Media release

Top Five To-Do’s in 2017 for Electricity and Gas

10 January 2017

A stable supply of electricity and gas is white noise most of the time, but if these utilities suddenly aren’t available or suddenly cost too much, here are some 2017 resolutions to help you prepare.

  1. I will read my bills AND the accompanying notices.
  2. If you tune out or toss out the materials you receive from your gas or electricity company, you may be missing notifications of price hikes, planned outages and more. Don’t just look at the amount of the bill and ignore everything else. At least glance at the other stuff.

  3. I will read my contract.
  4. Look for wording about the provider’s customer service commitments and what you promise to do as a consumer. Do a speedread. If you switch providers, you may pay less monthly but end up with a worse contract.

  5. I will prepare for outages.
  6. Rain, earthquakes, someone in your neighborhood runs into a power line – outages happen, and they can go on for a while. Here’s what you should have ready at a minimum: an emergency preparedness kit including a flashlight, batteries, cash and first aid supplies; a back-up plan if you have an electricity-dependent medical device; alternative charging methods for your phone and other devices; a chilly bin to store perishables; a full tank of gas.

  7. I will contribute to the health of the planet.
  8. Conserve energy, save money, save the Earth. Energy-saving home improvements include: compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs), refrigerator testing and possible replacement, energy-saving showerheads, faucet aerators, LED night lights, power strips, electric or gas water heater insulation, lowering the temperature in your water heater.

  9. I will complain if I have to.
  10. Kiwis are not complainers, but if you encounter issues with your electricity or gas provider, you can complain. If the complaint is not resolved within 20 business days, you can contact Utilities Disputes, a free and independent service, at any time.

Let 2017 be your year to get pro-active about electricity and gas. Utilities Disputes Ltd (formerly the Office of the Electricity and Gas Complaints Commissioner) has been around for 15 years and has handled over 50,000 complaints about electricity and gas. Utilities Disputes is free, independent and neutral. We are here to help. Resolve to call us if you need assistance!