What are kilowatt hours (kWh)?

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Kilowatt hours are a way of measuring power consumption. The electricity industry uses kWh to measure how much power you use. And so do most companies that manufacture electrical products. When you shop for new electrical appliances, you may notice that most are labelled with a star rating and the number of kWh the appliance will typically use per year. We measure the power you use every month in kWh.

Find out more about understanding your power usage

What is a tariff?

A tariff is a way of pricing electricity based on the way your meter is set up. There are many different names for the various tariffs across the power industry. But they will normally indicate a time of use (e.g. Day and Night) or control (e.g. Uncontrolled, Anytime, Economy).

What are network or lines companies?

The network companies (also known as lines companies or distributors) own and look after the power lines that transmit the electricity from the national grid to your property. There are many different network companies in New Zealand, although each company operates a monopoly in its given area.

What is a smart meter?

Most properties in New Zealand now have smart meters. Smart meters mean we get more accurate consumption information and they don’t need a human to manually read them. We get your smart meter readings daily.

What does inclusive metering mean?

With inclusive metering, your local network company ‘controls’ a portion of your power – which is usually the supply to your hot water cylinder. However they charge you the same rate for the ‘uncontrolled’ and ‘controlled’ portions of your supply. Unlike controlled/uncontrolled metering, which charges a lower rate for power to appliances that are wired to your ‘controlled’ supply.

What does controlled/uncontrolled metering mean?

If you have controlled/uncontrolled metering the power your network company is able to ‘control’ is measured separately to the power that they can’t. Most networks will give you a discounted rate on the power they can control – which is usually the supply to your hot water cylinder. This is because they are able to switch off the ‘controlled’ portion of your supply for short periods, for example when the demand on their network is high or there are faults or emergencies on their lines.

What does day/night metering mean?

If you have a day/night meter your ‘day’ usage and your ‘night’ usage are measured separately. Many lines companies charge a lower rate for the power you use at night time – which goes from 9pm to 7am in Christchurch and 11pm to 7am in most other areas. Sorry Auckland, your networks don’t offer a cheaper rate for power used at night.

What does night only metering mean?

Night only metering means the power supply to certain appliances, for example a night store heater or hot water cylinder, can only be turned on at night. Night time goes from 9pm to 7am in Christchurch and 11pm to 7am in most other areas.

Many lines companies charge a lower rate for the power you use at night time – which goes from 9pm to 7am in Christchurch and 11pm to 7am in most other areas. Sorry Auckland, your networks don’t offer a cheaper rate for power used at night.

What is the wholesale market?

This is another term for The New Zealand Electricity Market (NZEM). The New Zealand Electricity Market is regulated and overseen by the Electricity Authority (EA). Electricity generators (or wholesalers) sell their power to large industrial users and retailers such as Powershop via the wholesale market (or NZEM). The Electricity Authority website has more information on how this works.

What is an ICP number?

Your property has a unique Installation Control Point (ICP) number identifying it on the New Zealand electricity network. You can find your ICP number by clicking on the settings tab in your desktop account. It’s at the top of the left hand menu above your address. It’s also in the ‘Contact us’ section of the mobile app, by your address under the ‘Faults and outages’ heading. Your ICP consists of 15 digits – mostly numbers with a few letters at the end.