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Electricity Outages and Faults
Learn about what you can do in the event of an electricity outage or fault.
Check for outages in your area
Your local lines company is responsible for fixing electricity outages and faults. Select your region to look for known outages in your area. If you need to report an outage that is not listed on your local lines company faults page, we have provided the appropriate contact details below. Electricity outage services operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
There are two types of plan available to Kiwi households: Standard User or Low User. Under either, you’ll be billed both a daily rate, and a usage rate per kWh (kilowatt-hour) unit of electricity consumed. It’s entirely up to you whether you sign onto a Standard or a Low User plan, but depending on your circumstances you may be much better off on one rather than the other. Here’s why...
The Standard User plan has a higher daily charge, but a lower charge per kWh used so is ideal if your electricity usage is relatively high. Households north of Christchurch are better off on a Standard plan if using more than 8,000kWh each year, and for Christchurch and further south if using more than 9,000 kWh each year. Conversely, if your annual usage is lower than that number, a Low User plan is more advantageous. A Low User plan is generally suited to people using less electricity than average (hence the name!) It’s designed so that the fixed rate is no more than 30 cents a day* but the unit rate is higher, which means that if you don’t use much electricity you’ll pay less than you would on a Standard User plan.
In general, you should pick a Low User plan if your household has one or two people living in a well-insulated, energy-efficient home, often with gas for heating or hot water. Very roughly, these households will spend much less than $200 monthly averaged across the year – although the exact level will vary in different parts of the country. Standard rate plans will suit larger households, where people are home a lot, and electricity is used for hot water and heating.
Note that while for most of the country the tipping point between the two plans is 8,000kWh annually, the average household use is much lower than that. So, you may be a very standard household – but better off on a Low User plan.
You can switch between Low and Standard user plans once a year.
*not including GST and after any prompt payment discountHow long does it take to switch to Orcon Power?
Switching you from your current provider to Orcon is usually a straight forward process, taking a few days.
It’s possible that you may have a contract with your existing provider that means they can charge you to break the contract, please check this, and be aware of any fees – you don’t want a nasty shock.
Your existing provider may attempt to contact you and entice you back, with discounted rates or a credit. But, we reckon, if they haven’t offered you that until you have said you are leaving, then you should question whether you want to ever give them a cent again.What should I do if I am medically dependent on power?
It is important you let us know immediately if you or a family member are medically dependent on power, and requires the use of mains electricity for critical medical support (uses an approved life support machine), and any disconnection may result in loss of life or serious harm.
We will request evidence of medical dependency – you and your doctor or health provider need to complete the form below and return it to us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Click here to download a copy of the Medical Dependency Form
What will happen next?
Once we receive the completed form, we will make a note on your account.
You will receive a confirmation email to confirm that are now on our medical register.
We will contact you as soon as we become aware of any planned power outages that may affect the property listed.
During a power outage...
We suggest you refer to your emergency backup plan.
Contact your local health provider to find out what your options are during the outage.
When power cuts are planned, for example to work on power lines, we will endeavour to give you advanced notice.
If you have any questions regarding Medical Dependency and your electricity, just get in contact with our friendly customer service team, and we’ll be happy to help you out.What extra fees may apply?
Every month we bill our electricity customers for the total daily charge, and power usage during the period.
Other services can incur a one-off charge. This happens in the case of a request for a meter test, a special reading, disconnection, or reconnection, and a number of situations.
A full schedule of these charges is available here.Prompt Payment Discount
How does prompt payment discount work?
At Orcon we offer a prompt payment discount (PPD) to customers who have broadband and power services with us.
You will receive a 10% PPD off your power bill if your invoice is paid in full by the payment due date noted on your monthly invoice.
On the invoice it will show the amount 'less' the PPD, and the amount if paid after the due date. Please see below for an example:
We think it’s a really good offer – and should save you plenty!How much does Orcon Power cost?
Electricity charges consist of two components – a Fixed Daily charge (usually quoted in cents per day), and a Variable Usage charge (usually quoted in cents per unit of kWh [kilowatt hours]). Each bill has cost that’s made up of the fixed charge multiplied by the number of days within the billing period, and the variable charge multiplied by the power used over the period (or an estimate of this number). In some cases, you may have more than one variable charge related to different types of supply.
Electricity retailers are charged a levy by the Electricity Authority. Your old bill may show an “EA Levy”. The EA levy is small and we have chosen to include it within our variable charges rather than splitting it out separately.
The other factor that will impact the price is the choice between a Standard plan or a Low User plan. Click here to read more about that.
Still have questions?