Tuesday 15th February 2011
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A record number of New Zealand households switched electricity providers in January, according to figures released.
Electricity Authority figures reveal 23,229 households switched their electricity supplier last month, the highest for January in more than 10 years.
However, the number of households switching suppliers was the lowest rate recorded in the past 12 months, down from more than 30,000 each month over winter, but up 6% from the same time last year.
Genesis Energy, New Zealand's second largest electricity retailer grew its customer base 0.3% with 1534 new customers.
Online electricity retailer Powershop had 1226 new customers sign-up, a 5% increase, taking the company to 25,199 customers for the first time.
Powershop chief executive Ari Sargent said despite the slow down in switching rates the figures were encouraging considering the summer holiday period was traditionally slow.
"The fact that switching numbers for January are the highest in over a decade shows people are increasingly becoming aware there is a better deal out there," he said.
Sargent said the more people shopped around for the best deal, the more companies would be forced to keep prices competitive.
The Electricity Authority, which succeeded the Electricity Commission, is an independent Crown entity responsible for the efficient operation of the New Zealand electricity market.
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