My power is off – what should I do?

Your power could be off for a few reasons – e.g. extreme weather, a vehicle crashing into a power pole, or some kind of lines fault. The outage may be specific to your property, or there may be a more widespread problem in the network.

First up
It’s best to call your network company to report the fault. If you don’t know your network company, then call us on 0800 462 668 and we can contact them for you. We’ll coordinate with the network company and, if necessary, get a fault person to your property as quick as we can. If other houses in your street are out, there’s a good chance someone will be working on the problem already and it’s just a matter of time before the power is back on.

Check out who to contact for faults and outages in your area.

Keep yourself safe
Keep yourself and others well clear of any electrical lines and wires – even if your power is out, you should treat all lines and wires as if they’re live and dangerous..

Switch off appliances at the wall
If your power goes off it’s a good idea to switch off all electrical appliances at the wall. It’s especially important to make sure hazardous appliances (heaters and ovens) or sensitive electronic equipment (computers) are turned off or unplugged at wall, to reduce the risk of fire, or damage to equipment if there is an electricity surge when the supply is restored. Just leave a light or two on so you know when the power has come back on.

I’ve moved house and my power is off?

First things first, check that the previous occupier hasn’t turned off the power at the mains. If you don’t know how, or have any problems, give us a call on 0800 462 668.
If the house has been empty for a while the power may have been disconnected. In which case, we’ll reconnect you. You may have to pay a reconnection fee – see our fees and charges.

If the property has been disconnected for longer than 6 months, you’ll need to get a Certificate Of Verification (COV) signed by a registered electrical inspector. This confirms that everything is in good working order and safe. Show the COV to our technician when they come to reconnect you.

My power usage seems unusually high?

If you’re getting through more power than usual, first have a think about whether anything in your household has changed. Cold weather can sometimes sneak up on us and we find ourselves using the heater more or having more hot showers. Have you moved to a bigger property that takes more to heat? Or perhaps the rellies have been to stay for a few nights? In which case, it’s more than likely you will have used more power than you normally would.

For tips on keeping usage as low as you can visit the Energywise website.

If you’re using more power than usual and you’re sure that nothing has changed, it could mean that one of your appliances is faulty. For example, leaking hot water cylinders can churn through electricity. If you suspect something’s not quite right, ask your local electrician to come and assess your home.

I’ve just switched to Powershop and already seem to have used a lot of power?

This could be because the final meter reading your last power company gave us for your property was an estimate that was much lower than what you had actually used. So it looks like you’ve used more power than you actually have since switching. If this is the case, email us or call us on 0800 IN CONTROL (0800 462 668) and we will contact them to sort it out.

I rely on electricity for a medical condition. Do I need to tell you?

Yes. If you, or anyone else at your property relies on a continuous supply of electricity for critical medical support, and if you were cut off it may cause serious harm or loss of life you need to let us know. Either:

  • Log in to your account. Select the ‘Settings’ section, ‘Vulnerability & Medical Dependency’, then ‘Medically Dependent’ and provide the details; or
  • Email us, or call us on 0800 IN CONTROL (0800 462 668), Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm.

If you believe you should be classified as a Medically Dependent Consumer (MDC) on our system, then we will need to verify your eligibility for this status with your health provider. You will need to provide us with a Notice of Potential MDC Status filled in by your District Health Board, private hospital or GP.

It is important to be aware that no electricity retailer can guarantee a continuous supply of electricity. Power outages may occur at any time without warning (e.g. in the case of extreme weather, accidents involving power poles etc). It is your responsibility to ensure you have a backup power supply in case there is an unplanned power outage. Your GP or health provider should be able to help you get a plan in place.

How can I protect my appliances from surges and interruptions to my electricity supply?

Surges and interruptions to your supply can damage things like computers, televisions, stereos, washing machines and dryers, and heat pumps. There are a few things you can do to minimise the damage, which we’d strongly recommend.

1. Install a product that will minimise damage. What you’ll need will depend on your circumstances. Your local electrician or electrical store can help you choose the best product or combination of products for you. If you’re keen to do a bit of research yourself, there are some great online resources that discuss these issues in depth. The types of product you can choose from include:

  • Surge protectors
  • Power conditioners
  • Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS)

2. Make sure you have insurance that covers you for loss or damage due to interruptions or fluctuations in electricity supply.

3. Switch off all electrical appliances at the wall if your power goes off. This can help prevent damage if there is an electricity surge when the supply is restored. Just leave a light or two on so you know when it has come back on.

A tree on my property is close to a power line – who is responsible?

If a tree on your property is dangerously close to a power line, or is looking like it will be soon, contact your lines company, who will tell you what to do. You can find out who your lines company is by looking at your Account Review invoice.

“Cut and trim”
Your lines company may issue you with a “cut and trim” notice. If it’s the first one you’ve been issued, then the lines company may either cut the tree itself or pay for it to be done by a third party. You will be responsible for paying for any further cuts unless you provide your lines company with a ‘no interest’ tree notice in accordance with the Electricity (Hazards from Trees) Regulations 2003. This gives the lines company the right to remove or trim the tree subject to certain obligations in the regulations.

Electricity (Hazards from Trees) Regulations
If a tree comes into contact or falls onto a power line it can cause power cuts or, worse, put lives at risk. So it’s obviously in everyone’s interest to get it sorted. The Electricity (Hazards from Trees) Regulations 2003 – which set out tree owners’ obligations for keeping trees free from power lines – define when the lines company must give notices, and the information they need to include.

You can find out more on your lines company’s website. By law, they should have information on:

  • the dangers posed by contact between trees and electricity lines
  • an explanation of the distances trees should be from electricity lines
  • a general description of the dangers of cutting and trimming trees in the vicinity of lines
  • a list of offences that tree owners could commit and the penalties associated with them

I don’t think my meter is recording my usage accurately?

Call us on 0800 IN CONTROL (0800 462 668) and we will contact your metering company to see if there is a fault.

Why aren’t my smart meter readings showing in my Powershop account?

The smart meter readings recorded in your Powershop account are usually 24 hours behind real time. If you have a few days’ readings missing, it could be that there is a technical glitch that is causing the delay. Email us or call us on 0800 IN CONTROL (0800 462 668) and we’ll get in touch with your metering company so that they can sort it out.

Sometimes bad weather can interfere with your meter’s signal. Also if you live in certain areas, e.g. rural spots, your geography may mean your signal is inconsistent.

I’m going on holiday. Do I need to buy power before I go?

It’s totally your call. You can buy your Powerpacks before you go or, if the end of your Account Review period falls while you’re still away, we will buy power for you at your Standard Power rate, if you haven’t already bought enough. If you are going to be away at the end of your Account Review period and you think you might run out of pre-purchased power, just remember to make sure there are enough funds in your bank account/on your credit card to cover your bill.

My internet is down and I can’t buy power?

Don’t worry. With Powershop you can choose to pay for your power before and after you use it. So your power won’t be cut off if you run out of pre-purchased power.

If your internet is down and you can’t buy power, just carry on as normal. Or download our mobile app to access the shop and buy power on your mobile.

Once your internet is up and running again, you can log in to buy a Powerpack. Or, if you don’t get the chance before the end of your Account Review period, we’ll automatically debit your bank account or credit card to cover any shortfall.

We’ll email you to let you know the date the money will be debited from your account. Download our mobile app if you would also like to get a mobile alert a few days before we’re about to make a transaction.