How do you price your broking services?
All our standard services are fee-based. You will know before any work starts exactly what the costs will be. The only exceptions are
in which case an estimate is provided.
- where third-party equipment needs to be hired, or
- a power investigation is required
Unlike other brokers we do not offer savings-based pricing. From what we have seen of this practice it unfairly and disproportionately rewards the broker for the services rendered.
Do you provide loyalty discounts?
Yes. Our clients are of the utmost importance to us and we regard our dedication to customer service, highly competitive pricing and going the extra mile as “standard service”. In addition we provide a 10% loyalty discount off our current pricing to clients contracted to us for the provision of our services.
How many energy retailers do you approach when you seek pricing?
There are 46 electricity retailers at present in New Zealand. For electricity pricing we will invite the five largest retailers (Contact Energy, Genesis Energy, Mercury Energy, Meridian Energy and Trustpower*) plus one or two smaller retailers to participate in our Request for Proposal process. The "top five" account for about 93% of all connections, New Zealand wide. However where there are electricity retailers specific to your area,or if you have a preferred retailer, we will include them in the process as well.
For reticulated natural gas pricing we will invite those that normally supply commercial and industrial customers: Contact Energy, Genesis Energy, Nova Energy, OnGas (for large users) and Trustpower.
*Where appropriate: Trustpower tend to only be competitive in the Western Bay of Plenty area where the Tauranga Electricity Trust provide a significant annual rebate.
Do you receive payments from energy retailers or any other sources?
No. Our independence of service to you is guaranteed as your payment to us is the only payment we receive.
Do you do bill checking?
We will at your request. However if you have used us for your energy broking then the most important invoice from the retailer is the first one in the new contract and we check that for you for free. All retailers use automated billing systems and if any errors are made it will be in setting up the billing. Once the first invoice is proven correct the chances of subsequent invoices being incorrect is miniscule. However if any invoice is of concern to you we can check it for a nominal fee.
Is my retailer overcharging me?
Sometimes. We've had cases where clients have been massively overcharged. Of course retailers don't do this deliberately but sometimes their processes aren't the best. Get in touch - we'll take up your case for you if it looks like you are in this situation.
I'm loyal to my energy retailer - isn't that rewarded?
Unfortunately not! Loyal customers are usually viewed as captive and unaware that there may be better prices for them in the electricity market. Competition drives prices down and there is nothing like going to the market through a formal Request for Proposal process to ensure that the best - i.e. least cost - prices are extracted from the market.
There is nothing I can do about the line (delivery) charges, right?
Yes there is! We've found numerous errors where clients have been consistently overcharged by being on incorrect line charges. Line charges represent some 20-40% of your invoice and are applied by your local lines company, e.g.Vector Ltd for the metropolitan Auckland area, who recover these costs through your retailer's invoice. Your retailer normally passively passes these through at no margin.Your retailer rarely checks to see that these charges are optimal for your supply! In our Request for Proposal process we normally include such a review to ensure that you are only paying for what you need.
What's "power factor" and why am I getting billed for it?
In essence, power factor is a measure of how much power you site requires compared to the actual amount used for production. The greater the difference, the higher the power factor charge. The charges are typically avoidable through having "power factor correction" installed which is both correctly specified and operating correctly. If you are getting sizable charges for power factor, call us, we'll help you get the costs down!
As of 1 April 2014 Vector Ltd, the lines company for the Auckland metropolitan area, substantially increased their charges (by over 4 times!). This charge has remained at the level ever since. How can you avoid these increased costs? Let us evaluate your supply - we'll tell you how and help you to achieve the savings..
I've got plant that keeps breaking down and can't be run at full production ?
There are a number of possible causes here. Let us help you - give us a call!
I'm replacing some plant soon but wonder if the cost savings will justify it ?
We recognise the importance of cost justification in today's tough economic environment. Give us a call, we'll carry out a detailed analysis and personally present a "plain English" report for you!
Will solar energy save me money ?
Solar energy installations are getting cheaper but it is doubtful if they are now at a level which is cost effective for commercial and industrial clients in an urban environment. Commercial and industrial grid energy has recently become cheaper and is likely to remain at these low levels for some time yet. This makes the economics of solar energy at best marginal and most likely uneconomic.
To see why, you need to appreciate what is involved. A solar installation typically consists of:
- a photo-voltaic solar array to gather the energy. Even at present state of the art these are only 20% efficient at best.
- a battery bank to store it (unless you wish to use it only during daylight hours)
- one or more inverters to convert the d.c. into a.c. so that it can be used in your network and, if there is a surplus of energy...
- an export metering arrangement that allows the export and sale of surplus energy to the grid (however sale prices are low for export electricity and this may not be economic)
AND you will still need to be connected to the grid, so you will still pay a monthly line charge even if you use zero grid energy.
These items represent a significant capital investment. Remember too that the solar cells will only have a 20 year life so will likely need replacement after that time. Most businesses expect an investment to have a simple payback period of not more than 5 years, often less. Even taking into account the sale of surplus energy back to the grid (which will only be able to be sold at a much less price than energy imported from the grid) it is unlikely to meet the investment test.
If you need us to independently evaluate your solar energy proposal we will be happy to do so.