Apart from a few large consumers, Unison does not directly bill consumers on our networks. We charge the electricity retailers, who bundle our charges with their other costs on consumers’ bills. Although we publish our tariffs on this website, we have no control over how retailers pass these on in consumers’ bills.
The line charges that appear on an electricity account include the costs we pass on from Transpower, for transmitting electricity from generation points around New Zealand across the national grid to ‘grid exit points’ (GXPs) in your region. The remainder of the charge covers the cost of distributing electricity from these GXPs, across our network assets to your home or business. The cost of the electricity you use is billed by your electricity retailer.
Because the electricity distribution industry is regulated by the Commerce Commission, we are required to make a range of disclosures, including pricing schedules, and our pricing methodology.
These schedules show the electricity line charges that are a component of the electricity account you will receive from your electricity retailer.
The pricing methodology disclosure sets out the methodology that Unison used to set the tariff structure and tariff rates for the pricing year. The disclosure is prepared as a requirement of the Electricity Distribution Information Disclosure Determination 2012, as well as demonstrating the extent to which the pricing methodology is consistent with the Electricity Authority’s pricing principles and disclosure guidelines.
Electricity is generated around New Zealand, with the majority coming from renewable sources like hydro dams and wind farms.
Electricity is transmitted to regions across New Zealand by the National Grid.
Unison takes power from the National Grid, and distributes it across the region.
Electricity retailers manage customer needs and invoicing of electricity costs. The invoice includes transmission charges from Transpower, and line charges from Unison.
Your electricity bill explained
The price you pay to your retailer for electricity covers three main costs:
- Charges from Transpower, the national grid operator.
- Charges from Unison, as your local electricity distributor.
- The costs of the electricity you use. (i.e., the charges from your electricity retailer)
If your household uses less than 8,000kWh per year, you should be on our ‘Low Fixed Charge’ price category. Many households fall into this category, so it’s worth contacting your electricity retailer to see if you are on the best rate for the electricity you use.
If you need a help understanding pricing categories and terminology, the Electricity Networks Association prepared a guide that can help. View it here.
How do we calculate our charges?
Each year, Unison is required to set charges within the Commerce Commission’s ruling on pricing, and publish these pricing categories and charges, and related methodology.
Breakdown of your electricity bill
The diagram below is an illustrative breakdown of an electricity bill for a typical residential consumer. However, an individual’s bill will vary slightly depending the chosen electricity retailer and their associated discount structure, consumption levels, and the pricing category selected.