Everyone Connected
It shouldn't be a privilege to have power.
 

Electricity is essential for health and wellbeing. Most of us rely on it to stay warm, cook dinner and keep the lights on. But the Electricity Authority - who sets the rules for retailers - is not doing enough to protect kiwis who are struggling to pay their bills. 

Join our call for better consumer protections.



1. Ban disconnection fees

Can’t pay your power bill? A company is allowed to disconnect your electricity, then charge a fee for the disconnection and reconnection. 

These fees can be over $200 and they push people further into debt.

“These fees kick people when they’re down. Why do we allow that?” - Financial Mentor

 

 



2. End the 'penalty for pre-pay'

Across Aotearoa, roughly 30,000 households use prepay electricity, many because they have struggled to pay bills on standard plans and now have no option. 

Yet prepay is more expensive, forcing people to spend days without electricity because they can’t afford to top up. Data on these disconnections is not even recorded.

“It’s like the higher prices are punishing people for struggling” - Consumer Advocate


 

 

 



3. Make consumer care mandatory for retailers

Minimum standards of care should be a bottom line to protect consumers. But the Electricity Authority still allows companies to ignore the Consumer Care Guidelines without any penalty. The Guidelines remain voluntary, despite covering matters such as care for people medically dependent on electricity or households facing disconnection. 

A 2023 review showed that one in three households is buying electricity from a retailer that admits they do not not follow these guidelines.

 

 



Join our call

We are asking the Electricity Authority to:
 

  1. Ban disconnection/reconnection fees that harm the most vulnerable
  2. Protect prepay customers by reining in unfair prices and tracking disconnections
  3. Protect everyone by making the Consumer Care Guidelines mandatory.