How does cheap electricity sound to you? The Tenant Advisory Group reckons it sounds great.
The Reducing Energy Hardship through Financial Inclusion trial aims to get cheaper power to people, no matter their credit history.
The project is supported by the ŌCHT Tenant Advisory Group (TAG), which hopes the scheme will help more tenants save on what they currently pay for power.
The project starts soon: all TAG needs is volunteers.
How it works
It aims to get cheaper electricity by:
- Bringing a large group of energy users together: this will give more buying power
- Providing a simple way to calculate savings
- Helping people switch and set-up payment
- Reducing credit risk for the power companies
- Helping with energy budgeting by asking electricity retailers for bill smoothing payment options. Bill smoothing is where people make equal weekly, fortnightly or monthly payments in line with when they are paid.
What will happen if you join the trial?
What you’re paying now will be compared with the prices offered by other electricity companies. The project will then:
- Tell you what you would’ve saved on your last bill, and how much you could save over a year
- Compare of your new and old electricity rates
- Let you know you what your new regular electricity payments will be. They’ll be made at the same time you’re paid and will stay the same over the year
If you approve making the switch, the project will:
- Switch you to the new offer, which may be with a new electricity company.
- Sign you up to Pocketful.
Pocketful is a payment gateway. With your permission, it will see your bank account to make payments on your behalf to your electricity company. The payments are made as soon as you get your regular income.
Don’t worry – you’ll be told what that amount will be. For example, if you have $300 a week after tax and you pay $2,000 per year in electricity, Pocketful will transfer about $40 per week out of your account. You’ll know you’ll have $260 available for other expenses.
Can you decide not to be part of the trial?
Absolutely. You can leave at any time.
Will it cost you money to be part of the trial?
No. The savings comparison that’s do for you before the trial starts is designed to make sure you’ll pay less for electricity. If there are no savings, the project team won’t recommend you join the trial.
What do you need to do to join the trial?
Call ŌCHT on 0800 624 456 and tell them you want to take part.
When you start the trial, you will need to:
- Take a copy of a recent power bill. If you are a pre-paid customer, please supply the last statement from your pre-paid supplier
- Confirm you are the bill payer, or have authority from the bill payer, to switch electricity providers
- Supply details of your New Zealand bank account where your income is sent to. This will be the same account that makes electricity payments to your electricity company
- Have internet access. This can be done on a phone, a computer or tablet – either personally, of through family or a community facility (such as a library).
When will the trial start?
Early 2021. The trial should run for about two months.
What happens after the trial?
You can go back to your old method of paying or stay on the new rate for as long as the electricity company supports the offer. If you want to switch, the project team can help you do it.
Who do you talk to if you have any issues?
Your electricity provider is legally responsible for supplying your electricity and dealing with any issues. But the project team wants to hear about any issues and will ask for feedback during and after the trial. So please don’t sit in silence: if you have an issue, tell them.
The trial partners and sponsors are:
Saveawatt (project manager and electricity offer aggregator)
Pocketful (payment gateway)
EECA, the Energy Efficiency & Conservation Authority (Crown Entity and sponsor)
You: Ōtautahi Community Housing Trust tenants
To register: call ŌCHT on 0800 624 456 and tell them you want to take part.
This project is supported by the Tenant Advisory Group and is not an ŌCHT initiative. ŌCHT us helping TAG register volunteers. The project information was supplied to TAG by Saveawatt.