What makes up my power price?

It takes more than just Powershop to get electricity to your property. There’s a whole supply chain and everyone’s responsible for doing their bit. To do their bit they have to charge us (and ultimately you) to do it.


Watch our What’s in your Power Price video

  • Generators produce electricity and sell it on to us through the wholesale market.
  • Transpower transmits electricity from the generators to the local lines company.
  • Local lines companies distribute power from your regional network to your property.
  • Metering companies own and manage the meters that measure your power usage.
  • Retailers – that’s us! – buy power from the wholesale market and sell it on to you.
  • And the government does its bit, governing and regulating the electricity industry.

Each of these organisations – even the government – clips the ticket along the way. Some of their charges are fixed and some of them are variable. Which is why yours are too. Add to these GST and government levies. And that’s what makes up the total price of your power.

How do you work out my rates?

Your rates are made up of a daily fixed charge and a charge for every kilowatt hour (kWh) of power you use.

Your rates are based on :

You can see what your rates are by logging in to your desktop account. Select the ‘Usage’ tab, then ‘Your Rates’ on the left. If you have more than one property, you can flick between the rates for each property in the drop-down menu of ‘Your rates’.

What is Standard Power?

Standard Power is priced at your own standard rate. This is based on whether you’re a low or a standard user, your meter set-up (which is sometimes called your tariff) and where you live. Check your Standard Power rate by selecting the ‘Usage’ tab in your desktop account and choosing the ‘Your Rates’ heading on the left.

You’ll pay your Standard Power rate if we need to top up your account for you at the end of the month. When you buy our Special Packs and Future Packs, you save on your Standard Power rate.

How do I know if I’m a low or a standard user?

Log in to your desktop account, select ‘Usage’ and go to ‘Your Rates’. If your ‘Daily charge’ is 34.50c, including GST (or 30c without GST), then you’re on our low user pricing. If your ‘Daily charge’ is different to this then you’re a standard user.

If you’re a low user your ‘Daily charge’ will be much lower than that of a standard user – and a maximum of 30c per day. Your charge per kWh will be higher than standard user pricing. However you’re still likely to pay much less overall.

If you think that you would be better off on the alternative pricing option, give us a call on 0800 IN CONTROL (0800 462 668) and we can sort this out for you.

How much power does a low user use?

You’re a low user if:

  • you use less than 8000 kWh of power per year; or
  • you use less than 9000 kWh per year if you live in all areas south of and including Christchurch, but excluding the West Coast; and
  • your property is where you live most of the time (your primary place of residence).

Powershop regularly reviews whether you are on the correct pricing for your usage and will put you on the best option for your situation. We’ll also let you know every year on your Powershop anniversary how much power you’ve used and what the best rate option is for you.

Which of my rates are fixed?

Your daily charge is fixed and so will stay the same month to month. Your daily charge is based on whether you’re a low or standard user. You can see what your ‘Daily charge’ is by clicking on the ‘Usage’ tab in your Desktop Account and choosing the ‘Your Rates’ heading on the left.

Which of my rates is variable?

Your charge per kWh is variable. It will tend to go down in spring and summer when demand is lower, and up in autumn and winter when demand goes up. See your rates by clicking on the ‘Usage’ tab in your desktop account and choosing the ‘Your Rates’ heading on the left.

Do you have different pricing plans?

Powershop has no plans as such. Our prices suit the type of meter you have, where you live, and when you use power.

What is my ‘Daily charge’?

Your ‘Daily charge’ is based on whether you’re a low or a standard user. This charge is fixed and includes things like meter rentals, payments to network companies and government levies. You can see what your ‘Daily charge’ is by clicking on the ‘Usage’ tab in your desktop account and choosing the ‘Your Rates’ heading on the left.

Why do my rates vary month to month ?

Your rate will move with the seasons – up in autumn and winter when demand is generally higher, and down again in spring and summer when demand is generally lower.

Should other people that live in my area have the same rates as me?

Not necessarily. Because your rates are tailored to whether you’re a low or standard user and your meter set-up, you could have a different rate to your neighbour or friends and family that live in your area.

For example, if your neighbour is a low user and has a day/night meter, and you are a standard user with an inclusive meter, then your rates will be different. Even though you’re both Powershop customers and are supplied by the same network.

Why do my prices usually change each year?

Every year, everyone involved in the electricity supply chain reviews their costs and decides what to charge power retailers like us. Changes in those charges often lead to movement in the prices paid by power users like you.

How does my meter set-up affect what I pay?

Your meter set-up – or your ‘tariff’ – determines:

  • how much of your supply your lines company (or network) can control
  • how your power is measured – that is, whether your meter can measure your day and night time usage, separately. Or whether your day and night time usage is bundled together.

Generally, the power you use at night will cost less than the power you use in the day. And the power your lines company can control, will cost less than the power they can’t.

I live in the lower South Island – why have I been charged for Control Period Demand?

What is it?
Control Period Demand (CPD) is a fixed charge that lines company Aurora charges some of its customers (mostly, but not always, businesses). Aurora calculates each customer’s CPD value based on the electricity they used over peak periods from May to August.

Unfortunately we can’t afford to absorb these costs, so they’re passed directly on to you.

What’s behind it?
The idea is to give customers the incentive to save electricity at times of high demand, generally during cold winter weekdays in the morning and evening. Customers with high winter usage mean Aurora has to invest in additional capacity on its network to cope with peak usage during winter.

Aurora reviews each customer’s CPD charge on 1 April based on the previous year’s winter usage. This means that if your winter usage was substantially lower than it was the year before, you’re likely to be charged less (and vice versa if your usage was higher in comparison). If your winter usage was similar to the year before’s, you may see no change in your CPD charge.

I live in North Canterbury – what’s the Mainpower rebate?

Many customers in the Mainpower network region, which covers North Canterbury from Kaiapoi to Kaikoura (including Rangiora and Hanmer Springs), receive a 2.32 c/kWh (including GST) rebate for all usage. This rebate is automatically applied to your account at the time of your account review.

Note that customers on the old Kaiapoi Electricity network area do not receive this rebate (but they do effectively pay the same overall rates for their usage).

An easy way to see whether or not you are eligible for the rebate is to look at your ICP number. If you are eligible, your ICP will have the letters MP (for Mainpower) in it, for example 00002xxxxxxMPxxx.

If you are ineligible your ICP will have the letters KE (Kaiapoi Electricity) in it, for example 00005xxxxxxKExxx.