Your swish new price graph (or the older price dial if you’re tracking your dashboard) is a fascinating thing. We might be slightly biased, but we do love a good visual representation of the price of electricity.
And, as it turns out, our Freestylin’ Flicksters do too! So much so that they’ve been known to compare their graphs and dials with fellow Flicksters, analysing why different folks in different locations have pricing that’s higher or lower. The way it all works means that you might have an entirely different final bill to that of your next door neighbour, even though you only live 10 metres apart and use roughly the same amount of electricity (yes, this does happen!). It’s fascinating stuff.
So, in order to help Flicksters understand why the graph on their Flick app, or dial on their dashboard, is different to that of their parents/neighbour/hairdresser/dog walker, we’ve pulled together a bit of an explainer. We’ve broken down the different charges that influence your individual pricing and cause your Flick graph to move up and down. Have a read!
Your Flick price graph and dial
If you’re not familiar with these puppies, you need to download the Flick app, or become a little more acquainted with your dashboard. Not only are these handy wee tools easy on the eye, they also show you the spot price that you’re paying for your power on Flick’s Freestyle plan at any given time. You’ll notice a section that’s purple and a section that’s green (and sometimes, yellow and red!).
The top part, from the green up, accounts for the spot price of electricity, which changes every half hour. For more, have a read of our blog, From forecast to final prices, which explains the lifecycle of spot prices.
The purple part at the bottom includes charges for transmission and distribution, metering, and EA levies. It doesn’t include GST or your fixed daily charge. The purple part is in no way influenced by the spot price, which is why they’re so clearly delineated on your graph and dial.
On the Flick app graph, you’ll also see a yellow band running between the purple section and the green section which accounts for our Flick fee. On the dashboard dial, our Flick fee is incorporated in the purple ‘other charges’ section.
So, which parts of each can influence the price of your bill? Let’s take a look.
The spot price (green/yellow/red section)
This is the part that changes every half hour, influenced by the changes in supply and demand. Though spot prices change from one part of NZ to the next, usually getting cheaper as you track down the country, they’ll be the same for all customers on each Grid Exit Point (also known as a GXP). A GXP is a site where electricity flows out of the National Grid and into your local power lines to be used at your home or business, and there are around 174 GXPs throughout NZ. So what’s the reason spot prices change between GXPs? Usually, it’s related to the cost of transferring power from its site of generation to each individual GXP - the further away from the generation site you are, the higher your spot price will generally be.
Transmission and distribution (purple section)
These charges cover the costs your network company incurs getting power from the National Grid to your property. On your bill, you’ll see them listed as the ‘Network Charge’ and ‘Network Daily Charge’. They’re influenced by a few different things, which in turn makes pricing different for each customer.
So what can affect the price you see on your graph or dial? First up, it’ll differ between Standard and Low User plans (check out our blog, What’s your User plan, Stan? for lots of User plan info!). It’s also affected by whether your meter is controlled, uncontrolled or inclusive (this relates to whether the network company can remotely control appliances at your home, such as your hot water cylinder). You might also be affected by seasonal pricing changes set by your lines company that occur in some parts of NZ, such as winter and summer pricing schedules down South.
Metering (purple section)
This includes the rental costs from the metering company that owns the power meter at your property. It’s listed on your bill as ‘Metering - Fixed Daily Charge’, and, as with your Network Charges above, it’s influenced by the User plan that you’re on. Standard Users generally pay more per day than Low Users.
EA Levy (purple section)
This charge from the Electricity Authority is what allows us to act as a retailer on the New Zealand electricity market, and it will show on your bill as ‘EA Levy’. This fee is exactly the same for everyone.
Flick Fee (yellow band on graph, purple section on dial)
This is the fee we charge to be your retailer, and it’s made up of a Flick Daily Charge and a Flick Variable Charge. Again, this fee is affected by whether you’re on a Standard or Low User plan: if you’re a Standard user, we charge you 40¢ per day, and 1.5¢ per kWh you use; if you’re a Low user, we charge you 3.3¢ - 3.75¢ per kWh, depending on where you’re located, and there are no daily charges.
Still got questions?
Fair enough - it can be a bit of a tricky one to get your head around, because as you can see, there are a few different, individual factors that contribute to the final cost of your power bill. Fret not though, Flicksters. We love to chew the proverbial fat, especially when it comes to electricity, so give us a call on 0800 4 FLICK (435 425) and we can talk you through it.