Back when I used to live in Manila, I remember to receive unexpected, exaggerated electricity bills all the time because there was no way to closely monitor your consumption on a day to day basis. And because Meralco is a monopoly, you had to pay up your bill on time or your powerline gets ruthlessly cut.
When I moved into my first rental property here in NZ, I had the luxury of choosing over 10 power retailers! This number keeps growing. If you didn’t like the service or the price you are paying for one company, it was very easy to switch to another one. In fact, the government encourages healthy competition among power retailers by asking people to visit this site to find out who gives the cheapest price at a particular point in time. In the end, the consumers win.
As I believe in supporting local businesses, I am with Powershop for the past seven years, a Wellington-based prepaid power company. What I liked about their service is they had smart tools that lets me closely monitor my usage behaviour, and thus giving me power to control my bill.
It was very easy to buy “load” through their website or phone app. Like a brick and mortar shop, you can buy “patingi tingi” or buy in bulk or in advance to save you money.
For example, you will get considerable savings if you buy power for the winter during the summer time where prices are cheaper. If you overbuy power by any chance, they will refund you. If let’s say you go on vacation and turn off everything in your house including the fridge, you don’t have to pay anything. My bill dropped to zero when I went back to the Philippines one time.
As an added bonus, I pay Powershop through my American Express card which they accept so I earn airpoints from paying utility bills. At the end of the year, I could earn a free flight from all the airpoints accumulated.
There is no requirement to pay in advance to keep your power going. They will automatically charge your debit or credit card each month if you have not bought enough “powerpacks” in advance to cover your usage. You will not be cut off just because you haven’t logged into their website or app.