Covid-19 has caused New Zealand’s average residential power use to rise in 2020 – but the average bill is the lowest it’s been in a decade.
Data released by the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment showed the national average residential power bill was down by $126 a year compared to five years ago.
The average household bill in New Zealand was found to be $2113 a year, one of the lowest annual bills in the developed world.
The Electricity Retailers’ Association said some customers still had high power bills in winter because of the poorer quality of their housing, which required higher use.
But on average, power use had been falling over time as improvements were made to such things as insulation.
The association’s chief executive Cameron Burrows said various factors were keeping power prices down.
“We’ve got a heck of a lot of competition in the New Zealand energy market, a lot of power companies all competing for customers and we’ve got a lot of customers looking to get the best deal,” he said.
“About half of all households compared power plans this year and that’s a great way of making sure you’re getting a deal for you and staying on top of prices.”
However, Burrows said power use had increased by about 2 percent overall this year, as a result of more New Zealanders staying home during the pandemic.
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