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What is the Average Power Bill in New Zealand?

Are you paying too much for power? Canstar Blue reveals the average power bill in New Zealand and what you should be paying for power.

How much are you paying for power in your home? Is it more than the average power bill in New Zealand? If it is, you could be paying too much for your power. Canstar Blue explores average power bills and how to find a better deal on your electricity.

Average Power Consumption

Over the past year, to the end of August 2023, the average Kiwi home consumed approx 7000kWh per annum. At the current average kilowatt (kWh) price of 33.5c that works out to $2345 per year, or just over $195 per month.

However, power prices vary around the country quite considerably. Currently, there’s a 7c variance in the cost of the actual electricity, from 18.78c to 25.77c, depending on where you live. And there’s an even bigger disparity in the prices Kiwis pay for the line components of their power bills.

Line charges cover the cost of the infrastructure required to get electricity from the power station to your home. In Waipukurau, for example, 19.73c per kWh goes towards line charges, whereas consumers in Nelson pay only 7.81c. That’s quite a difference, which when spread over a year’s consumption can make a big difference to household bills.

Related article: Average Electricity Costs per kWh in NZ

Average Power Bills

As you can see, residents in Kerikeri, in Northland, face 43% higher bills than people living in Ashburton and Invercargill, in the South Island.

Average power bill: Year | Month


$3052 | $254.33

$2905 | $242.08


$2870 | $239.17

$2828 | $235.67


$2751 | $229.25

$2730 | $227.5


$2723 | $226.92


$2660 | $221.67


$2611 | $217.58


$2611 | $217.58

$2611 | $217.58


$2611 | $217.58

$2597 | $216.42


$2590 | $215.83


$2534 | $211.17


$2527 | $210.58

$2478 | $206.50


$2478 | $206.5


$2464 | $205.33

$2457 | $204.75


$2436 | $203


$2429 | $202.42

$2429 | $202.42


$2415 | $201.25


$2394 | $199.50
Oamaru $2387 | $198.92
New Plymouth

$2359 | $196.58


$2352 | $196


$2352 | $196

NZ Average

$2345 | $195.42


$2345 | $195.42

Palmerston North

$2345 | $195.42


$2282 | $190.17


$2282 | $190.17

Auckland North Shore

$2268 | $189


$2268 | $189

Auckland Central

$2247 | $187.25

$2219 | $184.92


$2191 | $182.58


$2156 | $179.67

Wellington City

$2142 | $178.50


$2128 | $177.33


$2128 | $177.33

High Average Power Bills: What to do about them

Unfortunately, if you live in one of the more expensive regions for power, unless you move, you’re never going to experience electricity prices as low as the good residents of Ashburton. However, there are three easy steps you can take to secure a better power deal.

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.

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: 0.244c
  • Off-peak: 0.186c
  • Night 0.122c

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:

  • Electric Kiwi
  • Ecotricity
  • Flick Electric
  • Nova Energy

  • Octopus
  • Pulse Energy
  • Slingshot

To find the best deal, you’ll need to spend a few minutes researching prices on their websites. Plus, you need to check out Canstar Blue’s customer research into New Zealand’s best power companies.

Each year Canstar Blue rates NZ power companies for customer satisfaction and value for money. You can 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.

See Our Ratings Methodology

Compare electricity providers for free with Canstar Blue!

About the author of this page

Bruce PitchersThis report was written by Canstar’s Editor, Bruce Pitchers. Bruce began his career writing about pop culture, and spent a decade in sports journalism. More recently, he’s applied his editing and writing skills to the world of finance and property. 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.

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