Power bills. They’re something that we parents don’t get overly excited about, especially when we’re digesting the huge figure in that dreaded white envelope that appears in the mailbox each month. In fact, power bills are something we often fear because we all know it just adds to the huge pile of ever-increasing stuff we have to pay for… nappies, shoes, swimming lessons, school uniforms, groceries and the list goes on.
But for the first time, we are seeing Kiwi parents getting excited about their power company and their bills. C’mon, spin us another yarn, you say? Surely not?
True story! Flick Electric Co. was launched by a group of Wellingtonians a year ago as the only power company that gives New Zealanders access to the wholesale price of electricity, direct from the spot market.
Flick’s unique approach has resulted in a recent customer satisfaction score of 96% and being awarded the Consumer Trusted accreditation by the experts at Consumer NZ! And to boot, in the past year, Flick customers have saved an average of $360 on their power bills.
How, you ask? Well the wholesale price of electricity changes every half hour, and at times of day when demand is high, prices are higher, but at lower demand times – like during the middle of the day, later in the evening, overnight, weekends – prices are lower.
By giving households access to dynamic market prices, they’re empowered to choose the time of day they want to do things, and the price they want to pay for that power.
Power bills are made up of a number of costs:
- generation – the cost of making the electricity that you use to power your home
- transmission and distribution – this is the cost of moving electricity from where it’s made to your property, charged by Transpower and your local lines company and
- metering – this is the cost of servicing the smart meter at your property, charged by your metering company.
Most companies bundle up all these costs and then add their profit. But Flick passes through all of these costs at their true market price and then charges a separate fee to look after you as your retailer. It’s transparent and fair.
So how can Flick help Kiwi households?
We all know that when you become a parent you don’t immediately think about your electricity needs and costs. You’re more focussed on how you’ll get through those sleepless nights, stashing nappies into every nook and cranny in case there’s an emergency, and getting the car seat professionally installed before the big day!
But we also know that once those higher bills hit – especially over the winter months – coupled with a reduced income, and a precious little person to keep warm, stress can be put on the family.
Flick customers who are happy to just ride the highs and lows of the spot market save an average of 7.5% on their power bills (on top of any prompt payment discount they might have got with their old retailer).
But we encourage Flicksters to really make the most of our unique approach, and change a few small things around the house to make even greater savings. With Flick they can effectively pick the price they want to pay, for the things they want to do. Here are some examples:
- Putting the dishwasher on just before going to bed as opposed to straight after dinner is cheaper, and a really simple habit to change.
- Setting your heat pump to run overnight and in the late afternoon means you can enjoy a warm house when you get up in the morning, and home in the evening, without having to pay peak prices.
- Bathing the kids before dinner rather than after can save money and make the post-dinner race to bedtime a bit simpler!
- Setting your washing machine to work in the wee hours, and hanging your laundry out in the morning, will save you money and help you make the most of the drying hours in the day.
Customers making changes like these are saving up to 50% on their power bills! Average savings across all Flick customers are currently 19%. Something to get excited about, right?
One of Flick’s unique features is that we bill our customers weekly on an actual reading (via a smart meter), which is great for family budgeting. Say goodbye to horrendous monthly bills that are often based on a wildly inaccurate estimates!
I mean imagine if you paid for your groceries once a month, or your petrol? Seems crazy right!? Well Flick thinks it’s about time people can buy their power weekly too.
Another big advantage of weekly billing is that Flick customers get regular prompts to engage with how much electricity they’re using, and what they’re spending. Which, believe it or not is quite fun!
Via your own personalised customer portal, customers can drill down into that information for every half hour of every day. Armed with that information it’s then really easy to make simple changes that will save you money.
No tricks, no traps
Finally, Flick never locks customers into fixed term contracts, which means there are never any nasty break fees (some companies charge up to $300 for early termination!). Flick reckons that customers should be free to leave at any time if they’re not loving the Flick experience.
And all of that adds up to what we think is New Zealand’s fairest power deal. By educating and empowering households to pick the price they want to pay for the power they want to use – and by making that as simple as changing a few small routines around the house – we know there are serious savings to be made.
Check us out
The best way to get an introduction to how Flick works, and how that is completely different from the boring, old power companies, is to watch our video.
You can also see what our customers say about us on our Facebook page or by searching #FlickLife
And read about how we work with our customers to help them make the most of #FlickLife on our blog.