How does our pricing work?
Wellington Electricity is your local lines company, responsible for managing the poles, wires and equipment that safely deliver electricity to Wellington, Porirua and the Hutt Valley. Our prices and quality standards are regulated under Part 4 of the Commerce Act, which is governed by the Commerce Commission.
Lines company pricing can be a little complex to understand, especially when for the majority of cases it's charged to retailers rather than directly to consumers of electricity. This area takes you through some of our pricing concepts. Information on our current and previous years' pricing can be found in the menu bar on the left-hand side of this page.
It’s useful to understand that the electricity market in New Zealand is made up of a number of suppliers, each reflected in the different parts of your bill:
- Generators (companies who create and sell electricity to retailers).
- Transpower, the state-owned electricity transmission company who own and operate the National Grid (this transports electricity across Aotearoa).
- Distributors (lines companies within your local region, like us).
- Retailers (who you pay for power to your home or business).
We combine our charges (distribution charges) with Transpower’s transmission charges (the cost of running the National Grid) to make up lines charges, which electricity retailers then re-package with their own costs to make up your power bill.
The following concepts are useful to understand when reading our pricing notices:
A single price for all the household power used, with power to the hot water cylinder controlled.
Capacity refers to a charge related to the highest amount of energy the site is capable of using during a month, or the customer has elected to use over that same period. You are paying a fee to ensure that the electricity you might use is there for you whenever you need to use it.
A discounted price for an appliance which we can temporarily turn off (such as a hot water cylinder) via load control.
A fixed daily charge.
Demand charges are fees applied for the highest amount of power drawn during a time period. The type of demand charge will vary depending on whether it is "anytime" (any time during the day/week) or on-peak (specific periods of the day/week when our network is busy).
A discounted price for an appliance which only receives power for a limited number of (mostly night-time) hours, such as a night store heater.
Times at which power is more expensive/cheaper, depending on the time of day/night.
Power factor is a way of measuring how efficiently electrical current is being converted into useful power. Low power factor can lead to lower than ‘normal’ voltages and can consequently cause performance issues for network users and negatively impact network equipment. Power factor charges incentivise consumers to take steps to correct their power factor.
A single price for all the household power used.