Got Questions?

Believe us, we've been there and we feel you. The electricity industry ain't the easiest to get your head around. Our mission is to make things a whole lot more transparent here in New Zealand, so if you don't find the answer to your query below, give us a call on 0800 435 425.

How you Save

What makes Flick different?

When we say Flick is a whole new way of buying power, we're not kidding. With Flick, all the different costs that make up your power bill are unbundled. You get to see the costs of producing power and getting it to your house. And we pass these on without any mark-up, then charge a separate fee to be your retailer. Each week we'll show you the full breakdown. It'll look something like this:
Tools_Donut2

Plus, you'll be given access to tools that'll show you the how much you're using and spending, as well as the real time price of electricity and the carbon impact. It’s 100% straight-up, honest and fair. The power really is in your hands.

What does Flick offer me?

Flick is New Zealand's first electricity retailer to give kiwi households direct access to wholesale prices. We provide fast, switched-on customer service, and smart tools and updates that help you take control of your power bill. Plus staff on hand from Monday to Friday 8.30am-6.30pm and Saturday 8.30am–5.00pm.

And Flicksters save an average of 24% on their power bills compared to what they would've paid with their previous retailer. There really are no down-sides.

What will you charge me?

With Flick you’ll be charged prices set by the industry – with no mark-up – plus our charge for serving you as your retailer. Not only will you be able to see for the first time exactly what those charges are, but we'll also pass any decreases straight through too.

Your power costs are made up of

generation – the cost of electricity on the wholesale market

transmission/distribution – the cost of moving electricity from where it’s made to your doorstep (also called network charges)

metering – the rental for the smart meter at your property

EA Levy – a small charge that funds the Electricity Authority's work to regulate the electricity industry

Flick costs – what we charge to look after you as your retailer

Donut | December PNG

And here's the exciting bit – our charges are only 1.5¢ a unit and 40¢ a day for a Standard User; or between 3.3¢ and 3.75¢ a unit (depending on where you live), with no daily charge, if you're a Low User.

Download a price schedule for your area.

How will I know if I’m using power when prices are at a good rate?

We'll give you the tools and information you need to work out how prices move. You'll be able to see the current spot price at any point in time by logging into your dahsboard or our app.

And with every bill, you’ll be able to compare what it would have cost you if you'd used power at your previous provider’s standard comparable published plan for your network and metering set up, at the time you joined Flick.

Once you've been with Flick for a while, you’ll get a really good sense of how much prices move and when it’s a good time to make the most of low rates.

How do you calculate my savings?

The savings shown on your bill are estimated based on comparing your Flick plan to your previous retailer’s standard comparable published plan, for your network & metering set up, at the time you joined Flick (taking account of things like whether you're a standard or low user and whether you have an uncontrolled or controlled meter etc).

We include their prompt payment discount in the calculations, but we don’t include any potential alternative plans or discounts that are additional to your old plan, such as dual fuel, e-bills or extra direct debit discounts.

If you're moving into a new property, or were with Powershop, Globug, Electric Kiwi or a retailer that no longer operates, we'll compare your total spend with Flick against the biggest retailer in the area.

Why do power prices vary?

Wholesale electricity prices go up and down for a number of reasons.

Prices tend to be higher at peak times of the day, like in the morning and evening on weekdays and when there’s less generation capacity (like when hydro lakes are low).

And we tend to see lower prices at off-peak times such as weekends, overnight and in the middle of the day on weekdays, as well when there are favourable weather conditions for hydro and wind generation.

Because prices follow certain trends, it’s easy to learn these patterns and adjust your power use to save money.

How much do prices go up and down?

Prices on the wholesale market vary every half hour. Alongside the usual, weekly prices sometimes lift sharply when there’s more demand than generation supply. This is almost always very short. For example, the price may go to $2 per kWh (about 25 times the average rate) but drop again sharply in a matter of minutes.

The flip-side is that prices also fall very low when there’s a lot of power available, but not much demand. At some times of the day prices will fall below $0.01 per kWh (about a tenth of the average rate). These low prices are very common throughout the year (at off peak times).

Flick will give you a set of smart, simple tools so you can:

• always know what the price is doing

• make the most of lower prices

• avoid higher prices; and

• take charge of your bill.

What happens if prices go high?

We send out high price notifications via the CHOICE app, which you can choose to receive by downloading CHOICE, so there needn't be any surprises.

When you move to Flick you have the chance to look at power prices differently, taking a long-term view and accepting there'll be ups and downs. We can't promise big savings every month, but over the long term, we think you'll pay a lot less with Flick than if you were on standard fixed-pricing with a traditional retailer.

To give you an idea of why the ‘ups’ might occur: every few years power prices might get high for a few months when the hydro lakes are low. Or very occasionally prices might spike for a short time if there’s an outage. You can use the extra information you've got at your fingertips with CHOICE to adjust when and how you use power to minimise the effects of these situations on your bill.

And we don’t lock customers into fixed term contracts, so if buying directly from the wholesale market isn't for you then you're free to switch away - no strings attached!

What happens if there’s a supply shortage (e.g. a ‘dry year’ for the hydro lakes)?

Although there have been years in New Zealand when low lake levels have meant power shortages and high prices, the industry has become more resilient and better at keeping things steady. (For example, 2013 had drought conditions early in the year – but wholesale prices stayed pretty stable).

Wholesale prices can fluctuate in such conditions, but we're confident that in the long run you'll be better off with Flick.

Power companies keep putting my prices up – will you?

We want to give you a fairer deal on power, not sting you with price increases you can’t understand. Our prices are shown clearly on your bill alongside the other industry charges, so you can see exactly how much comes to us. If your power prices go up, it will be either because the wholesale price has risen or your charges from the network company have increased. We'll let you know if this happens – plus you'll see it on your bill (we pass network charges on to you directly).

If the cost of being a retailer goes up, because of inflation and rising operational costs, we may need to increase our retailer fee. We would explain the reasons for this at the time and give you appropriate notice. If there are any other changes, we’ll let you know.

Can I join Flick?

Can I join Flick?

As long as you're in an area we can supply, you have a smart meter, and pass any necessary credit checks, we'd love to have you on board!

We’re currently able to supply households and businesses throughout most of the North Island and parts of the South Island, including Central Canterbury, Queenstown, Wanaka and Dunedin. Not you? No worries! Just give us your address and contact details here and we'll let you know as soon as we come your way.

Can you supply my business?

We're keen to supply your SME business! We currently supply businesses with a smart meter throughout most of the North Island and parts of the South Island. Email us at hello@flickelectric.co.nz or give us a call on 0800 4 FLICK (0800 435 425) and we'll check if we're able to take you on.

What kind of meter do I need?

To join Flick, you’ll need a smart meter. The technology in smart meters means we can give you access to wholesale electricity prices, and give you accurate and up-to-date bills.

How do I get a smart meter?

We're not able to arrange for your meter to be upgraded at this stage. But you should be able to chat to another retailer about getting an upgrade. Then get back to us and we should be able to take you on!

Roughly half of New Zealand homes already have smart meters, so you might already have one and not know it. If you’re not sure, flick your address to hello@flickelectric.co.nz and we’ll check it out for you.

Do I need any special technology to join to Flick?

Apart from a smart meter, the only other thing you need is an email address for bills and updates. We've set up Flick with a lot of clever online tools to help you take control of your bill and manage your energy use. So to get the most out of these we reckon you should get online fairly often and what's more, it's mobile friendly!

How do I switch to Flick?

Flicking over is easy - it only takes a few minutes, and even less if you have your credit card or bank details on hand. Just fill out your details on our website, send us an email to hello@flickelectric.co.nz or give us a call on 0800 4 FLICK (0800 435 425) and one of our friendly Customer Experience Advisors will help you make the switch.

If you're moving house then you'll need to contact your old provider and let them know, but if you're staying in the same place and just changing power companies then we can take care of that break up for you. As long as there are no unpaid bills, your power transfer to Flick should be complete within 10 business days (often sooner).

Does it cost anything to switch to Flick?

Nope, no hidden charges here. That's just not what we're all about. The only charge that might pop up is if you need your power re-connected. If that's the case then we'll run through your options with you and let you know how much it'll be.

What if someone at my home is a vulnerable or medically dependent person?

Vulnerable customers
A 'vulnerable customer' may have real difficulty paying the bill – even just for a short time; or is likely to suffer if the power is disconnected (this can be due to age, health, or disability).

If you, or someone in your home is a vulnerable customer, we'll work with you to try to ensure your power is not disconnected when bills are unpaid. This means:

We'll try to find different payment options to make it easier for you, we'll make sure you're referred to Work and Income for financial assistance, and with your approval we can deal with an alternate contact on your behalf if there's someone else who can help. An alternate contact is someone like a family member, friend or adviser who you're happy to talk to us about your account. They're not responsible for paying your bill, but can help advise you, and talk to us on your behalf.

It's important to know that being a vulnerable customer doesn't mean that your electricity can never be cut off – but it does mean we'll work together to try to make sure it doesn't get to that stage.

Medically dependent customers

A 'medically dependent customer' relies on electricity for critical medical support – for example, supplying oxygen, and could suffer serious harm if the power was disconnected. It's important to tell us if you're either a vulnerable or medically dependent customer. In both cases, if your power connection is threatened, there are things we can do to help.

If you or someone in your home is medically dependent on electricity, we'll make sure your power is not disconnected due to unpaid bills.

If you're a 'medically dependent customer':

You need to provide us with proof of the condition (your doctor or specialist will give you the right notice). We may ask you to update your health status from time-to-time, and sometimes we may pass your contact details on to your network company, so they can let you know about any upcoming power outages, and you can have a back-up plan in the event of a power cut.

It's important to know that we can't guarantee you'll always have uninterrupted power, as outages may happen from time-to-time for all customers. Your doctor or specialist should help you work out what to do if there is a power outage. For example, this could be having batteries on hand to run your medical equipment, going to a friend or relative's house, or calling an ambulance.

What if Flick isn't the right option for me, or you can't take me on?

That's okay! There are plenty of other power companies around, including those that provide pre-payment options and monthly billing. We recommend that you check out Consumer NZ’s Powerswitch to see what provider would be best for you.

What happens if I have problems switching?

Switching to Flick should be easy, hassle-free and all done within 10 business days max. If not, we’ll be in touch to sort it out. You can call us on 0800 4 Flick (0800 435 425) Monday to Friday 8.30am–6.30pm or Saturday 8.30am–5.00pm if there’s anything you'd like to check up on.

What if I change my mind after signing up?

We won’t tie you into a fixed term contract, so if you want to go, you’re free to. It’s not that we don’t value you as a customer, we just think you should have the right to choose how you buy your power, any time you want.

Although, if you've already receieved a bill from us, you'll need to settle that with us. Any future bills can be arranged with your provider.

Where will my power come from once I join Flick?

Changing retailer doesn't change where your electricity comes from. There are lots of different energy generators throughout New Zealand and your power could come from any of them.

If it helps, think of it as vegetable soup. All generated electricity, whether is be hydro, wind, coal or gas, is all fed into the national grid and mixed up. From there, electricity retailers buy it on the New Zealand Electricity Market (NZEM) and sell it to their customers. So there’s no way of knowing where your portion of the vegetable soup was generated or whether it's renewable or not.

Moving House with Flick

I'm moving house soon – can I switch to Flick?

Of course! We'd love you to come and be a Flickster. As long as we supply the area you're moving to, your new house has a smart meter, and you pass a credit check if required, then we can take you on.

To get Flick at your new place, just sign up online or give us a call on 0800 4 FLICK (0800 435 425) – you'll be asked for your new address and when you plan to move in.

Already with Flick? You can move house and take us with you – check out the 'How do I move house with Flick' section below.

Can I switch to Flick if I’ve been disconnected by another company?

We may be able to take you on, but you might need to pass a credit check and meet a few requirements first.

If you become a Flick customer, we can re-connect your power, but there’ll be a fee for this. Email hello@flickelectric.co.nz to find out more about our charges and schedule of fees.

If I'm already a Flickster, how do I take Flick with me to my new place?

It’s simple. Just get in touch with us and let us know:

  1. your new address (and ICP number if you have it)
  2. the date you're moving in
  3. the date we should close the account for your old property

We may need to ask you a couple of extra questions, and then you'll be good to go.

It's best if you can give us at least one week's notice of when you plan to move in. If that's not do-able then that's fine - give us a bell and we'll sort it out for you.

Do I need to read my meter when I move?

Nope. Because your existing meter is a smart meter, the final read happens automatically and there's no need to worry about this.

When will the power be turned on at my new place?

If your new house has power already connected then you're good to go! Flick will handle everything behind the scenes and switch the property over from the previous retailer if needed.

If you’ve moved in and there’s no power, there’s a chance it’s just been switched off at the fuse box by the people who moved out. If not, then it may have been disconnected. If you’ve got no power and you’re not sure what to do, call us on 0800 4 Flick (0800 435 425), between the hours of 8.30am-6.30pm Monday to Friday, or 8.30am-5.00pm Saturday.

The power at my new house was disconnected. How do I get it back on?

Not a problem. Get in touch with us as soon as you can and we'll arrange a reconnection for you. There will be a fee, dependent on your area and the type of reconnection. We'll discuss it all with you beforehand.

If your new place has been without power for six months or longer, before we can get you reconnected, you’ll need to pay an electrician to check the house out and give it an Electrical Certificate or Code of Compliance. This tells us it’s safe to supply power to the property.

We're different

Who owns Flick?

Flick Energy Limited (trading as Flick Electric Co.) is owned privately by a bunch of awesome kiwi investors.

Flick was set up by people with broad experience across the energy industry. Between us, we’ve worked for generators, retailers, lines companies, technology suppliers and even government. We understand the energy industry and reckon it’s high time it changed to give New Zealanders a better, fairer deal on energy costs. So we’re making that change happen.

Are you owned by one of the big energy retailers?

Flick is owned by its kiwi founders and a number of strategic investors. No part of our business is owned by another energy retailer.

How does Flick charge?

How do I pay my bill with Flick?

With Flick you pay your bills by direct debit, either from your bank account or credit card. We'll send you an email every Tuesday with your bill amount, and take the payment on the Thursday. There are no nasty surprises - you can track your bill online so you know how much you’re on track to pay at the end of each billing period.

Can I get a discount if I pay on time?

No, we don't have prompt payment discounts. Most people pay on time, so we don't reckon it’s fair to raise our prices just to cut them again for most customers. It’s a marketing gimmick other retailers use – we’d rather just give you the best prices we can, full stop.

Are there any extras charges?

Aside from your bill, and possibly a reconnection fee if you move into a property without power, you're probably not going to incur any other fees.

But there are some extra services, for example, a special meter read or a site visit that come at a cost. If you need any of these services whatever reason, we’ll discuss it with you and tell you what the cost will be upfront. Email hello@flickelectric.co.nz to find out more about our charges and fees.

We also have a surcharge of 1% of your total electricity bill for payment by credit or debit card. This will be clearly detailed on your invoice.

How do I know if I'm a standard or low user?

The Standard User plan:

Has a higher daily charge, but a lower charge per kWh used, so if you use lots of electricity it’s fine because your unit charge is lower. If you're living North of Christchurch and using more than 8,000 units a year you're generally better off on a Standard User plan. Southwards, the threshold is 9,000 units a year. The sort of situations we’d expect to see for Standard Users include big households (more than two people) who are home a lot and use a lot of electricity for heating and hot water, big flats, and bills averaging more than $200 a month. Heating methods more than anything will contribute to higher usage. Heaters used constantly, like panel or oil heaters, underfloor heating, uninsulated hot water cylinders, and heated swimming/spa pools contribute to higher usage.

The Low User plan:

A Low User plan is generally suited to people using less electricity than average. It’s designed so that the fixed rate is no more than 30 cents a day but the unit rate is higher, which means if you don’t use much electricity you’ll pay less than you would on a Standard User plan. If you are living North of Christchurch and are using 8,000 units or less a year you're determined as a low user. Southwards, the threshold is 9,000 units per year. Low Users tend to be households of one or two people living in well insulated, energy efficient houses, homes with gas heating or hot water, and bills averaging less than $150 a month.

Secondary meters:

You're only eligible to be on a Low User plan for your primary residence. That means holiday homes, secondary properties or second meters (for a shed, gate or pool pump for example) are always classified as standard user ICPs, even if they only use a small amount of electricity. This is enforced at the network company level and is the same for all power companies.

How are demand charges calculated?

Some network companies have complex pricing structures that don’t always suit the simplicity of the Flick pass-through charging model. This requires Flick to convert these charges to a per kWh charge which then allows us to fairly pass these charges on to our customers. Demand charges are network charges based on peak consumption demand (kW) for each individual consumer, which are calculated in arrears and can change from month to month. To simplify these charges, and in conjunction with annual network company price reviews, we will estimate the conversion of any demand charges to a kWh charge using any available relevant historical information. This calculated charge will then be combined with other network charges. If you have any further questions about how demand charges are calculated, send them to hello@flickelectric.co.nz.

Will you charge me a bond or joining fee?

We don't do joining fees, but in some cases we may charge a bond for credit purposes. If we do require a bond, we'll discuss it with you.

Do I need to read my meter?

Nope! Your smart meter sends information about all your energy usage to us automatically, usually once a day.

What happens if I miss a payment?

Don't worry - these things happen from time to time. We'll let you know about your missed payment in an email the following Tuesday, then we'll take your missed payment as well as your next bill, by direct debit on the Thursday.

It's important to note that the payment for each bill owing will be taken seperatey.

Central Canterbury customers

Why doesn’t your price schedule match Orion’s?

In September Orion calculates its peak charges to a retailer, based on their customers’ usage over a number of peak periods from 1 May to 31 August, and applies this charge over 12 months from 1 May (backdated).

Flick passes through this charge for Stardard Users, as a daily fixed charge over the year, and a peak charge that is charged as a per kWh rate in winter: from 7am to 10am and 5pm to 7pm on weekdays from 1 May to 31 August. If you're a Low User only a per kWh charge will apply.

We do this to better reflect the actual cost of network charges over the winter period.

You can find the schedule of pricing that we will pass on to customers to cover Orion’s winter peak fixed charge to us for the 12 months beginning 1 May, and the winter peak per kWh chanrge here.

Why is there a credit in the Transmission/Distribution section of my bill?

Orion – the network company in central Canterbury – calculates its peak charges to a retailer, based on their customers’ usage over a number of peak periods from 1 May to 31 August, and applies this charge over 12 months from 1 May (backdated).

Flick passes through this charge as a daily fixed charge over the year, and a peak charge that is charged as a per kWh rate in winter: from 7am to 10am and 5pm to 7pm on weekdays from 1 May to 31 August. If you're a Low User only a per kWh charge will apply.

From 1 September to April 30 , we have chosen to show what the charge will be - on page two of your bill in the Transmission/Distribution section, displayed as a credit - so you know what to expect during the winter period (1 May to 31 August).

Why does Orion’s peak charge affect the variable kWh charge for Low Users?

By law we are not able to charge Low Users any more than 30.00cents per day in fixed charges.

The metering charge that we already pass through is 15.00cents per day, meaning only 15.00cents per day was remaining to cover Orion’s peak charge for Low User customers.

Therefore, to cover Orion’s peak charge we need to include a per kWh charge for Low User customers.

Flick's estimation process

Some bars on my dashboard are grey. What’s going on?

To calculate the cost of your electricity bill, we need two sets of information. We need finalised prices from the market, and we need your consumption data (your meter reads) from your meter owner. If we don’t have one, or both of these pieces of information then you may see a grey bar.
 

What causes missing consumption data?
 
Under normal operation, your smart meter measures your consumption for every half hour period and transmits this data, along with a midnight register read, every day. A 'register read' is simply the actual number that accumulates on your meter as you use electricity, and is used to verify your consumption for each day compared to the previous day's midnight register read.
 
Sometimes your smart meter fails to collect your consumption data for one or more half-hour periods. This could be because of an outage or a number of other reasons that result in the meter failing to transmit your consumption data back to the meter provider as part of its normal daily reporting. This will usually be a temporary lapse in communication, but in rare situations, something else, such as changes to the cellular mobile phone network or new construction on your property, may cause the meter to fail to transmit indefinitely, in which case clauses 4.4 and 4.5 of our terms and conditions describe how we will work to resolve the issue with you, and what happens in the event of not being able to re-establish ongoing communications from your meter.
 
Often missing data is just for single half hour periods, but sometimes it can be for extended periods of several hours or, in worst cases, a few days.
 
In many instances, this data can be recovered from the meter, but occasionally the data will not be recoverable. Often, the missing data is caught up in the next days’ transmission. However, if there is still missing data when it comes to calculating your invoice for any given billing cycle, we will estimate the missing consumption data using the process outlined in the Flick Fact directly below this one.

If we don’t receive any of your consumption data for a whole billing period then we’ll send you an invoice for only your daily charges. The remaining charges will appear on the next bill after we have all of your consumption data. If we don’t receive any of your consumption data for your whole first billing period then we won’t send you a bill that week. We’ll work to obtain that data and produce a bill once we have it.

 
What causes missing price data?
 
Missing price data usually occurs when there has been a shortfall in generation, cold weather, storms, transmission constraints or local network outages which lead to the market needing additional time to calculate what the final prices will be. You can read more about how the market calculates power prices and the life cycle of power prices in our blog.

If you need to estimate my usage for a period, how do you do it, and what happens next?

We normally receive your actual consumption information two days later, but occasionally it can take three days. For example, your consumption for Monday is normally successfully received by the end of Wednesday, but sometimes it will be Thursday.
 
If we have not received all (or part) of your actual data by the end of the 3rd day, we will estimate any missing data. To do this, we first identify the half hour periods that are missing. For each missing period, we then calculate your average consumption of up to four of your previous (and available) equivalent day periods. Each calculated average would then be used as the estimate for each respective missing period.
 
The equivalent days would be the same day of the week from previous weeks, unless we're estimating for a national holiday, in which case the equivalent days will be the previous Sundays. If we are estimating usage for a half hour period on a business day (i.e. Monday-Friday) and any equivalent day is a national holiday, it will be ignored in favour of the next previous equivalent day from an earlier week that is not a national holiday. Any equivalent days that also have estimated data in the corresponding periods will be discarded in favour of previous equivalent days with actual data.
Once estimation has been completed, this data will be displayed within your dashboard and shall be clearly identified as estimated. Any other calculations that use estimated data, such as your daily spend, would also be identified the same way.
 
We will continue to pursue the collection of your actual consumption information. Should we be unable to recover your actual data before the next billing cycle falls due, your invoice will be calculated using this estimated data.

 
What happens if you can’t recover my missing data?
 
Should you be invoiced using estimated data, in most circumstances we’ll know whether your actual consumption will be recoverable prior to any subsequent billing cycle. If in the rare instance we do not receive any further actual data to replace estimated data that has been invoiced, prior to your next billing cycle we’ll complete a validation process to finalise any estimated data. That means it’s not your actual data, but we’ve gone to great lengths to make sure it’s the most accurate estimate we can give.
 
Our validation process simply checks the total actual consumption missing and compares it to the total consumption estimated and, if they differ, scales the estimated consumption to match the total actual consumption missing.
 
We calculate the total actual consumption missing by obtaining the closest register read on each side of the missing period(s) that had been estimated. From the difference of these register reads we then subtract any actual consumption data we have received during this same period. This will give us the total consumption we were missing prior to estimation.
 
Once we have the amount of consumption we are missing, we divide this total by the respective total estimated consumption. The result is the scaling factor to be applied to the estimated data, and will ensure that your total consumption we have recorded is accurate compared to your meter.
 
Once your estimated data has been validated in this way, it will become finalised, and will be treated as if it were actual data.

 
What happens once you recover my consumption data?
 
If you've been issued an invoice using estimated data, once we have recovered your actual data or finalized your estimated data, we’ll compare this to the initial estimation and recalculate it to determine if any credit or debit needs to be applied. This debit or credit will be accounted for in the amount due on your next invoice.

Our policies & other bits

Will you ever switch off my electricity?

We’ll only ever consider cutting your power off if you don’t pay your invoices on time, however we will let you know if you’ve missed a payment and give you the opportunity to catch up.

It’s very important that you let us know if you or anyone living with you:

• depends on electricity for critical medical support (so that losing electricity could be harmful or dangerous)

• would find loss of electricity a clear threat to health or wellbeing due to age, health or disability

• has genuine difficulty paying the bill because of severe financial instability (whether it’s temporary or permanent)

If this applies to you or someone living with you, there are several ways to let us know by telling us when you join up , emailing us at hello@flickelectric.co.nz or calling us on 0800 4 FLICK (0800 435 425).

If you’re having real trouble paying your bill, please let us know as soon as possible.

Will you keep my personal information safe?

Flick is committed to complying with the Privacy Act 1993 and to adopting the highest standards to safeguard our customers' personal information. Our Privacy Policy sets out, why, how and what personal information we collect, and how we hold, use, disclose and keep secure your personal information.

Further information about privacy and your rights under the Privacy Act can be found at www.privacy.org.nz.

Will you keep my bank and credit card details safe?

We have robust security systems and procedures. We are committed to ensuring your personal and financial information is stored securely. Flick is a Connect Smart partner.

Do I have to keep trees away from power lines?

Trees close to power lines can be very dangerous, and can also cause power cuts – so there are a few rules about them.
Your local network company may issue you with a ‘cut and trim’ notice if a tree on your property is close to a power line. Sometimes they may carry out the first trim.

Your network company must have all the relevant information about trees and power lines on their website – including the dangers of trees, what a safe distance from lines should be, and the risks of cutting them back. This is all covered by the Electricity (Hazards from Trees) Regulations 2003.

Contact your local network company for more information.

What should I do if I want to conduct household maintenance near power lines?

All parts of the electricity supply system, including the lines and wires on your property, should be treated as live at all times. Stay safe around them. If you're working on your property, you should first identify the power line that brings power from the street into your house. It might be either overhead or underground. If the power line is within 4 meters of where you want to work, you must consider electrical safety.

Each network area has a different way of managing disconnections. Give us a call on 0800 4 FLICK (0800 435 425) and we'll either arrange a disconnection for you, or refer you to your local network company, depending on what area you're in. Fees may apply in some cases.

Behind the jargon

Confused by some of the power industry terms? You're not alone. Here's a handy guide to what some of the jargon means.

Wholesale electricity market

This market is how generators sell their energy to retailers, who then sell the energy onto customers like you. With Flick you cut out the middle man and buy your energy straight from the source. You’re buying on the wholesale market, just like the big retailers are. The New Zealand Electricity Market (NZEM) is regulated by the Electricity Authority (EA).

Spot market

Spot market is just another term we use to describe the wholesale market.

Smart meter

As the name suggests, smart meters are more sophisticated meters that can accurately measure energy use during different times of the day. They can send data back to the retailer – so the meter can be read remotely.
Smart meters are being rolled out by energy retailers throughout New Zealand. You can find out more on the Electricity Authority’s fact sheet about smart meters.

Unit / kWh

A ‘unit’ is one kilowatt hour (kWh) of energy use. Energy costs are usually expressed as ‘cents per unit’, which means the cents charged per kWh of energy used.

Tariff

This is the way you’re charged, depending on how your meter’s set up. For example, you might be on a time-based tariff (different charges for day and night) or a control tariff (where you receive a lower charge in exchange for your local network company being able to control the power to your hot water at high demand times of day).

Your tariff is specific to your property so unless you're moving house, your tariff won’t change when you join Flick, but your price will.

Controlled or uncontrolled tariff

• Controlled means the network company can switch off power to this meter when there’s a fault or demand is very high. This usually applies to hot water, or nightstore heating. By having a controlled meter, you generally get access to a lower kWh rate.

• Uncontrolled just means that the network company can’t control or switch off appliances in the same way.

Without being an electrician, there’s no simple way yourself to tell whether your meter is controlled or uncontrolled. The easiest way for you to know is by giving us call on 0800 435 425, with your address or ICP number handy, and we will be able to let you know.

Day / night tariff

This measures day-time and night-time energy use separately and means you can be charged a lower rate for energy use during the night when there’s lower demand.

Fixed rate

A fixed rate is a charge that remains the same no matter how much electricity you use. Fixed rates are usually charged per day, so you'll see fixed charges followed by c/day.

Variable Rate

A variable rate is based on how much electricity you use. Any charge you see that is followed by c/kWh is a variable charge.

Network or lines companies

These companies own the power lines that bring the electricity to your home. They’re separate from the energy retailers that sell you the power. Network companies charge energy retailers for using their network, and these costs are passed on to customers. Some examples of network companies are Vector in Auckland, or Orion in Christchurch. Sometimes they’re also called lines companies.

ICP number

An ICP (installation control point) number is an individual identifier of each connection to the electricity network. Each property, whether it be a home or business has an individual ICP.

You can find the ICP number for your property on your previous bill. Or, if you've just moved into a property you should be able to find it on your electricity meter.

We often ask for an ICP number as well as an address as it's the most accurate way of making sure that we'll be billing you for the correct property.

CHOICE

Where does the CO2e data come from?

The current mix of generation in the grid comes from Energy Market Services – a service provided by Transpower.

Current emissions shown are only generation emissions, and exclude embedded emissions.

We calculate emissions using the emissions factors from a number of sources as no single source exists for all generation types. The 2014 emissions factor for geothermal, coal and gas is published by MBIE. The factor for diesel is unpublished but is based on average diesel emissions over the past 10 years. The emissions factor for co-gen comes from EnergyLink, and excludes Kinleith’s wood fired station. Hydro and wind are rated at zero.

What’s behind the number on the price needle?

For Flick Electric Co. customers the price needle shows the live variable charges for their electricity, including the spot price of generation which come from WITS (run by NZX), the lines charges at their place based on their meter set up from their local network company, Flick’s variable retailer fee and the Electricity Authority levy. Each person’s price is unique to them because every property is set up differently.

For Choice users who don’t buy their electricity from Flick, the price needle indicates where the current average spot market price is sitting. This information comes from WITS (run by NZX). We don’t put a number on this because we don’t want people to think that the spot market price of generation is the only charge that makes up their power bill, but we do want people to understand the way the types of generation in the mix, and price, interact.

How does the electricity mix affect price?

The spot price of electricity is largely determined by the market dynamics of supply and demand. Lots of things affect supply and demand, including the availability of different types of generation.

For example, when there is abundant supply – there is lots of wind, which can't be stored so has to go straight into the grid; or bountiful stores of water at the hydro stations - prices tend to be at their lowest.

On the other hand, when there is heavy demand that can't be met from renewables, generators run coal and occasionally diesel. They're expensive to run so the market price goes up.

What are the thresholds in CHOICE for low, medium and high emissions?

At the moment the thresholds are set at 350 CO2e for low, 450 CO2e for medium and 550 CO2e for high, but we don’t have a lot of historical data to base these thresholds on, so we might shift them over time, or even seasonally. Our goal is to give users a realistic view of when emissions are at their worst and we should be working together to reduce our demand, and times when emissions are relatively low so we have as small an impact as possible when we use electricity.

Isn’t 350 CO2e still a massive environmental impact?

It sure is, which is why we say that emissions are ‘relatively’ low. We acknowledge that to have security of electricity supply we have to generate electricity from a range of sources, and some of those will create emissions. But we are better to move our demand to times when renewables are more bountiful, and avoid using power at times when heavy emitting sources like coal and diesel are in the mix.