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Pulse changes tack with cut-price power brand

Friday 30th July 2010

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Start-up electricity retailer Pulse Utilities is changing tack to offer cut-price power under a new brand, Just Energy, which will not use Pulse's smart meter technology.

To date, fast-growing Pulse has sought to attract customers on the promise of installing smart meters, which may help customers to manage their energy use better, as well as competitive tariffs.

However, customer feedback showed a low price won out consistently over a quality-based technology offering, sales and marketing manager Ashley Church told BusinessDesk.

"There's a very clear mandate from a majority of the market that price is more important than technology," he said.

"So Just Energy has been launched to bring real price competition to the industry."

Asked where most of Pulse's marketing spend would now go, Church said: "Just Energy. That reflects where our market share is coming from."

Church said Just Energy could not guarantee it would offer the lowest tariffs in all territories, but was confident that it would consistently beat incumbent and major retailers.

Since launching last October and building a customer base of more than 10,000, Pulse had also found it increasingly difficult to offer both competitive pricing and the smart meter solution together. The Pulse smart meter offer will continue, but Pulse customers can choose to move to Just.

Just Energy will be immediately available in Auckland, Waikato, Hawke's Bay, Wellington, Nelson and Blenheim. 

Shares of NZAX-listed Pulse last traded at 45 cents on July 28. The company announced plans this week to raise up to $5 million in convertible notes to meet operational needs and growth opportunities.

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