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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

The average Kiwi home consumes around 7000kWh per annum. At the current average kilowatt (kWh) price of 33.6c that works out to $2352 per year, or $196 per month.

However, power prices vary around the country quite considerably. Currently, there’s a variance of over 6c in the cost of the actual electricity, from 19.28c to 25.74c, 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 average power bills that are around 46% higher than those of people living in Christchurch.

Location Per Year Per Month
Kerikeri $3095 $258
Balclutha $2928 $244
Westport $2885 $240
Waipukurau $2843 $237
Greymouth $2776 $231
Cromwell $2755 $230
Blenheim $2736 $228
Dannevirke $2700 $225
Hawera $2665 $222
Masterton $2636 $220
Gisborne $2632 $219
Taumaranui $2622 $219
Otorohanga $2622 $219
Tauranga $2587 $216
Winton $2562 $214
Whangarei $2535 $211
Taupo $2502 $209
Pukekohe $2490 $208
Rangiora $2482 $207
Thames $2480 $207
Rotorua $2468 $206
Whanganui $2465 $205
Paraparaumu $2462 $205
Whakatane $2458 $205
Kaiapoi $2455 $205
New Plymouth $2413 $201
Oamaru $2408 $201
Timaru $2405 $200
Palmerston North $2377 $198
Queenstown $2371 $198
Napier $2363 $197
New Zealand $2353 $196
Cambridge $2305 $192
Richmond $2295 $191
Hamilton $2284 $190
Auckland North Shore $2265 $189
Auckland Central $2247 $187
Dunedin $2210 $184
Nelson $2200 $183
Invercargill $2157 $180
Ashburton $2138 $178
Wellington City $2132 $178
Christchurch $2123 $177

Data: Quarterly Survey of Domestic Electricity Prices to February 15, 2024.

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. And as long as they don’t use much power, especially during peak hours, their bills will be lower.

However, because most Kiwi homes are now low users, 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 as much as $1.38 per day for low-users, while 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.

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-user rates offered in Auckland by one electricity retailer:

Standard electricity rates per kWh

  • Peak: 0.2662c
  • Off-peak: 0.1972c
  • Night 0.1331c

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

Compare Power Companies with Canstar Blue

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

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

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.

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