Flick Electric Company

23 March 2020

We're keeping the lights on through COVID-19

It’s a strange and uncertain time for all of us right now, and we know that the implications of COVID-19 mean that the admin of ordinary life - like paying your power bills - can become a whole other stress entirely.

Here at Flick, we’re very aware that these tough times might mean some of our awesome Flicksters struggle to pay their bills, but please, don’t panic. Rest assured that we’re focused on keeping the lights on, and making sure we’ve got staff on the phones and processes in place to help you through it. So, what to do?

We're here to help

Support on bill payment

We understand that being able to pay bills during this uncertain time can be tough. Here's where you can get help:

Government Help

The Government's COVID 19 website and COVID-19 recovery package, offer different avenues of financial help.

Or give the Government Helpline a call on 0800 779 997 (8am–1am, 7 days a week).

The Winter Energy Payment will begin again from 1 May 2020 through until 1 October, and it’s been temporarily doubled this year (to $40.91 a week for a single person and $63.64 a week for couples and families). If you’re entitled to receive it, it’ll begin automatically at the start of May.

The Ministry of Social Development also offers help for those who’re having trouble paying their power bills (at any time), and you don’t need to be on a benefit to qualify.

We're here too

If you think you might have issues being able to pay your bill, fill out this form, or email us at hello@flickelectric.co.nz. Contacting us through these digital channels is the fastest way to get help.

Our team's wellbeing is top of mind too, so they are all set up at home to answer your queries from 08.00am - 08.00pm Monday to Wednesday, 08.00am - 04:30pm on Thursday to Friday & 08:30am - 05:00pm Saturday & Sunday and are here to help you and your situation.

Power Saving Tips

Our appliances make up a big part of our bills. Hot water cylinders make up 28% of all power bills (according to EECA)! That’s some serious power hunger. But different appliances have a different impact on your bill, so knowing how much each appliance costs can help you save some mullah.

We know everyone's spending a lot more time at home, so your normal power saving tips are harder to stick by. But did you know that there are also a few lesser-known tips and tricks that can help minimise the sting of higher power bills? Read our blog on not-your-usual-power-tips.

Don't forget the Flick tools in your artillery that might help navigate power use and manage bills over the coming weeks.

  1. Head to the Analyze tab on your dashboard to track usage by time of day, day of week or through the month to keep on top of how much power you're using.
  2. Choose a billing frequency to manage your budget more closely or make bill payment line up with your pay day. Flick has three different options for billing frequency - weekly, fortnightly and monthly. Choose which one suits you best and you can change at any point!
  3. Use the Flick app to see what your appliances will cost for every 30 minutes you're using them.
  4. If you're on Freestyle, watch the spot price, and use power when the price is best, to do those jobs that can easily be shifted.

LED bulbs are worth their weight in gold

Nervous about the long winter nights eating into your lighting budget? Energy efficient lightbulbs can slash 80% of a household’s lighting costs - around $400 per year, or 20% of the average household’s total electricity cost!

LED bulbs also have an estimated 10 year life so the savings really add up over time.

Just changing a few bulbs in the house can make all the difference - read more over on the EECA energy efficent light bulbs tool here.

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Cooktop or slow cooker? Make a stew to suit you

Cooktops are some of the most power hungry units - they use on average 1.7 units of power per half hour. That's nothing to scoff at! The good news is that you've got alternatives - the humble slow cooker.

A slow cooker uses on average a teeny tiny 0.043 units of power every half hour. To put that in perspectve, you'd need to use it for a whopping 19 hours to match the cooktop's half hour. Considering that most slow cooker recipies are around 6-8 hours - baby, you got a stew going.

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Holy hecker, heat pump over heater any day!

We all know that the basic heaters are a bit of a money-sink: the average fan heater is 1.2 units every half hour. That's why, if you have the choice, use your heat pump! For that same half hour, you'll only use 0.5 units of power!

You can read more about heat pumps, and what yours might cost, over on the EECA website.

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Drip dry or tumble dry? Drip, drip, drip.

The clothes dryer. While it makes all those sheets feel warm, it can be a bit of a sink on the bill. Sitting an average 0.875 units per half hour, and typically taking 1-2 hours to run, it can start to stack up!

Instead, why not give the good old fashioned washing line a spin? Get the washing machine running overnight, and hang it up bright and early in the morning! By the time you come home for your stew, those sheets will be crisp and clean.

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Get Power Bill-Prepped with Volt

Power bills aren’t exactly a bundle of fun at the best of times, but thanks to COVID-19 and the uncertainty that’s tagging along on the back of it, in the coming months it’s likely lots of Kiwis will feel the pinch when it comes to paying their power bills.

How can we help? Well, one tool in the Flick armoury that we reckon you might find useful is Volt. This nifty little bill-smoother helps you to build up credit on your account that can be used when your power bills are a bit higher than normal or when money’s looking tight. Read more on how you can Get Bill-Prepped with Volt here.

FAQs

How do I open a Volt?

Go to the Volt tab in your dashboard, or the account tab in your Flick mobile app and click 'Get a Flick Volt'. After you set a minimum payment and a "When to use Volt" amount, your Volt will be activated for the next week starting on a Monday.

Not keen on using the app? Give us a call on 0800 435 425 and we'll set your Volt up for you over the phone.

What do I do if I want to use my Volt up?

If you want to run your Volt down quickly, then set your "When to use Volt" amount to $0 and we'll take the full amount of your next bill out of your Volt.

Remember though, having a Volt gives you a stash to take the edge off the occasional high bill, so if you deliberately run it down, you won't have that option anymore.