Marlborough Express - The Saturday Express, Marlborough

Saving money starts with your lightswitc­h


OPINION: A couple of years ago, I attempted to switch power providers. I’d been with my existing provider ever since I’d been flatting (way too many years ago!) but I’d seen a good deal on TV and wanted to save some money. So I made the switch.

The very next day, my existing provider called to offer me ‘‘a very special deal to thank me for my loyalty’’, despite never getting in touch with me over the last 15-ish years except to tell me how much money I owed them. I’m embarrasse­d to say they wooed me back and I guess I’ve been a bit scared to contemplat­e switching again.

But I’m probably being ripped off. A recent poll on Neighbourl­y by NZ Compare found that most Kiwis are more likely to stick with their utilities providers because it’s just too much hassle switching. Of the 800 people who responded, more than 50% said they switched power companies more than six months ago, and a further 33.5% said they had no idea when they last switched. Only 12.4% of respondent­s said they had switched providers in the last six months. And

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44% of respondent­s said they don’t know where to find a better deal, 33% said switching seems too hard, and 24% said they were locked into a contract. There are a couple of reasons why you might want to switch power or broadband companies. You might be moving house. You might want to take up a power company’s special offer (let’s say ‘‘bribe’’) and get a free smart TV (because there’s nothing sweeter than free stuff). Or you might simply want to save cash.

Unlike our supermarke­t situation, New Zealand is home to a massive number of power and broadband companies. This means pricing can be really competitiv­e. You could save a significan­t amount of money every year if you stay on top of the pricing each provider offers. But comparing providers involves a lot of hard work, right? Well, if you were to do it yourself, then yes, it would take a very long time and probably a massive, confusing spreadshee­t. But thanks to NZ Compare, staying on top of the best power and broadband offerings in the land (including the guys giving away free TVs!) is really easy. Type in your address, and the best deals in your area will pop up.

Comparing and switching power and broadband companies regularly could save your household a truckload of money in the long run (and we all know how helpful that would be at the moment). And it’s OK to shop around! While many Kiwis (myself included) have been loyal to their utilities providers for many years, that might not be true in the reverse. To find the best power and broadband deals at your place, visit

This article was commission­ed in response to a commercial partnershi­p. We have produced it independen­tly, to the same standards applied to the rest of our journalism.

 ?? ?? Only 12.4% of [survey] respondent­s said they had switched providers in the last six months.
Only 12.4% of [survey] respondent­s said they had switched providers in the last six months.
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