Octopus Energy NZ: $0.17/Kwh Solar Buy Back, $0 Daily Fee on Low User Plans

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Areas supplied: https://octopusenergy.nz/areas-we-supply

Big (GDP1.24b revenue in 2020) British energy company has launched in NZ.

Very good rates. I have projected roughly $60 per month savings, compared to my current provider.

Rates vary by region, but for central Auckland, incl GST, rounded to 2dp:

17c Solar buy back.

Low user

Day: $0.00
kWh Peak: $0.35
kWh Off Peak: $0.26
kWh Night: $0.17

Standard user:

Day: $2.27
kWh Peak: $0.23
kWh Off Peak: $0.14
kWh Night: $0.12

Times for each period are on the website, but notably no peak time on weekends in my area.

Rates fixed for a year.

[edit] - Check your old providers cancellation terms, some like pulse will sting you $150+GST if you don't give 30 days notice.

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Comments

  • Where are the times for off peak and night etc?

    • +1
      • +3

        Pretty cool that weekend is considered off peak.

        • Isn't it same for Flick? Weekends and 9PM-7AM are off peak rates.

          EDIT:
          Just checked Flick offers me 12.91 c/unit for night and on weekends. Non offpeak rate is 28.38 c/unit (+ daily charges and GST). I think it is cheaper than Octopus and others. No free hour(s) though.

      • Where on the website is that as I assume this will be different depending on location, so need to see what it says for my address.

        Edit - it's between the selection of off if your house is your main address / holiday house etc and the displayed rates. Not sure why I didn't see it the first time but this question shows I wasn't the only one…

  • no daily charge for low power users… 60cents this year… 90 cents next year… 1.20 the following year etc.

    • Yeah, they basically just rely on customer inertia, with cheap rates in the first year. Easy enough to change though.

    • +1

      The lines companies sure are charging daily rate's, but Octopus is clearly absorbing it at their end.

      Rates are fixed for a year, but I can't see the zero daily fee's being sustainable as the low user regulations are phased out.

  • Any sign up credit or refer link ?

    • Not for Octopus. Just low rates.

      EK does have referral links if you want to search one out online.

  • +1

    Good to have more competition! Did a comparison with my current Electric Kiwi MoveMaster plan and EK is still cheaper.

    EK morning peak is only 7-9am.
    EK has hour of power, which easily offsets the daily charge many times over.

    • +2

      Octopus is off-peak all weekend though. I don't think EK is?

      Rates in Dunedin for Octopus (low user incl GST):
      Day: 0
      Peak: 31c
      Off-peak: 24c
      Night: 16c

      Rates in Dunedin for EK Move Master (low user incl GST):
      Day: 0.34
      Peak: 0.3646
      Off-peak: 0.2552
      Night: 0.1823

      • I believe 7 free hours per week from EK should offset the daily charge and weekend peak times if it is utilized fully like dish washer, laundry, heating etc.

        Plus there weekdays Peak periods of 7am-11am can be big considering they have higher peak rates.

        • Yes it does. I calculated power usage for month of May. EK came out $9 cheaper exactly due to the Hop.

      • Yeah the fact that they offer off-peak during all weekend day hours is a great deal and I think makes them a better option for me than EK

    • +1

      "EK has hour of power, which easily offsets the daily charge many times over."

      Really depends how much of your daily usage you can get into the hour.

      Did a crude model. 29 days, 500kWh, even usage across the day, and the Dunedin rates.

      EK: $133.7

      Octopus: $115.

      Break even point works out to be getting about 19% of your daily usage into the hour of power (based on even consumption spread over the other hours). - I hear of some people getting 40%, so 19% should be doable, but you would need to go fairly hard at it.

      [edit] - should not Octopus rates are fixed for a year, EK rates are not, and they have already increased prices (multiple times I think) this year. If you think power prices are going to further increase Octopus could be a good option.

  • +1

    "Sorry, we can't supply you yet."

    Never had that before with an electricity supplier :(

    What's that all about? Are they picking and choosing their supply areas? I'm in the Northpower region.

    • Doesn't seem to work in the Waikato either.

    • Retailers have to negotiate and set up contracts with every power distributor (there are dozens) individually, same with each metering company. So it takes a while.

    • Do you have a day night meter? if not you will get the same message(it seems) even if they are supplying to your region.
      I always check my broad band deals and power deals using my neighbors address ( :-D ). Octopus website said "Sorry, we can't supply you yet.", when I gave my neighbors address. When I tried my address I got their plan details. I have day night meter and my neighbor don't have it.

      • Dumb question, but why is there a distinction of a Day-Night meter when a Smart meter can provide 30min read intervals constantly throughout the day?

        • I asked this of my current power company, Meridian when we moved into this house and they basically said it just has to be done (And I had to pay to get it changed). It is an extremely dumb requirement and not a dumb question at all.

  • Great to see more competition, but the rates don't stack up for me in Auckland

  • +2

    Does anyone have a spreadsheet that the would be willing to share to calculate prices differences between companies? I.e something that I put my electricity usage into and compare prices?

      • Hi Scott, you didn't included 12% prompt payment discount for Mercury

        • Good spotting.

          Makes them the cheapest non time of use provider that I considered. $0.1686/kWh for standard central Auckland users after that discount.

          My model still has Octopus $20 cheaper a month (at 1300 units a month evenly spread) and I have hit the switch button, so I will try them out for a while, and see how my actual usage fits into the time of use bands.

          Makes Median a great option for those who mostly use power in peak times though, especially with the price being fixed for two years in the current high inflation environment.

        • The Electricity Authority and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment had been conducting market monitoring, and there were “encouraging signs” that most retailers were gradually removing the prompt payment discounts from their price plans. “However, I am aware of some retailers who say they find it hard to remove PPDs, in particular for consumers on legacy or fixed-term contracts,” Woods​ said.

          Consumer NZ head of research Jessica Wilson​ said progress had been disappointingly slow, and there had been some confusion among consumers about the removal of the discounts. “We’re aware that some companies are continuing to use prompt payment discounts, and particularly some of the major players are still applying them to customer accounts.

          “To us, they are a late payment fee in disguise and shouldn’t be there at all.” “Only one retailer as far as we’re aware has removed prompt payment discounts entirely. That’s Meridian, and they did that some time ago.”

          Some had removed them for new customers, but many existing customers still had them on their bill.

          TIL these are still around (at least of last year). Taking longer than expected to get rid of em.

      • +1

        This link has reached its traffic limit. :(

    • Bill found a really good article on power price comparisons in Moneyhub last month - see his comment here
      This also includes a link to download a comparison spreadsheet.

  • Ends up being about $10 cheaper a month vs EK Low User Move Master plan on a super quick calculation (I live in south Auck so get the Counties Energy 'tax' as well). This calculation is taking into account the free hour of power (the best I can calculate it out) but doesn't account for the peak hour shift or the 'no peak' on weekends with Octopus.

    Might end up saving me a few $$ over the year, so might make the switch.

    Also nice that the rates are fixed for a year. Already had my rates increase several times this year with EK :(

    • Where did you get the rate for South Auckland? I checked on their website and it does not tell me the rate. I have to call them up or upload my bill to get the rate. Thanks.

      • I just put in my address and it came up with the rates.

  • Could be good for an ultra low user and/or solar user without a battery, but the per KWh rates are pretty high.

    • KWh rates on standard user plans are pritty good in my area.

      And 17c buyback is very attractive for any solar user (even with a battery, it often gets full and feeds back to the grid). Most companies offer cira 8c.

      But of course, run your own model, and pick what is best for you.

      • Solar buyback is via credits only with these guys just note.

  • no good here, not available in the Wairarapa. Pity as 17c kwh for our 4.6kw solar would be good. The others only pay 8c.

    • Solar buyback is via credits only with these guys just note.

      • yep, same as meridian

  • +2

    As a comparison…

    I'm in the Waimakariri district and have my power with Contact on their Good Nights plan (free power from 9pm - 12am every day).
    Contact charge $2.274 per day fixed daily charge.
    Paid power is 14.7c per kWh - no peak/off peak rates.

    On the standard plan, Octopus would charge me $2.84 per day, 18.0c per kWh for peak, 14.0c per kWh off peak and 9.0c per kWh night.

    I don't use much power at "night" and given Octopus's off peak rate is the same as my power rate for Contact regardless of time of day, I'll stick with Contact.

    tl;dr: Do your research, don't assume a new player will be the cheapest.

    • Power Prices have gone up a heap this year. People who are in legacy plans, or fixed rate plans from 1 year + ago, will likely better off to stick where they are.

      Your 14.7c / kWh rate for the contact good nights plan (3 free hours) is incrediable. For sure, stick with that.

      For me to sign up to that plan now in central Auckland (incl GST) , would be $2.28 a day, and $0.2427 / kWh.

      • Wow that's a big jump alright. I only signed up in Dec too.

  • I thought low user rates were getting scrapped? How are they able to introduce a low user rate?

    • +3

      You are correct that low user regulations are getting phased out.

      These regulations required power companies to offer low user plans with daily rates at or below 30c (last year). We are now at the first step of the phase out, and the Max low user daily fee is 60c. Next year it will be 90c.

      Nothing stopping power companies from continuing to offer low user plan's (or to have the daily fee at it's max amount during the phase out), it is just that they are no longer required to do so.

      Clearly Octopus thinks that $0 daily fees will attract consumers, so are covering any lines company daily fees from their end, and hoping to make it back with slightly higher kWh rates.

      I suspect their pricing will have them loosing money for at least a year. Get lot's of subscribers onboard, and then crank up margins in a few years time (either by raising prices, or via falling wholesale power prices). But prices are fixed for a year, so little to loose by taking up their current cheap rates, and checking back in a year.

  • Note that solar buy back is with credits, not cash.

  • I'm reading a lot of comments about lower user plans being phased out and that Octopus would most likely increase the rates over time. I'm currently with Meridian and I'm on a low user plan and the rates are - 34.5 cents/day and 25.78 c/kWh. I average about 570 kWh per month. My wife and I work from home all the time and so our main power usage will be during the day. Should I stay with Meridian, or should I give Octopus a try?

    • What are your rates quoted by Octopus? It will depend on where you live.

    • What part of the country are you in? Power rates vary by region, eg power is cheaper in Auck CBD vs South Auckland where I am now.

      • Oh sorry, forgot to mention that part. The rates for my area is the same as what OP posted.

        Low user

        Day: $0.00
        kWh Peak: $0.35
        kWh Off Peak: $0.26
        kWh Night: $0.17

        I also did some calculations and looks like I'll save about $14 per month if I go with Octopus. But after 1 year, they might jack up the prices and I'll probably have to find an alternative at that point. Wondering if it's worth the hassle?

        • That's $168/year, so I mean, a saving is a saving, isn't that why we're all on this site? :D

          Being that there's no minimum lock-in, and changing providers is dirt easy, might as well swap and save the $168 ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

          • @itakestime: Yeah I'm gonna switch. Tried to call Meridian to ask if they could give me a better deal considering that I've been with them for over 2 years now. Nobody bothered to pickup the phone, so off to a new power company I go.

            • +1

              @Chaoscreater: Unlikely that meridian would give you better rates. Power prices have gone up a lot in the last few months.

              Currently they are advertising $0.69/day + $0.28/kWh incl GST as their low user rates, so you are a lot below that.

              You must be on some legacy rate, and likely will get your price hiked by Median at some point.

              The cheapest 24/7 rate plan I found was frank energy, and that is still a touch more than what you are currently paying.

    • +1

      These rates are locked in for a year, so that is a decent length of time to justify changing, even if they do crank them up after that.

      34.5c/day + 25.78c/kWh (assuming that includes GST) is actually a fairly good deal for central auckland.

      So it all comes down to when you will be using your power.

      If you use a lot of power in peak times (7-11am + 5-9pm weekdays), you will be worse off under Octopus. If you use a lot of power at night, you will be better off with your current plan.

      I am planning to move my hot water, EV charging & Dish washer use to the middle of the night via timers, plus we often run the heat pump all night to keep the house from getting too cold for our small child, so Octopus should work out for me.

      With your daytime focused use, you may well be better on your current plan, and if your $15/month projected saving works out, you would need to balance this with the cost of any effort on your part to move power usage into the night.

      [edit] - I see you have made the call to move.

      • Yes, it's GST inc.

        I mainly use power between 8am~12am and that's every weekday. On weekends, the usage would be around the same if I were to stay home.

        Using the Excel spreadsheet that you've linked in a previous post, the cost comes out to $143.31 with Octopus, compared to the $157.45 with Meridian. Looking at the formulas, it's taking the kWH rate (peak, off peak and night) and multiplying by the ratio of your usage. The ratio assumes you're using power 24/7. Based on the ratio for 24/7 usage, doesn't that mean I wouldn't need to adjust my power usage pattern? If I were to use power 24/7, then I'll just be charged at $143 (across 30 days), no?

        Update:

        I'm just looking at my most recent power bill from Meridian, which is for the period April 29th ~ May 28th. It is $157.30 across 30 days (i.e $5.24 per day, which includes the daily charge of 34.5 cents), at 570 kWh total (or 19 kWh/day). Octopus doesn't have a daily charge, so to look at Meridian's cost without daily charge, we deduct $0.35 from $5.24, that's $4.89 per day assuming 19 kWh usage per day.

        Plugging in 19 kWH to get the daily cost for Octopus, we get:
        19 kWh x $0.35 (peak) x 0.238095238 = $1.58
        19 kWh x $0.26 (off peak) x 0.428571429 = $2.117
        19 kWh x $0.17 (night) x 0.33 = $1.07559

        Which totals to $4.77259/day. Still cheaper than the $4.89/day from Meridian (and we're excluding the daily charge here).

        Also, just thinking about the ratio a little bit, it adds up to 1 and it is assuming I'm using the power 24/7. Most of the primary power usage comes from active user usage, e.g. if I'm on my laptop working. I don't do that 24/7 of course, I need to rest and sleep too. So for the night ratio, it could be a lot lower, which means the overall cost would be lower.

        • My model is very crude, and assumes on average even power consumption across the day and night.

          In absence of better data, I thought that was fair. I am going to shift my hot water (with a timer), EV charging & dishwasher use into the night rate, so figured that would balance out with me sleeping then (no active power use).

          May not hold true for everybody.

          With the ratio, it needs to add up to 1, as all the power you use, is used sometime, but it dosn't need to be evenly distributed. You can put say .5 peak, .5 off peak, 0 night if you think that is a fairer reflection of your usage.

          Note the ratio for companies with free power periods is less than one, to reflect that some power is free (simply to save me the effort of putting in a row to calculate the cost of free power).

        • If anyone is with Meridian Energy, they have a fantastic tool on their site for looking at your usage trends and also allows you to export your usage data to CSV.

          Based on the actual usage data, my calculated ratio is the following:

          Peak 0.186486909
          Off Peak 0.521312624
          Night 0.292200467

          If I plug in the ratio values into Scott's Excel sheet, it'll come to around $142 for me. Prior to using actual data to calculate my ratio value, the estimate was $143 (based on crude estimation) and so this is pretty close. Meridian shows that I'm using power mostly between 8pm~10pm.

          I recommend asking your provider to provide 1 month's worth of data to you, so you can actually calculate your ratio.

          • @Chaoscreater: I'd get 12 months of data as your usage pattern could easily change through the year.

            • @Alan6984: I got the usage pattern all the way from November last year, which is more than 6 months of data. Based on the ratios calculated from that data, I'm getting about $139 per month as the estimate. I think anywhere between $139 ~ $145 is fine for me. I'm paying $157 with Meridian atm. My usage is very consistent and so I don't think I'll go wrong with Octopus Energy.

              Also, on their website it says the following:

              "We guarantee you’ll save money in the first year compared to your old power company or we’ll credit the difference plus $50"

              I think that should be mentioned in OP. I mean, that's pretty much a no brainer. It's a win-win situation, worst case scenario you'll be paying for the same amount as what you would pay if you were still with your old provider, except you get an additional $50 for free.

              • @Chaoscreater: Fair enough, but for anyone else I would still recommend you look at 12 months data, as changes in consumption patterns through the year can affect the total amount you pay, especially if you get some free periods at certain times of the day. If your pattern happened to be different in, say, Aug / Sep / Oct each year, it might change your decision, and analysing 12 months of data is exactly the same amount of effort as analysing three or six months.

  • +1

    I'm currently using OurPower and they have been pretty good so far. They have a fixed price of "23.5c per kWh +GST" with no daily charge, but minor fee each week depending on the payment method. No contracts, but they have had a price increase since we have been with them.

    • That's pretty good deal actually. Just worked out that it'll be about $7 cheaper than my current provider per month.

  • Find it hard that there's much savings from what we get from Contact Energy:

    Daily: 1.712 dollars/day
    UsageL 17.400 cents/kWh

    Free 9pm - Midnight

    • Those are very good rates, I would stick with them. For new contact customers in central Auckland, the rates I was quoted are:

      $2.28/day + 0.2427/kWh incl GST (free 9pm - midnight).

  • Does anyone know how to get your recent usage split out by time periods (I believe that this is stored in 30 min chunks usually)?

    We are currently with Contact in Auckland if that makes any difference.

    Thanks,

    Alan.

    • I'm with Contact too.
      If you sign in online you can see your usage by hour under the 'Usage Details' tab.
      It's by hour rather than every 30 minutes and I can't see a way to export the data but might give you something to start with as long as you have a calculator handy!

      • Apologies - I should have said that I found that - my bad, and you are right, it shows by the hour, although I believe it is recorded in 30 min chunks by 'the grid'.

        However, I can only see that as a graph, and only for yesterday. I was hoping to get it for, ideally, the last 12 months, but certainly for more than just yesterday.

        Did you find anything that gives you more than just yesterday?

        I did find this:

        https://www.ea.govt.nz/consumers/your-power-data-in-your-han...

        which states that:

        You can request your usage information from your current power company. If you have switched your power company in the past 24 months, you will need to contact all companies you have used to get a full set of data for this time period.

        To request this information contact your power company by phone, email or through their website. They must provide this information to you.

        Maybe I need to email Contact to get it.

        Thanks,

        Alan.

        • You can see other days - but it's clunky!
          First select the 'Day' tab to choose which day you want to look at.
          Then select the 'Hour' tab afterwards and you can see the chosen day by hour.
          If you want to go back further select the 'Month' tab first.

          I would have thoought there would be an export data option.
          I imagine you should be able to get in touch with them and ask for the data, but haven't tried myself.
          I currently have a year to go on a 2 year fixed contract so not looking myself at the moment.

          • @bigcheese: I agree! Very clunky, and they should have an export option.

            I just emailed them, so I'll see what comes back.

            They say they will reply within five working days, so don't hold your breath….

            • @Alan6984: I got an email back today, saying that Contact will provide me with the usage data, broken into 30 mins 'chunks', and that I should allow '5 to 10 days' for this to happen.

              Once I get that, it should be a simple matter of putting into Excel and I can then run each provider, including Contact, Octopus, and anyone else against it to see what I would have been charged if I had been on their current offers for the past year (or conversely, what I would be charged if our usage for the next 12 months was the same as for the last 12 months).

              Can't wait :-)

              • @Alan6984: Contact just emailed me our usage over the last 21 months or so (627 days if my maths are correct) in 30 minute blocks being just over 30,000 data lines.

                Should be easy to compare all the plans now, making a reasonable assumption that our usage going forward will be similar to the same time last year.

                Interesting, but not surprising, that our peak usage is almost always between 5pm and 6pm (cooking dinner). i spotted one exception, where it was between 1:00pm and 1:30pm, so looked closer, and it was 25 Dec 2021 - cooking Xmas dinner :-)

  • My current provider has better rates than this. No savings for me in New Plymouth. Shocked by their daily rate as a Standard user!!!!

  • +1

    My current EK :
    Peak usage: $0.2427 per kWh
    Off-peak shoulder usage: $0.1699 per kWh
    Off-peak night usage: $0.1214 per kWh
    Fixed cost of: $2.2900 per day

    average hour of power saving is 12.1%

    Octopus for Wellington Central

    Peak 0.21
    Off peak : 0.15
    Night: 0.10
    Daily: 2.12

    I have my hot water on timer that switches off during peak times already… From what i can work out is I could get very similar monthly bills without having to live a regimented life around the hour of power. Will have to do some calculations

    • +4

      So I did a calculation and even taking in the EK free hour savings and weekend being offpeak ended up being $7-8 cheaper a winter month so that is worth it alone along with fixed rates for a year and my life not being dominated by the hour of power so switched.

      Also won't be getting e-mails from "Christine" every few months telling me my power charges are going up.

  • Do they have a refer a friend scheme?

  • "Looks like you’re on pretty good rates
    Using the info you gave us, your total bill would have been $221.96 with Contact for electricity on our Good Nights plan*, compared to $177.41 on your current bill."

    Compare to OE, am still 5% better off

    Currently EK MM plan, great value if you can shift power usage.

  • Look like this is cheaper than EK - low user rate

    Last 14 days EK charge - 143kw + 27kw (free) + 4.76 (14 days charge ) = $61

    If I am Octopus energy and if my all usage is during peak hour = 170kwh * .35 = 59.5

    Thanks . Really good deal In Wellington

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