonus offers are essentially an added incentive for signing up with a retailer. And in this respect should be viewed as complementary to the main plan offering.
When weighing up electricity deals and bonus offers, it’s worthwhile keeping the following in mind:
- Continuing value – will the value be ongoing, spanning the full duration of a contract?
- Customer commitment – what level of engagement will be required to gain full value? While sign-up incentives may deliver a one-off reward, loyalty programs and free electricity offers may suit consumers who take a proactive approach over the longer term.
- Keeping it smart – smart meters may be required for some deals, such as free electricity offers.
- Read the fine print – ensure you are eligible under the T&Cs of any offer. It’s also important to consider what happens if you opt out of a contract before its end date.
It’s essential to be clear about all the details before signing on the dotted line. Of course, if you have any questions about a specific bonus offer, it’s always advisable to contact the retailer directly.
Flexible and free power: plans that help you take control of your usage
At first glance plan flexibility might not seem like an added perk. However, it can be a key factor in driving down costs for some households. Of course, you’ll need to be proactive about your power consumption, shifting as much usage as possible to cheaper off-peak times.
Electric Kiwi has recently brought its MoveMaster plan to market, which includes better off-peak rates (9am-5pm and 9pm-11pm) and half-price at night (11pm-7am), packaged with a 12.5c/kWh solar buyback rate.
In addition, Electric Kiwi offers one Hour of Power per day. This offer allows customers to choose 60 minutes of free off-peak power each day, which can be used in both off-peak time slots.
If you own an electric vehicle (or are thinking about buying one), Genesis Energy’s Energy EV plan could be for you. Under the plan, electricity rates are 50% lower at night (9pm-7am). Meaning you can shift your usage to benefit from the cheaper prices.
On top of this, Genesis’ Power Shout gifts customers free electricity. This is available via offers and prizes, or surprises added to a customer’s balance, and can be used at any time, on any day.
Mercury also offers a plan for electric vehicle owners. Its EV Fuel Package provides 20% off electricity usage between 9pm and 7am every night. Standard plan rates apply outside of these hours.
Along with this, Mercury offers free power days, which gift customers 24 hours of free power.
Contact Energy’s Good Nights plan offers three hours of free power, every night, between 9pm and midnight.
Sign-up incentives: join and reap the benefits
Sign-up incentives are a fairly common retailer offering. They provide customers with an immediate reward for joining. Beyond the initial value delivered, it’s certainly worthwhile considering the type of value that could be provided by a plan over the longer term.
Also, keep in mind that these types of incentives are typically paired with fixed-term plans. As a result, if you seek to leave your contract early you may be subject to additional fees.
Retailers currently offering sign-up incentives include:
- Meridian Energy – offers customers a $200 credit on their first bill, while its Electric Car Plan sees customers offered a $300 credit (both offers in conjunction with fixed-term plans).
- Powershop – customers receive $150 of free power, spread over their first 12-months, when they sign up their main home.
- Trustpower – provides customers a $300 account credit when joining on an eligible power and broadband bundle for a 24-month term (along with a range of joining rewards).
- Genesis Energy – provides a $50 credit for customers who sign up for 12 months (an extra $50 is provided when natural or bottled gas is added).
- Mercury – customers are provided a $200 credit when signing up to join for two years.
- Slingshot – customers receive a Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite 8.7-inch wi-fi tablet when signing up for any 12-month unlimited broadband plan with power.
Time to bundle: consolidate your services
Bundles have become an increasingly popular retailer offering in recent times. While electricity and gas bundles have been a staple for some providers, broadband and mobile bundles are now also commonly available.
Bundle deals can not only deliver discounts, but also the convenience of consolidating a range of services under one provider.
Retailers currently offering bundle deals include:
- Trustpower – customers can variously bundle power, gas and broadband services, with a range of deals available
- Nova Energy – customers can bundle power, gas and broadband services, with customers who bundle power, gas and broadband for a 24-month term receiving a 43-inch LG smart TV (which can be upgraded to a 50-inch or 65-inch model for an additional cost)
- Slingshot – customers can bundle power with their broadband service, receiving 10% off their base broadband and power plans
- Pulse Energy – customers can bundle electricity and broadband plans to receive savings across a range of plans
- Contact Energy – customers can bundle their electricity with a broadband plan, receiving discounts across a range of plans
- Genesis Energy – under Genesis’ Dual Fuel offer, customers can bundle electricity and gas services, receiving a 5% discount
→Related article: Why Combine Your Power and Utilities?
Loyalty programs: tap into ongoing value
Loyalty programs pave the way for customers to benefit from an ongoing range of incentives. From discounts at the point of purchase, to accumulating points that can be used to make other purchases.
If you’re a highly engaged and motivated shopper, who likes to actively explore different deals, this type of bonus offer could be a good fit for you.
Retailers offering loyalty programs include:
- Mercury – customers can link their eligible account with Air New Zealand’s Airpoints loyalty program and earn Airpoints Dollars. Customers can also download the Mercury app and earn Mercury Dollars, which can be spent on their Mercury bill
- Contact Energy – customers can earn AA Smartfuel discounts, saving money at the pump on selected plans. Alternatively, these discounts can be turned into one of two rewards: CarbonClick credits funding native forest regeneration and clean energy projects, or Qantas Points for rewards including flights and hotels
All deals and offers correct as of 17/11/21.
Shop around for the best electricity deals
Ultimately, finding affordable power involves shopping around. And to help you find the best value electricity retailer, Canstar Blue rates NZ power companies for customer satisfaction and value for money, see the table below for some of the results, or you can click on the button below for the full results of our survey.
Canstar Blue’s latest review of NZ power companies compares them on customer satisfaction. The table below is an abridged version of our full results, available here.
^ By clicking on a brand or 'details' button, you will leave Canstar Blue and be taken to either a product provider website or a Canstar Blue NZ brand page. You agree that Canstar Blue NZ’s terms and conditions apply (without limitation) to your use of this service,to any referral to a product provider from our website, and any transaction that follows. Canstar Blue may receive a fee for referring you to a product provider. See How we are funded for further details.
Canstar Blue NZ Research finalised in April 2021, published in June 2021.
See Our Ratings Methodology
About the author of this page
This report was written by Canstar author Martin Kovacs. Martin is a freelance writer with experience covering the business, consumer technology and utilities sectors. Martin has written about a wide range of topics across both print and digital publications, including the manner in which industry continues to adapt and evolve amid the rollout of new technologies