Got a question
No. We will organise all of this for you seamlessly.
But if you are leaving a thermal electricity generator you are welcome to give them a hot leaving message!
We are able to tell when your usage is occurring because most houses and businesses are installed with smart meters (if not we will organise for one to be installed).
Smart meters record data every half hour and then will communicate that information daily to the metering company who then send it on to us.
This allows us to give you up-to-date information on your consumption and to charge different amounts based on when your consumption occurs, for instance charging your electric vehicle at cheap night time rates.
Customers can access information on their consumption yearly, monthly, weekly, right down to the half hour.
Yes, with all our price plans we require you to have a smart meter installed. If you don't we can have you upgraded for $30 + GST.
We don't downgrade smart meters, and we are unable to accept legacy or non-smart meters.
No. All of our customers are on smart meters in order to receive the extra benefits that Ecotricity provides. Benefits include, cheap night time electricity rates and being able to work out where savings can be made on current consumption. Furthermore, some networks require smart meters to be installed to comply with their charging rates. Legacy meters (non-smart meters) are also expensive to read on a monthly basis as they require a physical visit from a meter reader. However we do onboard customers with existing Legacy Meters.
Smart meters are safe and approved by the World Health Organisation and New Zealand's Ministry of Health to transmit data. By law, your data is transmitted through protected portals to ensure your privacy. Furthermore, under the Electricity Act, electricity suppliers are not allowed to use consumption data for any other purposes other than for billing customers.
Independent research from the University of Canterbury and an independent review have confirmed that smartbox signals pose minimal risk to health with emissions that are one hundred times weaker than cellphones which are in everyday use. View their report here
For more information and reports on the safety of smart meters visit http://www.health.govt.nz
If you are on an older style dial meter there is a charge to upgrade to a smart meter of between $30 and $80 depending on your type of meter.
Please fill out one of the following forms if you need to apply for a new connection to either Wellington or Electra networks.
The team will get in touch as soon as the ICP number is ready. If needed, you can contact the metering team at [email protected]
Can we guarantee each electron comes from only renewables?
No. However, because electricity is an interchangeable commodity throughout New Zealand we are able to very accurately account for how much we are supplying our customers and conversely purchasing from renewable resources on an annualized basis. The net effect therefore is that we are only supplying from certified renewable sources.
We also take into account what emissions arise from the construction of the renewable generation plant, such as concrete, steel, transport to and from the site, transmission losses etc. A very detailed piece of work goes on behind the scenes!
Our Toitū climate positive certification for electricity is based on international protocols and United Nations Product Specifications for supplying electricity from renewable sources. Carbon neutral electricity is offered in many overseas markets including Australia, the US and Europe. The Toitū climate positive certified electricity programme has also been peer reviewed by an overseas expert. The reason it is important to support carbonzero Certified electricity is so that new renewable electricity is developed, in particular wind and solar.
To find out much carbon emissions you can save by joining Ecotricity, check out our energy carbon emissions calculator here.
Most definitely not.
At Ecotricity we are actively promoting a move away from gas. Gas emits up to 5 times more CO2e than electricity for comparable appliances like hot water, home or office heating and cooking. As a carbonzero Certified company we are encouraging our customers to decrease their emissions through making educated decisions about the right appliances.
Gas is also an expensive option compared to electricity. An example is hot water heat pumps are 300 – 400% energy efficient, gas is only 70 – 85% efficient. To find out more take a look at our blog - Get Off The Gas.
Hence we won’t be selling you gas. However, we do understand that getting off the gas is a long term decision. We therefore supply a growing number of customers who buy their gas separately, and in most cases, from their existing gas supplier.
Yes. Wind generated power is always the first type of power we will buy, when the wind is blowing we want to harness that energy.But on a still day we still have solar and hydro power available.The consistency of power to your home or business will not change once you have switched to Ecotricity.
Yes, most definitely.
All applicable local lines dividends are passed on to you.
But you’re welcome to join us at your new address
Prompt payment discounts are used as a hook by other providers to make you feel you’re getting a good deal. The reality is that if you are receiving a prompt payment discount, you are likely to be paying too much for your electricity.
We keep it simple by offering competitive prices from the start and therefore we do not offer prompt payment discounts.
We pride ourselves on providing transparency in our billing so that all third party costs like network and metering fees are passed on at cost. Please be aware though that if you are late paying a late payment fee will apply.
Your carbon emissions are being compared to the national average electricity CO2e intensity for the last 12 months, this is updated each month for the preceding 12 months.
What this means is – all of the kWhs (units) of electricity for the last 12 months are measured as well as the amount of CO2e emitted in producing that electricity. This can tell us on average how many grams of CO2e are emitted per kWh produced.
We can then take the number of kWh you have consumed in the month and multiply it by the months' intensity and create a calculation of the amount of CO2e you have avoided.
Our Toitū climate positive certification for electricity is based on international protocols and United Nations Product Specifications for supplying electricity from renewable sources.
We will allow customers to move occasionally between plans when there is a significant change at your site. For example purchase of an Electric Vehicle, purchase of Solar, children moving out of home, etc. The plan start date will be the same as your current plan start date.
The Toitū climate positive programme is founded on the latest science and international standards with verifiable and comparable results. To earn certification, an organisation or product must measure and report in annual audits, all operational and value chain emissions in accordance with the ISO 14064-1:2018 for organisations and ISO 14067:2018 for product lifecycle emissions.
The programme requires the setting and achievement of science-aligned reduction targets, as well as a clear decarbonisation strategy. From an accounting perspective, the carbon balance sheet for members will show a negative balance as all unavoidable emissions are offset through the cancellation of verified carbon credits, going beyond net zero to have a positive impact. Members are required to go beyond carbon neutral to have a positive impact through additional carbon credits (25% of the organisation or product footprint) and contributing to wider environmental and social outcomes (equivalent to the cost of offsetting 75% of the organisation or product footprint). The programme not only focuses on reducing emissions, but also requires engagement and broader social and environmental outcomes, aligning with science for a sustainable future.
Toitū Envirocare leads positive change through a system of science-based environmental programmes. The organisation is made up of a team of scientists and business experts who have come together to protect the ecological and economic future of this place, catalysing action for a zero-carbon future.
Though developed for New Zealand business needs, Toitū Envirocare’s offerings currently serve over 800 clients worldwide and have helped reduce 8.4 million tonnes of carbon and they’re only just getting started. Wholly owned by Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research, a Crown Research Institute, our origins are in science, but our future is in the sustainability of our economy, our people, and our land.
Since 2019 Toitū Envirocare has been a Certified B Corporation. We are committed to being a business that not only acts as a power for good but does no harm. Through our impact business models, we empower other organisations to understand and improve environmental performance, but within our own business, we have taken specific steps to ensure we are improving our performance. We are also active in the B Corp Community working on supporting other B Corps to take meaningful, science-based climate action.
Toitū climate positive certification pushes climate leaders beyond neutrality to make a positive impact on society. It is proof an organisation is taking science-led, meaningful climate action for a decarbonised future.
Energy is a way of life. It is incorporated into nearly everything we do. It heats and powers our homes, transports us, and makes food and goods for us to consume. Without it we would be lost, we rely on having a constant supply of energy. The one downside to energy use is where it comes from, and this is where Ecotricity is making a difference. The energy sector contributes about 41% of New Zealand’s total emissions, with almost half of that coming from transport. Energy sources like oil, coal, gas, geothermal and cogeneration are major emissions producers that are significantly contributing to climate change.
Ecotricity uses only 100% renewable and Toitū climate positive certified wind, hydro and solar energy sources to power New Zealand. These sources don’t produce any emissions while generating energy for the country, and any emissions associated with the construction, maintenance, and deconstruction are accurately measured, calculated, and offset by us through Toitū Envirocare’s quality carbon credit projects.
Even though the battle for clean renewable energy is a long one, things are starting to look greener as we introduce new renewable energy sources. In the past year, New Zealand’s emissions have started to drop which is great news and why it’s worth switching to Ecotricity to make a difference
When we talk about the electricity from Ecotricity being Toitū climate positive certified, Ecotricity supplies the national grid with power sourced only from hydro, wind or solar sources. Because electricity is an interchangeable commodity throughout New Zealand, we are very accurately able to account for how much energy our customers are using and conversely how much we need to purchase from climate positive certified, renewable resources on an annualised basis. The net effect is that Ecotricity is only supplying from certified renewable sources and does not need to tap into dirty sources to fill in the gaps.
The important thing is to talk truthfully about why you choose to use Toitū climate positive certified electricity. We recommend that you consult and follow the Environmental and Carbon Claims guidance produced by the Commerce Commission at Fair trading act fact sheet
We thoroughly recommend you promote to your customers that you are “Powered by Toitū climate positive certified 100% renewable electricity”
You can also make general claims that you are purchasing renewable electricity from Toitū climate positive certified Organisations such as Ecotricity.
Contact our [email protected] team and we can help you with providing marketing information for your company to show your commitment to a renewable future.
No, you may only use the Toitū climate positive logo if your organisation or product/service has achieved Toitū climate positive certification. Using the Toitū climate positive logo is making a claim that you are Toitū climate positive certified. Under the Fair Trading Act 1986, you are required to substantiate any environmental or carbon claims at the time of making the claim. The Toitū climate positive certification logo is included on your Ecotricity invoices and you may display those, but you may not use the logo in any other context. You can learn more about Toitū climate positive certification and contact the programme here.
In addition to the assurance you receive that all the life cycle emissions associated with the electricity have been accounted for and offset against rigorous international standards, your use of Toitū climate positive certified electricity may be recognised by other schemes. For example, you may gain points when being assessed by your customers, when bidding for procurement contracts, and when applying for other recognition such as through the Green Building Council’s Green Star Programme.
No. Using Toitū climate positive certified electricity is definitely a big step towards addressing your overall environmental impact, but it may not be the only climate change action that is relevant to your operations.
The first step is to measure your own GHG footprint, understand which are your most significant impacts and implement an action plan to address these. Here are a couple of ideas to help you do this;
Take a look at our energy carbon calculator here.
Purchasing Toitū climate positive certified electricity is not a green light to use as much electricity as you like. Energy efficiency and avoiding the use of non-essential appliances is still important. Becoming more efficient could mean driving less, using less electricity, consuming fewer resources, composting, and reusing/repairing/recycling. The next step is using other renewable energy sources for non-electricity energy use (for example, biodiesel or solar water heating).
Using renewables and switching to electric transport are the best ways to avoid the negative impacts of fossil fuel use.
For other sources of GHG emissions that you cannot avoid, for instance air travel, using credible carbon credits to offset these emissions is an option. Various carbon credits are available, including from projects that are helping to restore New Zealand’s indigenous biodiversity while absorbing carbon dioxide.
Only 18% of New Zealand’s total primary energy is supplied by non-thermal renewable sources including electricity generation.
However, only 65% of electricity generation comes from non-thermal renewable sources such as wind, hydro and solar (EnergyLink 2016). The remainder of our electricity is generated by coal, gas or geothermal which together emit over 4,000,000,000 of CO2e per year. Further, electricity consumption is increasing in line with economic development and there is a great opportunity to reduce New Zealand’s increasing emissions profile due to the use of liquid fuels by shifting to other innovative technologies such as electric vehicles.
The New Zealand Government is exploring ways to increase the uptake of electric vehicles. As consumption rises, more renewables need to come on stream in order to maintain and increase the current proportion of renewables in the New Zealand electricity mix. There are GHG emissions associated with the production of all sources of electricity.
Choosing Toitū climate positive certified electricity signals that you care about the source of your electricity and that you prefer an electricity source where all the emissions associated with its production and distribution have been accounted for and offset.
Help us take New Zealand closer to being 100% Renewable. It’s time to join Ecotricity.
Toitū climate positive certified electricity shows that the electricity provider has calculated and offset all the life cycle emissions associated with their electricity product. This includes the emissions associated with the construction of the generation source, its life-time operations and electricity distribution and losses to the grid.
Toitū climate positive certification provides customers and consumers with assurance, backed up by independent accredited certification, that the emissions associated with the electricity that they purchase have been calculated and offset according to rigorous international standards. The provider of the Toitū climate positive certified electricity, in this case ecotricity, must undergo annual verification to maintain its product certification.
Yes! For carbon accounting purposes however it is a two-step process as follows.
You still need to use the national grid average conversion factor to calculate your GHG footprint for all public reporting. This is offset to zero by all the Toitū climate positive certified electricity you purchase from ecotricity. If you are seeking carbon neutrality or carbonzero certification for your own organisation or your own product/service, you are not required to offset the carbonzero certified electricity that you have purchased from ecotricity. This is aligned with an international best practice including the latest standard from the international GHG Protocol which allows both the location-based (grid average conversion factor) and supplier based (supplier-specific conversion factor) calculations to be reported.
The good news is that this means that if you are seeking carbonzero certification, no carbon offsets are required to be purchased by your organisation for your electricity purchased from ecotricity. This can mean direct financial savings for companies seeking to be truly carbon neutral.
Your carbon emissions are being compared to the national average electricity CO2e intensity for the month.
What this means is – all of the kWhs (units) of electricity for the month are measured as well as the amount of CO2e emitted in producing that electricity. This can tell us on average how many grams of CO2e are emitted per kWh produced.
We can then take the number of kWh you have consumed in the month and multiply it by the months intensity and create an estimate of the amount of CO2e you have avoided.
Renewable electricity generation including wind, hydro and solar generally has much lower Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions associated with its generation compared with thermal generation including coal, gas or geothermal generation.
Some companies claim they generate from only renewable sources; however, they may also purchase electricity from third party generation who use coal, gas or geothermal sources which emit substantial amounts of GHG emission.
Ecotricity only sources its electricity from wind, hydro or solar generation.
All types of electricity generation, including renewables, have some environmental impact including GHG emissions associated with the construction, operation, distribution and transmission of renewable electricity. The Toitū climate positive certified electricity takes these life cycle factors into account as well as the GHG emissions created by the electricity provider.
No. The New Zealand Emission Trading Scheme (NZ-ETS) is a compliance scheme which currently only allocates one carbon unit for every two carbon units emitted and does not include organisation emissions including vehicle, travel and other company emissions. Toitū carbonzero and climate positive are comprehensive voluntary schemes which include one carbon unit for every carbon unit emitted including general organisation emissions from non electricity GHG emissions plus vehicle, travel, freight and office waste emissions. Voluntary action including Toitū carbonzero and climate positive Certification are however complementary to compliance obligations and therefore adds to New Zealand’s contribution to international climate change commitments in the following ways:
- Participating in the Toitū carbonzero and climate positive Programmes empowers companies to measure and manage their own emissions and often results in product innovation and energy/ fuel efficiency measures that indirectly contribute to reducing NZ’s overall emissions profile.
- Participants in these Programmes offset organisation and product emissions that may also be reported by the NZ Government and other emissions that are not covered in national reporting, such as international air travel, international freight, manufacture of materials overseas. All of the action taken by participants in these Programmes are additional and complementary to compliance obligations. Compliance with the NZ-ETS obligations by electricity companies that do not have Toitū carbonzero or climate positive Certification does not result in their electricity product being able to be certified as carbon neutral for the following reasons:
- The methods for calculating the emissions and the “offset” required are different for the two schemes. Participants in the NZ-ETS report some or all of their direct (Scope 1 and Scope 2) emissions for their NZ operations as specified in the sector methodology. Participants in the Toitū carbonzero and climate positive Programmes with product certifications such as electricity, are required to account for all direct (Scope 1 and Scope 2) emissions plus the life cycle emissions associated with the production, delivery and decommissioning of the product including many indirect (Scope 3) emissions some of which may have occurred overseas.
- The units surrendered by companies as part of their NZ-ETS obligation are not equivalent to the offsets required by the Toitū carbonzero Programme. Participants in the NZ-ETS surrender one unit for each two tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents reported, whereas participants in the Toitū carbonzero Programme cancel one unit for every tonne of carbon dioxide equivalents in their footprint and for Toitū climate positive an additional 25% is offset. Participants in these Programmes therefore offset a larger footprint than participants in the NZ-ETS.
EVs have maximum power from a standing start. They can accelerate quickly, and currently, New Zealand’s fastest street-legal car for a quarter-mile is an electric car beating all V8s.The fastest production EV is a Tesla P100D which quietly reaches 100 km/hr in 2.5 seconds (Ludicrous Mode – Tesla Model S). Hold on tight!You can now also buy an electric 4wd PHEV to fit the whole family in!
EVs are faster than pedestrians expect, so please take care behind the wheel.EVs are very quiet and emit about the same noise as a bicyclist. Some EVs emit synthetic noises at speeds below 40 kph. Over 30 kph, road and wind noise alert pedestrians about your approach.
Yes, you can. You can even drop the car end of the charging cable in a bucket of water and be completely safe. The EV and charger talk to each other, and the charger will only allow electricity to travel through the cable only if the EV and charger are communicating safely.All chargers that Ecotricity sells are weatherproof and suitable for use outdoors.
EVs have no gears, so they feel like an automatic when driving and are very smooth when accelerating.
If you plug your car into a 10 amp socket, it will take about 4 hours to charge. If you have a dedicated 7 kW charger, it will take 1 – 2 hours to charge, depending on the type of EV you have.
EV batteries are different from mobile phone batteries as they are made up of several individually controlled battery modules. These modules use space-age technology to cycle battery modules to ensure long battery life individually.You can typically charge your car as often as you like to keep the battery topped up. Studies have shown that using Rapid or Fast Chargers does not deteriorate EV batteries any faster than normal use.EV batteries are expected to last about 8 – 10 years with the current technology but are improving and becoming cheaper over time.Second-hand EV batteries can also be used for home energy storage. Replacement batteries for a Leaf in the US currently cost about NZD6,000. However, some manufacturers like Tesla are also starting to release replacement batteries with higher capacity/distance batteries than the original battery. So, your EV is like a fine wine, and it just keeps on getting better.
What happens if you run out of petrol? It is a nuisance. You will find that you will become accustomed to the range of your EV and use it accordingly. Driving style also affects your range; electric burnouts might be fun but not so cool if you have to borrow your mate’s power socket for a couple of hours to get home.Carrying a charger that can plug into any 10 amp socket is a good backup.AA also have a roadside charging service.
Yes. Electric motors are very, very efficient. Think of how our electricity is delivered, transmission lines from all parts of the country and mostly renewable sources, and loses only around 10% in transmission losses.Consider now the process of fossil fuels and how they are delivered.
- Drill a bottomless hole, sometimes offshore.
- Pump it to the surface, load it onto ships.
- Refine it (that uses a lot of electricity, by the way), ship it again.
- Truck to holding tanks, truck to petrol pumps.
- Electricity is then needed to pump the fossil fuel into your car.
How much energy is required for all of this? A lot! Further, fossil fuel cars are only about 30-40% efficient when they burn the fuel.The step into EVs is a massive step forward in technology, emissions, and savings for the consumer.
A fuel cell car is another form of an electric car, but instead of a battery, it has a hydrogen fuel tank. The inherent issue with hydrogen is that it needs to be compressed and stored under very high pressure. The energy required to compress is about 3 times as much as charging a battery, so not very energy efficient.Additionally, most hydrogen is derived from fossil fuels, so it is not 100% step away from emissions.
Talk to any EV or PHEV owner, and they will not stop raving about them, especially the fuel savings and acceleration.In EV surveys, customers rate their EV vehicles higher than fossil fuel cars.
Remember, when you buy an EV, be sure to lend it out to friends and family to spread the word.
Please sign up with your new provider and provide Ecotricity with 10 working days' notice of the switch-over date. This is to ensure that the date requested can be the effective start date for your new power provider.
Please let us know the date you are moving, or the date you are no longer needing to have power, so we can make sure you are not overcharged. We will update this on your account and send a letter to your old address for the new owner.
You should receive your invoice within the first 10 days of the month via email.
The difference between energy actually injected into a network and energy actually delivered to points of connection. This is commonly due to the transfer of energy not being 100% efficient. On the way to your premise some power is converted into Light, Heat and Sound. This lose is required however to ensure you get all the power you need.
Invoices are sent out during the first week of each month, with the due date being 10 days after that. Eg. Your invoice is sent out on the 5th the due date will be the 15th.
The causes for washup can vary but most commonly is when our system is not receiving accurate data for an extended period of time. This is most often for customers with legacy meters or rural customers with a not strong internet signal. In these cases, being put on a manual meter reading cycle will help our system to generate your invoices more accurately. The more reads we have, the more accurate your invoices will be.
Your customer number will be on your invoices in a blue box above the total amount due. They are a 6 digit number.
Please provide the full name, contact number, and email address of the person you are wanting to add to your account.
Sometimes it can take a few days for data to sync on the portal. Please wait until your next invoice to see if your data is showing.
If this happens, please email us at [email protected] and one of our team will manually update this from our end.
Once you have received your first invoice, please register on our website with your customer number and email address and you will be able to see your consumption data and invoices.
Call 0800 845 000 and the after hours team will be able to provide the correct number for your region.
Sometimes the address that the electricity authority has is different to the postal address. In this instance using your ICP number is the best solution. The ICP number can be located on the meter box and is 15 characters long.
This can be one of three common reasons:
- The address is a large commercial address, in which case you will need to get ahold of the corporate team for a quote.
- We currently don't have a price plan for the price code you are on, we will need to get back to you about this.
- You are on a Builder Temp supply, in which case the address is classified as commercial and you need to select commercial not residential.
The switching process can take up to 10 business days, but on average is 5 business days.
Standard User Plans have a higher fixed daily charge, but a lower charge per kWH you use. So, if you are using lots of electricity the lower unit charge balances things out to give you the best. Low User Plans charge a lower fixed daily charge, but a higher charge per kWH you use. So, if you don’t use much electricity you will pay less than on a Standard User Plan.
In the North Island, you are considered a low user if you use less than 660 kWh a month at your primary residence, while in the lower parts of the South Island you are a low user if you less than 750 kWh a month.
All primary residence can be on a Low User plan. However for secondary properties, such as a Bach or water pump, they are ineligible and must be on a standard plan.
Networks do not change price categories between low and standard more than once a year. If you have recently changed, you will not be able to swap until a year has passed from the date the new category was in place.
Smart meter = $30 + GST. Import/Export meter = $80 + GST. New Connection = $95 + GST. These charges are applied to your electricity invoices but can take a few months to add so do not be alarmed if they don't show up on the next invoice received.
Your property has a unique Installation Control Point (ICP) number identifying it on the New Zealand electricity network. You can find this on your current power bill somewhere under the invoice number. It consists of 15 digits – mostly numbers with a few letters at the end.
A kilowatt hour (kWh) is the way power usage is measured on your meter. The electricity industry uses kWh to measure how much power you use. We measure the power you use every month in kWh, and charge you an amount per kWh for your usage.
A tariff is a way of pricing electricity based on the way your meter is set up. There are many different names for the various tariffs across the power industry. But they will normally indicate a time of use (e.g. Day and Night) or control (e.g. Uncontrolled, Anytime, Economy).
If you have controlled/uncontrolled metering the power your network company is able to 'control' is measured separately to the power that they can't. Most networks will give you a discounted rate on the power they can control – which is usually the supply to your hot water cylinder. This is because they are able to switch off the 'controlled' portion of your supply for short periods, for example when the demand on their network is high or there are faults or emergencies on their lines.
If you have a day/night meter your 'day' usage and your 'night' usage are measured separately. Many network companies charge a lower rate for the power you use at night time – which goes from 11pm to 7am in most areas.
With inclusive metering, your local network company 'controls' a portion of your power – which is usually the supply to your hot water cylinder. However the 'uncontrolled' and 'controlled' portions of your supply aren't measured separately, so are charged at the same rate.
Night only metering means the power supply to certain appliances, for example a night store heater or hot water cylinder, can only be turned on at night. Night time goes from 11pm to 7am in most areas. Many network companies charge a lower rate for the power you use at night time.
Night boost metering means the power supply to certain appliances, for example a night store heater or hot water cylinder, can be turned on at night, between 11pm and 7am, and for one to five hours in the afternoon (depending on your network).
Time of use pricing is available to customers with smart meters in selected network areas. You can save money when you shift your power use to off-peak times of the day.
Most properties in New Zealand now have smart meters. Smart meters mean we get more accurate usage information and they don't need a human to manually read them. We get your smart meter readings daily, and they show your power usage down to the half hour.
Smart meters also differ from the old analogue meters by being able to measure power usage accurately across different time periods (e.g. days, nights and weekends) in the one meter. They also have two-way communication abilities to both enable remote meter reading, and also to enable instructions to be sent to the meter e.g. to remotely disconnect, or reconnect a property.
This is another term for the New Zealand Electricity Market (NZEM). The New Zealand Electricity Market is regulated and overseen by the Electricity Authority (EA). Electricity generators (or wholesalers) sell their power to large industrial users and retailers such as Ecotricity through the wholesale market.
The network companies (also known as line companies or distributors) own and look after the power lines that transmit the electricity from the national grid to your property. There are many different network companies in New Zealand although each company operates a monopoly in its given area.
Transpower look after the national grid which carries electricity around the country delivering power from power stations to local lines companies. Your local lines company is in charge of the network that delivers it to your house – these are the guys we get on the job when there's an outage.
An electricity retailer, or power company, or electricity provider, is a company that sells electricity to customers. Like Ecotricity! Retailers buy electricity from the wholesale market and sell it on to you.
A variable charge will change depending on the amount of electricity that is being consumed. The variable charge on a residential plan will be based on how much is consumed, kWh, over a period of time. Larger commercial connections have variable charges that are based on the maximum amount of power and demand required at any time during a month.
This is the daily charge applied to a connection, and remains the same for each day throughout the year.
A residential connection that uses more than 8,000kWh per year will pay less on a Standard User Plan than a Low Fixed Charge Plan. Standard User Plans have higher fixed charges, offset by the lower variable charges, compared to the Low Fixed Charge Plans.
A residential connection where the consumer uses less than 8,000kWh per year. Previously termed as 'Low User Charge'.
Before Ecotricity became Toitū climate positive, the company provided New Zealand with Toitū net carbonzero certified electricity and was also Toitū net carbonzero certified as an organisation. Being Toitū net carbonzero certified means Ecotricity purchases from specific wind, hydro and solar generation sites and measures all greenhouse gases associated with the full lifecycle of those stations. The company has detailed programs in place which follow United Nations Product Protocols to measure and minimise their greenhouse gas emissions. Any remaining emissions that cannot be avoided, such as the construction of wind and solar farms, are offset by purchasing verified carbon credits, including native bush and ESG projects, that made Ecotricity not only carbon neutral but also supporters of New Zealand’s and international biodiversity.
To achieve climate positive status, Ecotricity has gone through a rigorous process with Toitū Envirocare, whose certifications are internationally recognised data-led and science-based environmental programmes.
This involved the measurement of our carbon footprint for our entire value chain and setting absolute science-aligned reduction targets. As well as offsetting remaining emissions through carbon credits at 125% to go beyond neutrality. We then need to contribute a further 75% of our carbon footprint by supporting Toitū-approved local environmental and social projects. Information about these projects can be found on our Climate Positive webpage.
The short answer is ‘no’, Ecotricity can’t guarantee that customers only receive the Toitū climate positive certified, 100% renewable energy that we supply the grid with. For this to be achieved, New Zealand would need to have a separate green energy grid, connecting renewable sources directly to households. The environmental and financial costs of building this would be significant.
However, the company believes it’s more important to focus on the generation side to help get the NZ electricity grid to 100% renewable. Our certification is based on international protocols and United Nations Product Specifications for supplying electricity from renewable sources. The reason it is important to support climate positive certified electricity is so that new renewable electricity is developed, in particular wind and solar, so by choosing Ecotricity you are encouraging more electricity generation through sustainable means.
Creating a green energy grid is a United Nations protocol. Ecotricity is leading the industry and the sector by going above and beyond to map out sustainable processes up the value chain and down the value chain and within our organisation as well. You can’t manage what you can’t measure and the company is leading the way in terms of showing how to be accountable for carbon and transparent about not only reduction but off-setting.
The harsh reality of the climate crisis we’re facing has been very evident in 2023.
Despite many New Zealanders' well-placed intentions to act against climate change, their ability to take action is increasingly being put under pressure by more immediate personal socio-economic challenges.
Choosing climate positive electricity goes well beyond zero carbon renewables, it provides a means for customers to put emissions in reverse.
Another good example of other companies doing this is Microsoft which has committed to turn back.
We have a dedicated team on a mission to provide Kiwi families and businesses with 100% renewable and sustainable power.
We’ve proudly been Toitū net carbonzero certified for 10 years, and in 2022 we were the fastest growing retailer. We’re proud to have received our Toitū climate positive certification in 2023 to prove we are taking science-led, meaningful climate action for a decarbonised future.
As we look ahead, we strive to be the most impactful climate positive energy provider by enabling large scale New Renewables through innovation. By achieving this, we will help decarbonise the electricity sector and reduce the damaging impacts from the climate crisis.
We hope to inspire other businesses and consumers to join us in the journey to put emissions in reverse.
From a consumer point of view, customers can be confident that when they choose Ecotricity, they know they are picking a provider who is leading in climate action.
Ecotricity has an industry leading platform to reduce carbon emissions, including supporting more solar customer than any other energy provider in New Zealand.
It is NZ’s first Toitū climate positive certified company. It has been carbon neutral from the beginning. Ecotricity is the first electricity retail brand to achieve Climate Positive status under a Toitū Envirocare Certification.
Ecotricity was founded by Al Yates (CEO) and his brother Mark Yates (Director). In 2014, Wind Farm Group (Airtricity) and Pioneer Energy (Central Lakes Trust) teamed up to establish Ecotricity and provide the only carbonzero certified renewable electricity to the market.
In late 2019 Ecotricity and Genesis Energy entered into a NewRenewable partnership accelerating the development of new wind, solar and storage projects.
The partnership included Genesis Energy’s purchase of Pioneer Energy’s share in Ecotricity, with Ecotricity founders Al and Mark Yates retaining their ownership. Genesis Energy is 51% Government owned, so we are part-owned by you and a team of 5 million kiwis. The Ecotricity head office is in Auckland, New Zealand, and in 2022 is the fastest growing retailer.
We are proud partners with Genesis Energy over the last 3 years.
Over that time we have helped Genesis accelerate their decarbonisation programme including a 73% reduction of generation of electricity in 2022.
We have many more projects about to launch to go even further.
Genesis has also been trialing swapping coal with wood pellets at the Huntly power station. Refer to this article about trialing wood pellets instead of coal.
Refer to this article about Genesis building NZ’s largest solar farm.
All our generation comes from third party wind, hydro and solar generators owned by thousands of our customers. We also purchase from certified wind and hydro generation from Genesis and Pioneer Energy and large scale solar farms from independent generators.
Ecotricity is an independent retailer and only provider of climate positive 100% renewable electricity.
Excess solar and wind generation from our customers is fed back into the grid and increasingly offsets thermal generation from gas and coal generation.
The more solar you build and generate, the better for our climate as it directly reduces generation from thermal sources such as coal, gas and over time geothermal generation.
For 10 years Ecotricity has been Toitū carbonzero certified and we’ve recently gone through a rigorous process with Toitū to become climate positive certified at both a product and organisation level.
Ecotricity measures the emissions across our total value chain, including the full life-cycle emissions from the electricity we supply the grid from wind, hydro and solar, and offset this at 125%. This means that when consumers purchase electricity from us there are no carbon emissions for their usage as we’ve already offset them (at 125%).
In addition to this we have a number of other programmes we fund to support bio-diversity in New Zealand, social causes and electric vehicle education.
We support customers from small households to industrial customers, absolutely everyone can do their bit. The average New Zealander emitted 6.1t of carbon last year, of which approximately 1.4t comes from electricity usage. Therefore, by choosing Ecotricity, consumers can drastically reduce their total carbon footprint. We're also helping large and small customers transition non electricity use in transport and industrial heat away from coal, gas, petrol and diesel.
Ecotricity only sources from certified wind farms, solar farms and hydro dams across the country, as well as having significant proportion of solar customers who supply us with their excess generation.
Our proportion of solar customers is 100 times higher than other retailers and in the summer when solar generation is high, the excess generation can provide electricity for 25% of our customers energy needs.
We see large solar farms as playing an important role to further grow our renewable generation. We have some operating already and many more to come.
In NZ, around 65% of our electricity generation comes from renewable sources. The remaining comes from thermal sources (coal, gas and geothermal) and this accounts for a large portion of NZ’s total emissions.
We provide consumers with competitive pricing and we fix our energy rates for 3 years so consumers are protected from price rises.
Over time, the more renewables on the grid the cheaper electricity becomes for everyone.
To be able to offset 125% of all emissions we must support local and international decarbonising projects. The New Zealand carbon credits that we purchase are for the Owenga Reserve in the Chatham Islands. For more information please view our Climate Positive webpage.
To be able to offset 125% of all emissions we must support local and international decarbonising projects. We currently support the Owenga Reserve in the Chatham Islands, as well as the Gyapa Cookstoves project in Ghana, and the Orb Household Project in India. For more information on these projects please view our Climate Positive webpage.
Whilst Ecotricity can’t physically turn back time, we can however help turn back time on the climate crisis. For too long, on a global scale, we have stood still on making meaningful changes to limit the impacts from climate change.
By offering consumers climate positive certified electricity, it provides a quick and easy solution for Kiwis to drastically reduce their carbon footprint. New Zealanders on average emit over 6 tonnes of carbon each year, of which, around 1.4 tonnes comes from electricity usage. By switching their electricity to Ecotricity this would reduce the average carbon footprint to 5 tonnes, a carbon emissions level we haven’t seen since the 60s – so in a way, we’re turning back time to when carbon emissions were significantly lower.
This means an organisation has accurately measured their greenhouse gas emissions, and have put in place strategies to manage and reduce impacts.
This means an organisation has accurately measured their greenhouse gas emissions, and have put in place strategies to manage, reduce and offset their impacts.
This means an organisation has gone beyond carbon neutrality to make a positive impact on society. They have accurately measured their emissions, and put in place strategies to manage, reduce and offset their impacts set against the ultimate best practice in science-aligned targets. They have offset their emissions at 125% of their total emissions through verified carbon credits to achieve a carbon positive impact. In addition, they have made a further impact contribution that supports society’s transition to a zero carbon future.
The whole amount of emissions released are balanced by the amount removed from the atmosphere.
Any CO2 released into the atmosphere from a company's activities is balanced by an equivalent amount being removed.
Some organisations use the term ‘carbon positive’ instead of ‘climate positive’. They essentially mean the same thing.
An Ecotricity price plan available for everyone. Allows customers to pay for electricity based on the fluctuating spot market prices.
Customers are billed based on the half-hourly spot prices. Ecotricity pass on the wholesale market price directly to the consumer. This means that the price per kilowatt-hour (kWh) can change throughout the day, reflecting the market conditions.
A surge in demand naturally reduces the available supply of electricity and leads to an increase in spot prices.
- Morning before work
- Early evening (showers, cooking, heating)
- Cooler months
- Warmer months without wind and rain
- Mid-day when we’re away from home
- Middle of the night when we’re asleep
- Warmer months
- Winter during high wind and rain periods
Spot prices do vary around the country and are determined by which Grid Exit Point (GXP) you are using. Your GXP is where electricity flows out of the National Grid and into your local power lines.
The further your GXP is away from NZ’s generation sites, the higher the energy cost will be. As hydro generation accounts for a significant portion of our total energy generation and the bulk of our hydro comes from the South Island, we typically see lower prices down south.
Any energy generated from your solar panels that you don't use is sold back to us. We apply a credit for every unit which works to offset your monthly invoices.
You will need an import export meter installed on site which we will arrange with your solar installer.
It does not have an impact on the network charge that applies for the electricity connection, but because you use energy from your solar panels you save unit network charges (that you would normally pay per unit of electricity from the grid).
Where possible, you'll receive prior notification of planned power outages which will let you know the affected timeframe.
While the power is off, treat all power lines, wiring and equipment as being live at all times as it could be restored earlier than planned.
Turn off your appliances at the wall. Use surge protectors for sensitive electrical equipment like computers and TVs to protect them when power is restored. Keep your fridge and freezer on and closed.
If you're dependent on mains powered electricity for critical medical support have an emergency response plan in place.
Please click here to view fault numbers to call.
This refers to the ability to report zero emissions under the guidance of Scope 2 GHG Protocol market-based emissions method. Ecotricity have measured and offset its electricity products (including transmission and distribution losses) supplied to clients and therefore zero emissions can be reported and not needed to be offset again, of course this only applies if we supply 100% of your electricity needs.
-NZ electricity emissions in the last 12 months comes from monthly energylink data.
-Annual carbon emissions you could save by joining Ecotricity is taken from the average New Zealand household consumption of 8000kwh per year and multiplied by CO2 intensity from the last 12 months - taken from energylink.
-Emissions saved by Ecotricity in last 12 months is calculated from our invoicing system, we are able to see how many kwh our customers are consuming each month, then we multiply this by the CO2 intensity from the last 12 months (energylink).