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After reading this review, you may be interested in two other related posts:
After a love-hate relationship with our traditional power supplier (Genesis), ok mostly hate, we decided to make a move to the very non-traditional power supplier, powershop.co.nz.
Now, let’s not delude ourselves.Â Powershop is not a small, innovative startup out of someone’s garage.Â It’s fully owned by Meridian which is something that put me off at first.Â Meridian has (at least in my view) an image of a ‘green’, ‘premium’ power supplier.Â So my first thought was that there was no way I was going to be able to save money moving from probably the least environmentally friendly company (I think they run Huntly) to in my opinion the most environmentally friendly.
But what I think is going on here is what should be, considering the way the power grid works.Â All the generators put their power on the grid and anyone can pull it off.Â So there is no such thing as ‘green power’ for the consumer, only people who are willing to pay more to support ‘green generation.’
This is basically the way Powershop works, you can buy the budget power which isn’t really green at all.Â Or you can pay more and buy the ‘green’ stuff and theoretically support the greener sources of power.
So I think I can make a saving.Â Only time will tell.
So, first impressions.
(1) No connection charge.Â I was going to switch to Trustpower, and they were going to charge me $30 for the privilege.Â Instead, due to a promotion which Powershop were running, I actually got a $30 credit.Â Sweet.
(2) High startup costs.Â This isn’t Powershop’s fault, but a result of the model.Â We were paying in arrears with Genesis (i.e. you use the power and then they bill you for the month’s use (in our case about $200).Â But since you pay in advance with Powershop (i.e buy your power and then use it) it makes for an expensive switch over period.Â For example we paid our bill till 12th June of ~$200 in our current credit card period.Â Then the switch happened and we’ve been billed for a period between the 12th and the 2nd of July which came to ~$150 which will be paid for on the same credit card bill.Â To get us till the end of the current credit period, I think we’ll have to buy about $70 worth of power from Powershop (including our credit) so this means instead of paying $200 for our power this month, we’ll be paying $420, a bit of a dent in a tight budget.
(3) Functionality looks like it will be cool, but only one of the graphs (daily use) is active until after the first month (presumably).Â I like being able to enter your actual readings and see how this effects your credits.Â It would be cool if this could somehow be linked to our actual meter in the future (smart meters?)
(4) There’s not much range of power purchasing options.Â They have a vision to get other providers in on the system (i.e. genesis could try to win back my purchasing) but until they get many more users, I can’t see this happening.Â I also think that their ownership structure inhibits this.
That’s all for now, watch out for the next edition.