Thousands of Hawke's Bay residents are switching electricity retail company in search of a better deal, with the average consumer saving $134 a year.
A total of 9547 consumers switched power companies last year, Electricity Authority figures show.
The What's My Number website - funded by the Electricity Authority - said the average consumer in Hawke's Bay saved $134 a year by switching companies. Last year's biggest beneficiary of the switches was Mighty River Power - including the Mercury Energy retail brand and its subsidiary Bosco Connect with the Tiny Mighty Power retail brand - which together brought on 591 new customers in Hawke's Bay. The second biggest winner was Genesis Energy, with a net gain of 567 customers after signing on 3534 customers in the year and losing 2967.
Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment figures show Hawke's Bay lines providers Eastland Network, Unison, Centralines and Scanpower raised their lines charges by $45, $39, $23 and $102 respectively in the year to last November (based on an average customer using 8000 kW/h per annum).
Customers on the Eastland Network - which covers Wairoa - were getting the cheapest deal with Just Energy, who charge 30.58 cents per kilowatt hour, according to the Ministry figures.
Trust Power was the most expensive retailer on the Eastland Network, charging 36.10 c/kWh.
Customers on the Unison network - which covers the majority of Hawke's Bay - were getting the cheapest deal with Energy Online, which was charging customers 25.39 c/kWh last November.
Energy Direct was the most expensive retailer on the Unison network, charging 30.67 c/kWh.
Customers on the Centralines network - which covers Central Hawke's Bay - were getting the cheapest deal with Energy Direct NZ, who charged 29.17 c/kWh.
Contact Energy was the most expensive retailer on the Centralines network, charging 30.96 c/kWh.
Customers on the Scanpower network - which covers Dannevirke and the Southern Hawke's Bay region - were getting the cheapest deal with Energy Online, which was charging customers 26.12 c/kWh.
Contact Energy was the most expensive retailer on the Scanpower network, charging 28.47 c/kWh.
As of January 31, Contact Energy (including the Empower brand) had the biggest presence in Hawke's Bay with 31,200 customers, followed by Genesis Energy (including its subsidiary Energy Online) with 27,809 customers.
Household power bills are made up mostly of retail charges (31.5 per cent), generation (23.5 per cent) and distribution costs (23.2 per cent). GST, transmission and metering costs make up 11.1, 7.4 and 2.7 per cent of an average bill respectively.
The Electricity Authority says actual generation costs vary significantly year-to-year - depending on how much rainfall falls in the hydro systems which make up about 60 per cent of the country's total electricity generation. According to the Consumer Powerswitch website, Contact Energy is the cheapest power retailer in Hawke's Bay, followed by Nova Energy and Powershop. A survey carried out last year by Consumer NZ found Powershop, Energy Online, Energy Direct NZ, Tiny Mighty Power, Meridian Energy and Trustpower to be the nation's favourite electricity companies - each scoring above 78 per cent in a satisfaction survey.