05 April 2018

Here at Power Direct we spend a lot of time talking about the difference between Low and Standard users. No doubt you’ve been hit with this question yourself when applying with a power company. But what do these terms really mean? How do you know which plan applies to you and what difference does it even make?

Let’s take a look into how being a Low or Standard user affects your power bill

The first thing to know is how to work out which plan applies to you. As a general rule being a low or standard user depends on whether you are using more or less than 8,000 kWh of electricity per year (9,000 kWh if you live in the deep south).

If you use less than 8,000 kWh of electricity across 12 months then you qualify as a ‘low user’. Likewise, if you use more than 8,000 kWh then you are classed as a ‘standard user’. You can check how much electricity you are using by grabbing the details off a recent power bill or, if you don’t have a record, giving your current power company a call.


A Standard user tends to include bigger households with 3+ people or households with additional heating, maybe for a spa or pool. It can also apply to families or individuals who use electric heaters rather than wood burners.

Low users tend to be smaller households of 1-2 people who use less electricity for heating and hot water and often those with fireplaces or gas for heating or hot water.

But what difference does being on a Low or Standard user plan make to your power bill?

Well! Low and Standard user plans exist to ensure that power pricing is fair for all New Zealanders. To make this happen low user plans have a lower daily fixed charge to get the power out to your house, but a higher kWh charge (as we know that you will use less).

Standard user plans on the other hand have a higher daily fixed charge and a lower kWh charge.

These charges are audited by the EA (Electricity Authority) to make sure that when you use less than 8,000 kWh per year your power will be cheaper on a Low user plan. And if you use over 8,000 kWh per year your power will be cheaper on a Standard user plan.

Here at Power Direct we want to make sure that our customers are receiving the best possible pricing for their power! This means that we ask you to indicate which power plan applies to you on application. Once you are on board with us we will also keep an eye on your usage and let you know if we think your plan might need adjusting.

Want to learn more about Power Direct? Give us a call on 0800 463 473. Or, if you are ready to join the movement to wholesale power, jump on over to our application form now!

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