1.1 The terms and conditions in this agreement, together with our lists of rates, charges and fees as amended from time to time, govern the relationship between Meridian Energy Limited and you relating to your electricity supply.
1.2 This agreement takes effect between us from the time that you become a Meridian customer unless we agree specific terms with you on a separate basis.
1.3 All previous versions of our terms and conditions have been replaced by this agreement.
1.4 Terms in bold are defined in clause 24.
2. BECOMING A MERIDIAN CUSTOMER
New Meridian customers
2.1 There are a number of ways in which you can become a Meridian customer. You will become a customer in relation to a premises if you:
(a) complete an application form;
or (b) complete the online application form on our website (www.meridian.co.nz);
or (c) apply for electricity supply over the phone,
and we accept your application for that premises.
We may accept or decline your application at our sole discretion and, in making our decision, we will consider your ability to meet our payment, credit and other criteria. If you do not meet our criteria, we may decline your application or may offer to supply electricity to you if you agree to any extra terms and conditions that we consider necessary.
2.2 The information you provide to us in applying to become a Meridian customer must be accurate and not misleading. If the information you provide to us contains a material error, you will be in breach of a material term of this agreement so we may, without notice, either change the pricing plan you are on to a plan you are eligible for (taking into account the revised information) or disconnect your electricity supply in accordance with clause 13.7.
2.3 If you are a new Meridian customer, we will use the final meter reading provided to us by the previous retailer of the premises (which may be based on an estimate) as your initial meter reading. If you are moving into new premises, you can read the meter before using any electricity and advise us of that reading within one business day of moving in. If your meter reading differs from the previous final meter reading at the premises, we may arrange for the meter to be read and we will use that reading as your initial meter reading.
2.4 If our supply of electricity to you has not commenced at the time you become a Meridian customer, we will endeavour to commence supply as soon as possible.
Moving to premises that Meridian supplies
2.5 If you move into premises that Meridian supplies and you do not arrange for the supply of electricity to your premises by another retailer, you must contact us to apply to become a Meridian customer.
If you do not contact us:
(a) we may disconnect the electricity supply to the premises after we have made a reasonable attempt to contact you as the occupier of the premises;
and (b) whether or not we disconnect, you must pay for the electricity you have used and all applicable fees (which can be found on our website), including any disconnection fees, whether you have accepted this agreement or not.
2.6 If you accept this agreement, and if we accept you as a Meridian customer in relation to the premises, you will be deemed to have been a Meridian customer for that premises from the date you moved into the premises (you must provide us with any evidence that we reasonably request to establish the date that you moved into the premises).
3. MEDICALLY DEPENDENT CONSUMERS
3.1 If you are or believe you are a medically dependent consumer or if you have, or believe you have, a medically dependent consumer at your premises, you must provide us with a Notice of Potential Medically Dependent Consumer Status Form signed by a medical professional. You can find a copy of this form on our website or request one from your doctor or a medical professional. If you do not provide us with a Notice of Potential Medically Dependent Consumer Status Form we may not recognise you or the relevant person as medically dependent and may not continue to treat you or them as such.
3.2 If you or the relevant person cease to be a medically dependent consumer you must notify us as soon as possible and upon receipt of that notification, or upon Meridian otherwise learning that you or the relevant person are not a medically dependent consumer, we will cease to recognise or treat you or the relevant person as a medically dependent consumer.
3.3 If you are a medically dependent consumer or if there is a medically dependent consumer at your premises, you must make sure that you maintain an emergency response plan in case of a power cut. Your emergency response plan should ensure that alternative options such as battery power or a generator are available during an outage. If you ever feel your health or the health of a medically dependent consumer at your premises is at risk due to a power outage it is essential you call emergency services or get yourself or the medically dependent consumer to a hospital.4. PARTIES INVOLVED IN YOUR ELECTRICITY SUPPLY
4.1 There are a number of entities involved in your electricity supply, including:
(c) the lines company;
and (e) our metering services provider.
4.2 Meridian does not own or operate the power lines that convey electricity to you. These lines are generally owned by Transpower and the lines company or lines companies in your area.
5. LINES COMPANY
Complying with the lines company agreement
5.1 To supply you with electricity Meridian has an agreement with the lines company or lines companies in your area permitting Meridian to use their network. Your responsibilities to the lines company are included in this agreement. Part of your responsibility as our customer is to abide by those responsibilities.
5.2 A lines company may have an agreement directly with you. In that case, that agreement will replace the parts of this agreement dealing with your responsibilities to the lines company.
5.3 You must also comply with:
(a) all line function services safety and technical standards provided for under any regulations or industry standards;
(b) the lines company’s Network Connection Standards, as amended from time to time;
and (c) all legal requirements relating to your equipment, including (if applicable) by ensuring that any alteration is certified by a suitably qualified person.
For further information on these obligations, please contact us or the lines company. A copy of the lines company’s Network Connection Standards can be found on its website.
6. OUR COMMITMENT TO YOU
6.1 We will provide your electricity supply in a way that complies with all relevant laws (including the Electricity Act 1992, the Electricity Industry Act 2010, the Electricity Industry Participation Code 2010, and the Consumer Guarantees Act 1993), and with industry standards.
6.2 Any timeframes in this agreement are consistent with the applicable equivalent timeframes specified in any relevant law or industry standards.
7. YOUR ELECTRICITY SUPPLY
7.1 You acknowledge that you recognise that surges or spikes in your electricity supply are momentary fluctuations in the voltage or frequency that can happen at any time and are not treated as interruptions to your electricity supply. These fluctuations may be large and cause damage even when they comply with the applicable electricity safety regulations. Any momentary fluctuations (large or small) could damage or destroy appliances including sensitive appliances like computers, televisions, DVD players, cordless phones, computerised appliances and fridges and freezers. We do not control the quality of electricity that you receive and cannot prevent such fluctuations. We will not be responsible for any damage that results from such fluctuations unless we are found to have breached the Consumer Guarantees Act (after the application of clause 17).
7.2 Your electricity supply may be interrupted because of planned or unplanned events.
7.3 A planned interruption of your electricity supply may be made by us or the lines company:
(a) so the equipment, electrical lines and network equipment connected to your premises or another person’s premises can be installed, maintained, upgraded, altered, replaced or repaired;
(b) for health and safety reasons;
(c) to preserve or protect the proper working of the network;
(d) to ensure the quality and safety of your electricity supply or of the electricity supply to a third party;
(e) to comply with instructions from Transpower;
(f) to comply with the law, or any industry standards;
or (g) to comply with instructions from any regulatory authority.
7.4 We or the lines company will give you at least four business days’ notice of planned interruptions unless:
(a) you agree;
or (b) the interruption is urgently required and was not reasonably foreseeable, meaning that four business days’ notice is not possible, in which case we will give you as much notice of the interruption as is possible.
7.5 Unplanned interruptions to your electricity supply may occur for many reasons and we will be unable to give you prior warning.
Examples of reasons for unplanned interruptions include:
(a) where the network is affected by a storm, high winds, third party interference (like a car accident), or other events beyond our reasonable control;
or (b) safety reasons.
7.6 We are not responsible if your electricity supply is interrupted as a result of events beyond our reasonable control unless we are found to have breached the Consumer Guarantees Act (after the application of clause 17.1). Following an interruption (whether planned or unplanned), we will do everything that we reasonably can to return your electricity supply to normal as soon as reasonably practicable.
7.7 You can report, and access information about, a supply interruption (planned or unplanned) by calling our Contact Centre on 0800 496 496. This service is available on a 24-hour basis and is free to call from your cell phone. We will regularly update information about a supply interruption, in accordance with good industry practice in New Zealand.
7.8 You are responsible for:
(a) insuring yourself against damage from electricity fluctuations and interruptions;
(b) undertaking protective measures such as installing suitable surge protection devices and power conditioners;
and (c) arranging for alternative electricity supplies to protect your equipment and electrical appliances.
7.9 You can find more information regarding measures that you can take against fluctuations and interruptions (including surges and spikes) in electricity supply on our website. We cannot tell you what types of surge protection devices or power conditioners may be suitable to your circumstances and recommend that you seek advice from an electronics retailer or qualified electrician. Note that surge protection devices may not protect your equipment and electrical appliances from some surges and spikes that you may experience. We recommend that you insure yourself against damage from electricity surges, spikes, fluctuations and interruptions.
Compensation for losses resulting from a supply interruption
7.10 If we receive compensation from a third party for losses resulting from the interruption of supply, we will pass a portion of that compensation on to you if we are able to identify that your supply was interrupted. We will calculate the portion of compensation payable to you by having regard to other affected customers and taking into account any administrative costs reasonably incurred by us. If you ask us to, we will explain in more detail how we determined the amount of compensation paid to you.
8. FAULTS AND SAFETY
8.1 For safety reasons, faults in your electricity supply need to be acted on immediately: call our Contact Centre on 0800 496 496 any time. When you report a fault, please include anything you see or hear that may help pinpoint the cause of the fault.
8.2 For your safety, please treat all electrical lines or wires, at all times, as live and therefore deadly. If you are unsure about the safety of any lines on or near your premises, please call our Contact Centre on 0800 496 496 or the lines company immediately.
8.3 To help ensure that the supply of electricity to you and others is safe and not interrupted, you must:
(a) follow any instructions given to you by the lines company to make sure its electrical lines or equipment on your premises are safe;
(b) repair and maintain your electrical lines and equipment to make sure they comply with the law;
(c) keep your electrical lines clear of buildings, ground, trees and vegetation and other obstacles on your premises or overhanging your premises in accordance with the New Zealand Electrical Code of Practice for Electrical Safe Distances (available from the Energy Safety Service www.energysafety.govt.nz);
(d) make sure nothing on your premises interferes with or damages the network;
(e) work out the exact location of any underground electrical line before doing any groundwork, such as digging trenches or driving stakes. Information on the location of underground electrical lines is available from the lines company;
and (f) notify Meridian immediately if there is any damage to or fault with any meters or equipment.
8.4 You must not:
(a) connect or disconnect your premises to the network — only people authorised by the lines company can do this;
(b) interconnect two or more network connection points;
(c) interfere with or work on the lines company’s electrical lines and equipment on your premises;
(d) allow any mortgage, security interest or other charge of any nature whatsoever to be created over any piece of electrical equipment on your premises that we or the lines company own or over a meter;
(e) take a supply of electricity from anywhere along the electrical line between your network connection point and the meter;
(f) interfere with any equipment on your premises that we or the lines company own or any meter;
or (g) use any appliance that interferes with the safety and operation of any equipment or interferes with anyone else’s electricity supply.
If you breach any of the above obligations, we may disconnect your electricity supply if clause 13.7 applies.
8.5 You are responsible for making sure that your agents, your invitees to your premises, other people in your household, their agents and invitees understand and comply with the requirements of this clause 8. It is also your responsibility to let the owner of your premises know if he or she has to do anything to meet these requirements or obtain their consent to enable you to meet these responsibilities.
8.6 Interference with electricity meters, or with lines, connections or equipment belonging to, or leased or controlled by, Meridian or the lines company is a very serious matter, and may result in the involvement of police and legal prosecution.
8.7 If interference has meant that your electricity usage has not been properly recorded for any period of time, in accordance with clause 6.1:
(a) we will estimate your actual electricity usage since the date you became a Meridian customer, and you will have to pay any amount which is owing;
(b) you may also have to pay:
(i) for any costs or losses we or the lines company incur in investigating the interference;
and (ii) for any costs we or the lines company incur in replacing or repairing any damage to the metering equipment;
and (iii) a bond (or increased bond);
and (c) we may also cease, limit, restrict or suspend your electricity supply, and/or take legal action against you.
9. LOAD MANAGEMENT
9.1 Part of your electricity supply may be load managed. Load management may be undertaken by the lines company, by us by a third party, or by any combination of these entities. About load management
9.2 Load management is the process of reducing electricity demand on the network by controlling the supply of electricity to specific appliances (referred to as controlled loads). This normally occurs during peak load periods when the demand for electricity is at its highest, but may occur at other times, for example, following events on Transpower’s national transmission system or the network so as to manage electricity system security.
9.3 Examples of appliances suitable for load management are hot water storage heaters, spa pool heaters and space heaters.
Load management by the lines company or us
9.4 We and the lines company can use load management switches on your premises to interrupt your electricity supply without giving you advance notice if:
(a) in relation to the lines company, our agreement with the lines company allows the lines company to;
or (b) in relation to us, you have agreed to a pricing plan that allows your electricity to be load managed (in which case we will comply with any conditions in that plan).
9.5 Load management can occur for any legal purpose, including:
(a) managing the system security of Transpower’s national transmission system or the network;
(b) reducing the transmission charges charged by Transpower to the lines company;
(c) optimising the lines company’s investment in the network;
(d) managing wholesale electricity purchase cost risks (for example, by shifting the time of your consumption);
or (e) providing interruptible load into the reserves market. Load management equipment
9.6 To ensure that Meridian and the lines company are able to efficiently manage the supply of electricity to you, you agree that each of Meridian and the lines company may have reasonable access to your premises to install such load management equipment as each considers necessary. See clause 11 for your rights and responsibilities relating to our and the lines company’s access to your premises.
Load management by third parties
9.7 If you enter into any agreement or arrangement with any third party in relation to using load management switches in, over, on or relating to your premises to interrupt your electricity supply, you must ensure that:
(a) neither us nor the lines company is already entitled to use the load management switches in, over, on or relating to your premises under clause 9.4;
(b) the third party does not interfere with or damage our and the lines company’s load management equipment, and if such damage occurs you must promptly remedy that damage at your own cost;
(c) the third party allows the lines company to use load management switches in, over, on or relating to your premises to interrupt your electricity supply to enable it to fulfil its performance obligations as an asset owner under the lines company agreement;
and (d) prior to the third party using load management switches in, over, on or relating to your premises to interrupt your electricity supply, it enters into an agreement with the lines company regarding protocols for complying with clause 9.7(c).
10. METERING OF ELECTRICITY
10.1 We will comply with all relevant laws and industry standards relating to metering. This clause 10 complies with those laws and standards. Reading your meter
10.2 Except for unmetered supplies, we find out how much electricity you have used by reading your meter (which we may do physically or remotely):
(a) If you live in a remote area, we will endeavour to read your meter at least twice a year.
(b) If you are a pre-pay customer, we will endeavour to read your meter at least once a year.
(c) For other customers, we will endeavour to read your meter at least four times a year.
We will let you know in writing if we are going to change the number of meter reads which we endeavour to do each year.
10.3 While we will try to read your meter regularly, it is not always possible: we may be unable to read your meter because of equipment breakdowns, weather conditions or problems getting access to your premises.
If we do not read your meter:
(a) we will invoice you using an estimate of the electricity you have used;
and (b) when your meter is next read, we will take this into account in your subsequent invoice or invoices.
10.4 If you read your meter yourself, we will not be responsible for any injury or loss caused or suffered by you in doing so.
10.5 You must pay for all the electricity which your electricity meter measures as having been used on your premises from the time you became (or were deemed by clause 2.6 to become) a Meridian customer until we stop supplying electricity to you. Electricity industry rules set a standard of accuracy for electricity meters. If you think your meter is not measuring electricity you use within the set standard of accuracy you can ask us to test it. Unless your meter has been tested and found to be inaccurate, we may assume that the metering information we collect is accurate (your electricity invoices are based on this information).
(a) you ask us to test your meter and we find that it is not accurate;
or (b) we decide to test a meter and find that it is not accurate, we will bear the cost of testing and repairing or replacing the inaccurate meter.
We will then work out what your electricity usage should have been, and how much you should have paid for your electricity. This may result in either a debit or credit to your next electricity invoice, depending on whether you paid too much or too little.
10.7 If the meter is found to be accurate and you requested that it be tested, then you may have to pay for the test and will have to pay for all electricity recorded through that meter. We will tell you about the likely cost of undertaking the test when you request it, and before we commence testing.
10.8 We may, at any time, replace or upgrade the meter at your premises including by installing a smart meter. We may charge you the cost of replacing or upgrading that meter at your premises if you, your agents, your invitees, other people in your household or their agents or invitees have caused damage to the meter or have requested a new meter. We will inform you if your meter is to be replaced or upgraded and the costs of that replacement or upgrade.
10.9 If a replacement meter cannot be installed at your premises because the wiring at your premises does not comply with any applicable laws, regulations, codes or standards, or because the replacement meter would, when installed, represent a safety hazard, we may require you to fix, remedy, or repair the wiring or safety hazard at your cost before a replacement meter is installed at your premises.
10.10 We may also require you to provide a certificate of compliance from a certified service provider at your cost before the replacement meter is installed. We may request a copy of this certificate at any time.
11. ACCESS TO YOUR PREMISES
11.1 Sometimes our representatives and representatives of the lines company will need access to your premises. If you breach your obligations under this clause 11, we may disconnect your electricity supply if clause 13.7 applies, and the lines company may disconnect your electricity supply if clause 13.2 applies. Access by the lines company
11.2 You must provide the lines company with safe and unobstructed access to your premises (including inside any premises) for the following purposes:
(a) to inspect, maintain, upgrade, replace or operate equipment in, over or on your premises that is owned, leased or controlled by the lines company;
(b) to install, replace, upgrade, read or maintain meters;
(c) to disconnect and reconnect your electricity supply in accordance with this agreement;
(d) to access our equipment to verify metering information, including, in the event of termination of the lines company’s agreement with us, to determine any charges outstanding at the time of termination;
(e) for the safety and protection of persons or property;
(f) to ensure that you fulfil your obligations under clauses 16.2(d) and 16.5;
(g) to enable the lines company to gain access to and remove any of its equipment following the termination of this agreement and for the period ending six months after the date that termination takes effect;
and (h) for any other purpose related to the provision of services under the lines company agreement or to enable the lines company to comply with law.
Access by us
11.3 You must provide us with safe and unobstructed access to your premises for the following purposes:
(a) to connect, suspend or disconnect your electricity supply;
(b) to install, replace, upgrade, read or maintain meters;
(c) to ensure that trees, vegetation and other obstacles are clear of any lines or other electrical equipment - we or the lines company may charge you for the cost of clearing such trees, vegetation or obstacles if you have failed to do so;
(d) to install, inspect, operate, work on or remove any equipment needed to provide your electricity supply or another person’s electricity supply;
(e) to investigate or repair any damage or interference, or suspected damage or interference to or with the network or any equipment used in relation to your electricity supply;
and (f) for the safety of persons or property.
Notice of access
11.4 Except in routine situations (such as, for example, reading or inspecting a meter that is located on the outside of a building) or emergency situations, before accessing your premises we or the lines company will provide you with written notice of:
(a) when access is required;
and (b) the purpose for which access to your premises is required.
Where we require you to be home during the period that we access your premises, we will call you to set up a time that suits both you and us. If we agree a time with you and you do not meet that time, we may charge you a fee.
11.5 Unless we or the lines company agree with you otherwise, we or the lines company will provide you with the notice in clause 11.4:
(a) where we or the lines company require access to undertake construction, upgrade, repair or maintenance work, at least 10 business days before access is required;
or (b) otherwise, in a reasonable time before access is required.
Access must be safe and unobstructed
11.6 When we or the lines company visit your premises, you must do all things necessary to ensure that access to your premises is safe and unobstructed and that our staff, agents and contractors are not threatened, assaulted or harassed by you or any person you are responsible for. This includes ensuring that any dog or other animal on your premises is kept under control.
11.7 If you breach clause 11.6 and:
(a) that breach is not the subject of a dispute under our complaint resolution procedure;
(b) we have taken reasonable steps to encourage and assist you to comply with clause 11.6;
and (c) we have given you 10 days’ written notice to remedy that breach in order to avoid disconnection, and you do not comply with that clause when we next visit your premises, you will be in breach of a material term of this agreement so we may disconnect your electricity supply without further notice in accordance with clause 13.7.
Keys and security information
11.8 If your electricity supply equipment is located behind locked doors or gates, you will need to let us in or provide us with a key and/or security system code so that we can access your premises.
(a) securely store all keys and security information that you provide to us;
(b) only use the keys and security information for the purpose of exercising our rights and fulfilling our obligations under this agreement;
and (c) destroy the keys and the security information promptly after we no longer require that key or security information for the purposes of this agreement (unless we have agreed to other arrangements with you).
If you contact us, we will provide you with further information on our procedures for secure storage, use and destruction or return of keys and/or security information.
Our access responsibilities
11.9 When accessing your premises, our representatives and representatives of the lines company will:
(a) take reasonable steps to minimise any direct impacts on your premises and any inconvenience to you;
(b) comply with any reasonable requirements that you may have (such as, for example, the time of entry, leaving gates as found, driving in a safe manner, taking reasonable steps not to disturb stock, and avoiding access through specified areas);
(c) identify themselves to you before entering your premises (you do not have to allow them access to your premises unless they show you their identification);
and (d) act courteously, considerately and professionally at all times.
Health, safety and the Resource Management Act
11.10 You must bring to the attention of our or the lines company’s representative visiting your premises any health and safety and/or Resource Management Act requirements or issues that could be relevant and, if your premises are business premises, provide any necessary health and safety equipment to ensure the safety of the representative on your premises.
12. RATES, FEES AND CHARGES
12.1 We will charge you our rates, fees and charges in accordance with your agreed Meridian pricing plan and the Meridian service fees schedule for your electricity supply from the time you became (or were deemed by clause 2.6 to become) a Meridian customer until we stop supplying electricity to you. We will also charge you for any other amount provided for under this agreement or otherwise agreed with you from time to time.
12.2 If we think that circumstances have arisen, or are likely to arise, where you may incur a fee, we will give you reasonable notice of the circumstances before you incur the fee, and explain how you can avoid incurring the fee.
12.3 If you request an additional product or service under this agreement that will result in you incurring an additional cost, we will advise you of the additional cost at the time of your request (or provide you with an estimate of the additional cost if the exact amount is not known to us at that time).
12.4 If you contact us, we can provide a copy of your pricing plan (which may be the standard plan for your area) and our service fees schedule.
Changes to rates, fees and charges
12.5 We will usually determine which rates you are eligible for based on your meter configuration. If you stop being eligible for the rate you are on because you no longer meet our criteria for that rate, we may require you to change to an alternative rate and if we do we will give you 30 days’ notice in writing in advance unless clause 2.2 applies.
12.6 We may change the rates, fees and charges that we charge you, as well as the level of any prompt payment discount. We will give you 30 days’ notice in advance of any increase in our rates, fees or charges or any decrease in our prompt payment discount, together with our reasons for that increase or decrease. If our rates, fees or charges are increasing, or our prompt payment discount is decreasing, by more than 5% (and, in the case of a fee or charge, the increase is reasonably likely to have a material effect on consumers) then we will give you an individual notice of that increase or decrease by mail or email as soon as possible.
If our rates, fees or charges are increasing, or our prompt payment discount is decreasing, by less than 5% (or, in the case of a fee or charge, the increase is not reasonably likely to have a material effect on consumers) then we will give you notice of that increase or decrease by any of the following methods:
(a) advertising in your local daily newspaper;
(b) posting a notice on our website (www.meridian.co.nz);
(c) providing written notice to you in a letter or email;
(d) notifying you by other electronic means;
(e) including a statement on your invoice;
or (f) a combination of the above.
If you or the lines company change your usage (and, if the lines company makes the change, it tells you about it), that is not a change to our rates, fees or charges so the 30 day notice requirement does not apply. Examples of usage are your electricity usage (usually measured in kWh), capacity (usually measured in kVA per day or kW per day), demand (usually measured in kW per day), interruptability (usually measured in kW per day), power factor correction (usually measured in kVAr) and distance (usually measured in kVa – km per day).
12.7 Where we have agreed with you that non-standard rates will apply to you for a fixed period, at any time after the end of that period we may, at our discretion, either continue to offer those or other non-standard rates, or move you onto the relevant rates on the current Meridian pricing plan for your area.
12.8 If you want to change your pricing plan, products or services to another pricing plan, product or service, then:
(a) please contact us to discuss what change you would like us to make;
and (b) subject only to reasonable restrictions applying to the pricing plan, product or service, or an event outside our control occurring which delays the changing of your pricing plan, product or service, we will make the change;
and (c) if you are a residential customer, we will make the change within 10 business days.
If you are not a residential customer, we will make the change within a reasonable timeframe agreed with you. See www.meridian.co.nz for a list of fees and charges that may apply and the circumstances in which they may apply.
Prompt payment discount
12.9 If you are entitled to a prompt payment discount it will be shown on your invoice. A prompt payment discount will only be available if we receive full payment of the specified amount shown on your invoice from you by the due date shown on your invoice.
12.10 If any payment made by you is dishonoured by your bank, we may charge you a dishonour fee and may reverse any prompt payment discount that applied to that payment.
Errors and refunds
12.11 Except where we have estimated the amount of electricity you have used (in which case your invoices will be adjusted when we read your meter), if we make an error in an electricity invoice and charge you an incorrect amount, you will either:
(a) be entitled to a prompt refund of the amount overcharged;
or (b) you will have to pay the undercharged amount to us, to the extent reasonable taking into account whether we or you have contributed to the error, or could reasonably have been expected to know of the error.
12.12 If you are entitled to any refunds or payments from us, for whatever reason (including any profits that you are entitled to receive from a lines company that the lines company has paid to us, or any payments made under a customer compensation scheme during a public conservation campaign under the Electricity Industry Participation Code 2010), we can decide how these will be paid. For example, we may:
(a) credit them against your next electricity invoice;
(b) use the money to help pay any debts you may owe to us;
(c) pay you by direct credit to your nominated back account;
or (d) send you a cheque.
12.13 If the reason you are entitled to a refund is because you have been over-paying your account (for example, by automatic payment) then we will credit the refund against your next electricity invoice unless exceptional circumstances apply.
12.14 If we supply you with unmetered electricity including, for example, for private street lighting, you must pay for it in accordance with our unmetered supply rates.
Your monthly Meridian account
12.15 Unless we have agreed with you otherwise, every month we will send you an invoice for the electricity supply to your premises and our other services together with our applicable fees and charges.
The invoice will enable you to check the invoiced amount(s), including:
(a) the quantity of electricity supplied (based on an actual reading or estimate of the amount of electricity supplied);
(b) any relevant fees and charges;
(c) other products and services;
(d) the identifier number or numbers of your premises (known as the ICP number) and the name of the main lines company in your area;
(e) the total amount that you must pay us based on the above;
and (f) the due date for payment.
You must pay the total amount in full by the due date, even if we have estimated the amount of electricity you have used. You cannot deduct anything or set off part of the cost.
12.16 If you are having any difficulties in paying your account, you may contact us to discuss possible payment options.
Paying your invoice
12.17 If you would like to learn about the different options available for paying your invoice, and an explanation of how these options operate, please visit our website (www.meridian.co.nz).
12.18 If any of our currently offered alternative payment options are subject to change, we will give you reasonable notice and adequate information to explain the changes no less than 30 days before the change takes effect.
12.19 If we do not offer a pre-payment option, and if you ask us for any information about other electricity providers that do offer a pre-payment option, we will provide you with any such information that we possess at the time of your request.
12.20 If we send you an invoice based on an estimate of the amount of electricity you have used:
(a) the invoice will clearly state that an estimate has been used;
(b) if you ask us, we will provide you with a simple explanation of how estimates are calculated;
and (c) you may provide us with a valid meter reading of your own and, if you do and it was taken and provided to us within seven days of the date of the invoice, we will amend the estimated invoice.
However, we reserve the right to:
(i) undertake and charge you for an actual reading if the reading you give us is not consistent with our records;
and (ii) adjust your account if your reading is later found to be inaccurate.
12.21 You must notify us within a reasonable period of time if you have not received your invoice by the date on which you would usually expect to receive it, unless we have notified you of a delay in issuing that invoice.
12.22 If you receive an invoice that is late and you are not responsible for its lateness:
(a) if the invoice is more than two months after the end of the period to which it relates, by arrangement you will have at least the length of time covered by that invoice to pay it (please contact us if you wish to make this arrangement);
and (b) if the invoice is more than three months late, we will negotiate an appropriate discount with you.
12.23 You will not be required to pay interest on any incorrect or late invoices, and neither will we.
Responsibility for paying invoices
12.24 If you live with other adults and do not want to be solely responsible for meeting the obligations under this agreement, you should ensure that each of those adults is a Meridian customer and that you are all jointly responsible under this agreement. This would require each of you to contact us as soon as one of you becomes a Meridian customer to advise us of your joint responsibility under this agreement.
12.25 Even if more than one person has asked us to supply electricity to your premises and you are all jointly responsible under this agreement, you are jointly and individually liable to pay each invoice. This means that you must pay the entire invoice if someone else has not paid their share.
13. DISCONNECTION OF YOUR ELECTRICITY SUPPLY BY US OR THE LINES COMPANY
Fees and charges
13.1 You may incur fees or charges in relation to actions that you or we take in relation to suspending, disconnecting, terminating or reconnecting your electricity supply. Please see our website (www.meridian.co.nz) for a list of fees and charges that may apply, and the circumstances in which they may apply. Disconnection of electricity supply by the lines company
13.2 The lines company has the right to disconnect your electricity supply in the following circumstances:
(a) it is necessary to avoid endangering persons or property;
(b) there has been an occurrence, or there are circumstances, that may adversely affect the proper working of the network or the transmission system;
(c) the lines company has planned maintenance activities to complete;
(d) an “event of default” or an “insolvency event” under the lines company agreement occurs in relation to us (as those terms are defined in that agreement);
(e) we do not have a valid lines company agreement in relation to your premises, or that agreement has expired or been terminated or is about to expire or be terminated;
(f) you do not give the lines company access to your premises in accordance with clause 11 (where that failure to give access is material or persistent):
(i) in the case of clauses 11.2(a), (b), (d), (g) and (h), after we or the lines company have given you 10 business days’ notice of access being required;
or (ii) in the case of clauses 11.2(c), (e) or (f), immediately; or (g) you do not comply with clauses 5.3, 16.2 or 16.5 and that non-compliance is material or persistent.
In these circumstances, the lines company will disconnect your electricity supply, and not Meridian. This means that, if you need to arrange reconnection, you will need to do so with the lines company rather than us. If we receive a disconnection notice from the lines company in relation to your premises, we will give that notice to you. Disconnection of electricity supply by Meridian
13.3 Except in the case of requested, agreed or emergency disconnections, if we want to disconnect your electricity supply because you have not paid an amount owing to us in relation to or associated with your electricity supply or network services provided by the lines company by the due date shown on your invoice:
(a) we will send you a disconnection notice by mail or email (at your cost), giving you notice that we may disconnect your electricity supply between seven and 14 business days from the date of the notice unless you pay your account in full (but we need not give you notice if you have agreed a payment arrangement with us and you default on that arrangement within a short period of time);
(b) we will also give you a final warning (at your cost) at least 24 hours before your electricity supply will be disconnected;
(c) each notice will set out the timeframe within which we may disconnect your electricity supply, and explain how you can prevent disconnection from occurring;
(d) after that, if you have still not paid the amount owing to us, we may disconnect the electricity supply to the premises to which the unpaid amount relates and to any other premises at which we supply you with electricity (at your cost) without further notice.
We will only disconnect your electricity supply on a business day that is not a Friday or the day before a public holiday.
13.4 To avoid having your electricity supply disconnected, you must pay your account in full. If you are a medically dependent consumer or a vulnerable consumer, and you are unable to meet your electricity payments, we will comply with the Electricity Authority’s guidelines relevant to you in terms of assistance and disconnection.
13.5 If you tell us that you are happy for us to do so on your behalf, we will consult with Work and Income New Zealand, District Health Boards, private health practitioners or any other social agency, budget advisor or service provider if:
(a) you do not pay your invoices and your supply is at risk of disconnection;
(b) we have provided you with all the assistance we are reasonably able to;
and (c) you are still unable to make your payments.
If you have nominated a person with whom we can discuss the details of your account, we will also discuss financial assistance with that person if you tell us that you are happy for us to do so.
13.6 We will not disconnect your electricity supply under clause 13.3 if the reason for disconnection is that:
(a) you have not paid an amount owing to us and you are disputing all of that amount on genuine grounds under our complaint procedure;
or (b) you have not paid an amount owing to us that is based on an estimated meter reading, unless we reasonably believe that it is fair and reasonable in the circumstances to do so.
13.7 We may also disconnect your electricity supply without notice if:
(a) you breach a material term of this agreement (other than non-payment of an invoice), or you breach any term of this agreement persistently;
and (b) that breach is not the subject of a dispute under our complaint resolution procedure;
and (c) if that breach is capable of being remedied:
(i) we have written to you to notify you of the breach and of the need to remedy it in order to avoid disconnection;
and (ii) you have not remedied the breach 10 days after receiving written notice of the breach from us. 13.8 The terms of this agreement that are material terms for the purposes of clause 13.7 include clause 2.2, clause 11.6 (provided we have complied with clause 11.7), clause 16.4 and any other term which is material in the circumstances.
14. SUSPENSION, DISCONNECTION OR TERMINATION OF YOUR ELECTRICITY SUPPLY BY YOU
Suspension of electricity supply at your request
14.1 If you want your electricity supply temporarily suspended, you must give us at least three business days’ notice. You will have to pay the cost of suspending and reconnecting your electricity supply.
14.2 If you are moving premises:
(a) you must give us at least three business days’ notice. You can apply to be supplied by us at your new premises at the same time and this agreement will apply (and you agree that we may add any unpaid bills you have with us from any other property to your bills for electricity used at your new premises);
(b) we will need to obtain a final meter reading from one of the following methods:
(i) taking a final meter reading at your old premises (a charge applies);
or (ii) if we have read the meter at your old premises within the last 60 days, by you providing a final reading over the phone or on our website (www.meridian.co.nz).
14.3 If you provide us with the final meter reading and we determine that it is incorrect, we may carry out a final meter reading (at your cost). If this is the case we will contact you using the contact details you have given us to adjust your final invoice.
14.4 If you leave your premises (eg if you move from a flat but your flatmates are staying on) and your name is on the electricity account, it is important that you tell us that you are terminating your account with us, and if necessary make arrangements to transfer it to someone else. If you wish to transfer your account to someone else, we will need to speak to that person(s) and accept them as our customer before the account can be transferred.
14.5 If you do not give us notice that you are moving premises, you will have to keep paying electricity invoices for those premises until the earliest date that:
(a) the electricity supply is disconnected at those premises;
(b) another person or persons become solely liable for the electricity supply to the premises;
or (c) we become aware (by any means) that you have moved premises.
Switching to another retailer
14.6 If you want to switch to another retailer, your new retailer will contact us to arrange the changeover. We will help you and your new retailer switch your account over to them and will comply with any relevant laws and industry standards.
14.7 We may specify the date on which your electricity supply will switch to your new retailer which can be up to 10 business days after we have been notified of the switch by your new retailer (or any shorter time period required by any law or industry standard).
14.8 We will send you a final invoice to cover all electricity you have used until the new retailer becomes responsible for your electricity supply. The final invoice you receive may be based on an estimated read or you may provide us with a meter reading of your own (however we reserve the right not to accept your reading if it appears to be inconsistent with our records). We may also require that we read your meter (which may be at your cost).
14.9 Following the switch, if the new retailer’s subsequent meter reads show that our final estimated invoice was inaccurate, we may revise that invoice and ask you to pay the difference or refund the difference to you.
Permanent disconnection (decommissioning) at your request
14.10 If you want your electricity supply permanently disconnected (for example, if you are demolishing your house or are otherwise certain that you will never require an electricity supply to your premises in the future):
(a) we will stop your electricity supply as soon as reasonably practicable after we receive your notice of termination;
(b) we or the lines company will remove all lines and equipment belonging to, or owned or controlled by, us or the lines company from your premises and may charge you for doing so. You must provide us and/or the lines company with the necessary access to remove the lines and equipment;
and (c) prior to removing the lines and equipment from your premises, we may also require access to your premises to do a final reading of the meter (at your cost).
Once the lines and equipment have been removed, we will send you a final invoice.
Termination of this agreement
(a) your electricity supply has been disconnected;
or (b) you have switched to another retailer;
or (c) you have moved premises and are not receiving an electricity supply from us at your new premises or at any other premises, our obligations to you, and your obligations to us, in relation to your electricity supply end (other than those obligations specified in clause 20.10).
In particular, you must still pay us for amounts you owe us under this agreement.
15. RECONNECTION OF ELECTRICITY SUPPLY
15.1 Before we reconnect your electricity supply, we may require one or more of the following from you:
(a) payment of:
(i) any outstanding monies owed to us, including any disconnection fees;
(ii) any fees or charges for services that accrue while your electricity supply is disconnected;
(iii) a reconnection fee;
(iv) a bond or other security payment;
(b) agreement on an alternative payment arrangement, or any other reasonable terms and conditions;
(c) provision, to our satisfaction, of ongoing access to your property to fulfil our obligations under this agreement;
(d) responsibility for making sure all appliances at your premises are switched off at the time of reconnection;
(e) presence at the time of reconnection;
and/or (f) if your premises has not had an electricity supply for more than six months, before we reconnect your electricity supply, you will need to provide us with a certificate of compliance or a certificate of verification, at our election, from a registered electrical inspector (this is a legal requirement and a requirement of the lines company and is to ensure that it is safe to reconnect the supply of electricity, and that the necessary electrical equipment is still up to standard).
15.2 If another person living at your premises has an unpaid invoice with us, we may refuse to supply electricity to those premises until the invoice has been paid.
15.3 Once you have satisfied our reasonable requirements for reconnection, we will restore your connection as soon as reasonably practicable. We may restore your connection remotely. We reserve the right to charge you for failed attempts to reconnect your electricity supply where the failure has occurred because of your act or omission, these attempts have been carried out in good faith and we have incurred costs.
15.4 Sometimes lines companies will charge for periods of disconnection which are shorter than a year (for example, if you are disconnected and then have your electricity switched back on six months later). In these circumstances, we may pass this charge onto you (along with our disconnection and reconnection fees).
15.5 You will be responsible for any liability suffered or incurred by you as a result of us reconnecting your electricity supply.
16. RESPONSIBILITY FOR ELECTRICAL LINES AND EQUIPMENT
The lines company’s responsibilities
16.1 The lines company is responsible for most of the electrical lines and equipment in your area which are not on your premises, but may also own, lease or control lines and equipment on your premises.
The lines company’s particular responsibilities are operating and maintaining:
(a) the network up to your network connection point;
and (b) the lines company’s transformers and equipment on your premises.
You acknowledge the network, including any part of the network situated on your premises, is and will remain the sole property of the lines company and no provision of this agreement nor the provision of any services by the lines company in relation to the network confers on you or any other a person a property right or other interest in or to any part of the network or any equipment owned, leased or controlled by the lines company which is used to provide any such services.
16.2 You are responsible for the things that you do and things that your agents, your invitees, other people in your household and their agents and invitees do on your premises.
Your particular responsibilities include:
(a) using a suitably qualified person to ensure the security and maintenance of the electric line and all electricity past your network connection point on your premises (including within your home) except if and to the extent that the lines company is required by law to provide and maintain those lines, or agrees to maintain those lines;
(b) telling us if you think that any meters on your premises do not accurately record the electricity supplied to your premises;
(c) during the term of this agreement and until the end of the period ending six months after the termination of this agreement:
(i) taking all reasonable precautions necessary to protect;
and (ii) except to the extent that emergency action has to be taken to protect the health and safety of persons or to prevent damage to property or with the prior written consent of the relevant owner, not interfering or damaging and ensuring that your agents, your invitees, other people in your household and their agents and invitees do not interfere with or damage, any meters, fittings, the network and any other equipment owned, leased or controlled by you, the lines company or us;
(d) not, without the prior written agreement of the lines company, conveying or receiving, or attempting to convey or receive, any signal or other form of communication or any other thing (other than energy in accordance with the lines company agreement and load control signals transmitted by or with the written consent of the lines company) over the network, nor cause or permit any other person to do so;
(e) subject to any written agreement between you and us, or between you and the lines company, and any statutory provision, complying with the Electricity (Hazards from Trees) Regulations 2003 in respect of any trees that you have an interest in that are near Transpower’s national transmission system or any line that forms part of the network (these regulations are available from the Energy Safety Service (www.energysafety.govt.nz));
(f) providing and maintaining, at no cost to us or the lines company, suitable space for the secure housing of:
(i) any equipment owned, leased or controlled by the lines company relating primarily to the connection to the network of network connection points at your premises that the lines company considers necessary;
and (ii) any metering equipment and associated wiring that we consider necessary;
(g) maintaining and ensuring the security of your own meter box, meter board and all other wiring, equipment and electrical appliances on your premises;
and (h) advising us in advance if you expect your electricity use to change significantly.
If you persistently breach any of the above obligations, we may disconnect your electricity supply if clause 13.7 applies.
16.3 If you want to know the location of the network connection point on your premises, contact us and we will tell you where it is likely to be and how you can find out where it actually is.
16.4 If your premises uses a builders’ temporary supply connection, we may periodically require you to provide information to us to check whether that connection is still appropriate. If we reasonably consider that the connection is no longer appropriate (for example if the building work on your premises has stopped), then you must arrange for your premises to be transferred to a permanent connection within the timeframe we specify (which we will make sure is reasonable). If you do not comply with this clause you will be in breach of a material term of this agreement and we may disconnect your electricity supply after we comply with clause 13.7.
Generation of electricity
16.5 You may not, without our prior written consent, generate electricity or allow electricity to be generated on your premises that will be injected into the network, nor attempt to do so. If we consent, our consent will be subject to any conditions which we or the lines company may require including conditions relating to any legal requirement or industry standard.
16.6 We have pricing options for customers who generate electricity and inject it into the network, which vary depending on the size of the generation. If you wish to generate electricity to inject into the network, or would like to learn more about doing so, please contact us.
Load management equipment
16.7 We are responsible for any meter and/or load management equipment that we install on your premises. We may choose to remove any existing meter or load management equipment on your premises and to replace it with our own equipment.
16.8 You may have to pay for any meters or load management equipment that are changed or installed at your request — as well as the cost of removing equipment that is not ours. We will tell you about these charges before we change or install the equipment. You can contact us for further information.
17. AREAS OF LIABILITY
Consumer Guarantees Act
17.1 As a customer, you may have certain rights under the Consumer Guarantees Act. If the Consumer Guarantees Act applies to this agreement, nothing in this agreement limits your rights under that Act, unless clause 17.2 applies to you.
17.2 To the extent that you are in trade and you receive electricity and services from us in trade, you agree that the Consumer Guarantees Act does not apply to this agreement provided it is fair and reasonable that you are bound by this clause. All warranties, guarantees or obligations imposed by that Act or any other law on:
(a) the lines company concerning the services provided by the lines company under the lines company agreement;
and (b) us concerning the supply of electricity to you, are excluded from this agreement to the fullest extent permitted by law.
17.3 If you on-sell electricity to an end-user, you must include in any agreement between you and an end-user exclusions on the same terms as clause 17.1, to the fullest extent permitted by law.
Our liability to you
17.4 Subject to clause 7.1, if we damage your property or property on your premises by not taking reasonable care and the damage was reasonably foreseeable we will pay the costs of either repairing the damage or replacing the damaged property (at our discretion) up to a maximum of $10,000 for any single event or series of related events.
17.5 Other than where we are liable to you under the Consumer Guarantees Act or the Fair Trading Act, we will not be liable to you for any indirect or consequential loss, or loss of profits or business or any similar claims.
17.6 If for any reason we are found to be liable to you, our total maximum liability under this agreement will still be limited to $10,000 for any single event or series of related events.
17.7 We are not required to carry out any of our responsibilities under this agreement in circumstances where an event has occurred which is beyond our reasonable control and which prevents us from carrying out those responsibilities.
An event outside of our reasonable control includes, but is not limited to:
(a) faults in the network;
(b) acts or omissions by the lines company;
(c) problems with generation, transmission or distribution of electricity;
(d) problems with your wiring;
(e) problems arising due to health and safety hazards at your premises;
(f) earthquake, flood, fire, storm, adverse weather conditions or any other natural events or acts of God that could not have reasonably been foreseen or, if foreseen, could not reasonably have been resisted;
(g) sabotage, riot, civil disturbance, explosion, terrorist acts, insurrection, epidemic, national emergency (whether in fact or law), act of war (whether declared or not) or civil disturbances;
(h) strikes, lockouts or other industrial disturbances;
(i) the binding order or requirement of any court, any government, any local authority or any government, statutory or regulatory body that we could not reasonably have avoided.
17.8 We will continue to perform our other responsibilities and will perform all other responsibilities as soon as it is reasonably practicable for us to do so.
Damage caused by the lines company
17.9 If you suffer loss or damage because of something the lines company does or does not do, you can only claim from us a proportion of what we recover from the lines company if we can identify you as an affected customer. If the amount we recover from the lines company relates to loss suffered by more than one Meridian customer, we will distribute the amount recovered in proportion to each customer’s relative loss.
17.10 To the extent permitted by law, the lines company will have no liability to you in contract, tort (including negligence) or otherwise in respect of the supply or non-supply of electricity to you under this agreement.
Your liability under this agreement
17.11 If you do not pay your account:
(a) you will still be liable for the cost of the electricity, services, fees and charges relating to your electricity supply but you may have to pay our administration, solicitor (on a solicitor and own client basis) and other service costs incurred by us in trying to recover the debt from you. We may, for example, refer your debt to a debt collection agency for collection, and recover from you the agency’s debt collection costs;
(b) if non-payment does not result in disconnection under clause 13, we may also require you to pay a bond (in accordance with the terms set out at clause 3) for the continued supply of electricity to your premises or require you to subscribe to our pre-pay scheme (at your cost - please see www.meridian.co.nz for a list of fees and charges that may apply).
17.12 If any of the equipment is damaged by the negligence or wilful act or omission of you, your agent or invitee, a person in your household or their agent or invitee, you will pay the cost of making good that damage to the lines company or the metering services provider.
17.13 You indemnify the lines company and the metering services provider against any direct loss or damage caused or contributed to by the fraud, dishonesty or wilful breach of this agreement of or by you or your officers, employees, agents, invitees, a person in your household or their agents or invitees arising out of, or in connection with, the services provided under the lines company agreement or under the agreement between us and the metering services provider.
17.14 If you damage, or your agent or invitee or a person in your household or their agent or invitee damages, any of our property or equipment by not taking reasonable care and the damage was reasonably foreseeable, you must pay us, at our discretion, the cost of repair or replacement of that property or equipment.
17.15 If we incur any fine, monetary penalty or other cost as a direct result of your failure to comply with any of your obligations in this agreement, you must pay us, at our discretion, the amount of the fine, penalty or other cost.
17.16 If more than one person is a Meridian customer in relation to a premises, all of those people are jointly and severally liable under this agreement.
18. INFORMATION AND PRIVACY
18.1 We will collect, use and share with third parties some personal information about you (including information about your electricity consumption) for the following purposes:
(a) when it relates to this agreement, your electricity account or a product or service we offer or may offer;
(b) when we want to send you communications and offers that we think you might be interested in;
(c) to help prevent us from sending you irrelevant communications;
(d) when we want to carry out a credit reference check or to assist with fraud detection;
(e) when we have someone recover money from you when it has not been paid by the due date;
(f) when we want to share your electricity account information, including your payment history (whether that information is positive or negative), with third party credit agencies and their customers (which those agencies will do in accordance with the relevant privacy code);
(g) when we undertake internal analytics or commission a market research or data analysis organisation to produce a report for us;
(h) when required by another retailer for the purposes of switching your electricity supply;
(i) when the lines company needs the information to perform its role in supplying electricity to you, to pay you any share of its profits or for any other legitimate business purpose, including the distribution of any lines company publications or surveys;
(j) when our metering services provider or any other service provider needs the information to perform any services relating to your electricity supply or arising out of your relationship with us;
(k) when we share information with our related companies (as defined in the Companies Act 1993) for general business purposes;
(l) when you make a complaint about us to any person or body;
(m) for training or testing purposes;
(n) when you authorise us to do so;
(o) when in an emergency situation it is necessary or desirable to share your personal information with a civil defence organisation or another emergency service;
or (p) when we are required to by law, or when we are requested to provide information by a government or regulatory department, agency or other entity.
18.2 You must provide us with full and correct information that we may require relating to your electricity account and must notify us as soon as possible if you become aware that this information is incomplete or if it has changed.
18.3 If you are a medically dependent consumer or vulnerable customer, you agree that we may use any information you provide to us for the purposes of carrying out our responsibilities to assist you, including discussing your account with Work and Income New Zealand, District Health Boards, lines companies, private health practitioners or any other social agency, budget advisor, civil defence organisation or service provider as we consider reasonably necessary.
18.4 For the privacy and protection of your Meridian account, we may require you to provide unique identifying information (including personal information) before we will discuss your Meridian account with you.
18.5 We may make a recording of telephone conversations we have with you. We do this so we have an accurate record of your instructions to us and our verbal commitments to you. We also use these recordings for training purposes.
18.6 All information we have about you is held securely, but you can access it by contacting us. We will correct any errors or update any changes you notify to us as soon as possible.
18.7 If your household has an electricity account in only one person’s name, we will not share any information about that account with anyone other than the named person, unless we are expressly authorised to do so by the named person.
18.8 If your household has an electricity account in more than one person’s name, each person named on the account will be able to access the account information.
18.9 To authorise us to release account information to another person, you must:
(a) provide us with any identifying information that we may require;
(b) tell us the details of the persons who are authorised to access your account information (which may include other identifying information);
and (c) set up an account password.
You must obtain the permission of your representatives before providing us with this information.
18.10 For your authorised representatives to access your account they must provide us with the account information and any other identifying information which we may require. 18.11 We will keep your personal information secure and hold it in our customer database in accordance with the Privacy Act 1993.
19. COMPLAINT RESOLUTION
19.1 If you have a complaint or wish to give us feedback on any aspect of our service, please contact us in the first instance on the relevant number below:
(a) Residential customers - 0800 496 496.
(b) Farming or business customers - 0800 496 777.
19.2 If you prefer, you can send a letter, facsimile or email to us explaining your problem or concern.
19.3 If it is more appropriate that your complaint is managed by the lines company rather than by us, we will refer your complaint to them (unless we have agreed otherwise with them) and it will then be the responsibility of the lines company to address and resolve your complaint. We will tell you in writing if we do this, and we will give you the name and contact details of the lines company.
19.4 If the complaint relates to us, usually contacting us will be enough to resolve your complaint. If your complaint cannot be resolved by contacting us, it will be passed on to our free in-house complaint resolution process where a member of our Customer Resolution Team will take responsibility for working with you to a fair and reasonable resolution. They will promptly acknowledge your complaint in writing (unless you make your complaint orally and agree to us acknowledging your complaint orally) and provide an initial response to your complaint as soon as possible taking account of the urgency of your complaint and in any event within seven business days from the day you made your complaint.
(a) investigate your problem or complaint;
(b) liaise with the relevant people within Meridian or third party companies to resolve your issue;
(c) keep you up to date on progress;
and (d) provide you with a single point of contact if you have further queries or concerns.
19.5 We are part of the Energy Complaints Scheme operated by Utilities Disputes Limited and will deal with any complaint you may have in a way which meets the requirements of this scheme.
If you are not satisfied with the way we propose to resolve your complaint, or if it has taken longer to resolve than:
(a) 20 business days and we have not notified you in writing that we have a good reason to extend time for resolving the complaint and what that good reason is;
or (b) 40 business days, then you are entitled to refer your complaint to Utilities Disputes Limited (who offer a free and independent service for resolving complaints about utilities providers).
19.6 Further information regarding the Energy Complaints Scheme and when you can refer your complaint to Utilities Disputes Limited is available from Utilities Disputes Limited either by phoning them (on 0800 22 33 40), visiting their website (www.utilitiesdisputes.co.nz), or writing to them (at PO Box 5875, Wellington 6140, Freepost 192682).
20. GENERAL TERMS
Commitment to each other
20.1 You agree that you will not physically, verbally or otherwise abuse our representatives or make repeated frivolous or vexatious claims in relation to us or your electricity supply. We agree to treat you professionally and courteously at all times.
20.2 We may transfer any or all of our rights and obligations under this agreement to a third party.
20.3 If we transfer any or all of our rights and obligations under this agreement to a third party, we will advise you that we are doing so, tell you how you can contact that third party and tell you when the transfer will take effect.
(a) you are a residential customer, you may not transfer any of your rights and obligations under this agreement to any other person;
(b) you are a business customer or both a business and a residential customer, you may transfer any of your rights and obligations under this agreement to a third party provided you first receive our consent to the transfer.
Continuity of electricity supply
20.5 If we commit an event of default as referred to in clause 11.15B of the Electricity Industry Participation Code 2010, you agree that the Electricity Authority may transfer all of our rights and obligations under this agreement to another electricity retailer. If that happens the terms of this agreement may be amended to the standard terms that the other retailer would have offered you immediately before the event of default or to such other terms that the other retailer and the Electricity Authority agree. In addition the terms of this agreement may be amended to include a minimum term in respect of which you must pay a cancellation fee if you cancel this agreement before the expiry of that term. You also agree that in the event of such a default we may provide information about you to the Electricity Authority and the Electricity Authority may provide that information to another retailer. Clause 20.2 and this clause 20.5 are for the benefit of the Electricity Authority for the purposes of the Contracts (Privity) Act 1982 and may not be amended without the consent of the Electricity Authority.
20.6 If we have, or are likely to have, a receiver, liquidator, administrator, or other similar officer appointed in relation to us, we will take all reasonable steps to ensure that you receive continuity of electricity supply.
Changing this agreement
20.7 We can change this agreement, remove some terms and conditions or add others at any time, including to reflect changes to our operational, legal and regulatory requirements, provided we have drawn any change which may be detrimental to you to your attention in the form of a:
or (c) statement included on your invoice, no later than 30 days prior to such change taking effect, other than where we are required to implement a change by a relevant authority, in which case we will notify you as soon as reasonably practicable.
20.8 Notices that we send to you directly will be sent to the mailing address or email address you have provided to us. If you have provided us your phone number for the purposes of receiving notices, we may deliver our notices to you by calling you in person, by telemessage or by text. If this agreement requires us to give you written notice, we may send the notice to your mailing address, to your email address or by text to your phone number. It is your responsibility to notify us of any changes to those addresses and phone numbers.
You are deemed to have received any notice sent by us to:
(a) your mailing address three business days after it was sent;
(b) your email address on the business day after it was sent;
and (c) your phone number on the business day after we speak to you, leave a telemessage for you or text you.
Survival on termination
20.9 Any clauses which are intended to have effect beyond the term of this agreement will continue in effect after the termination of this agreement including, without limitation, clauses 11, 12, 16.2(c), 17, 18 and 19. Contracts (Privity) Act 1982 20.10 Clauses 5.3, 7.1, 7.9, 11.2, 11.6, 11.10, 13.2, 16.1, 16.2, 16.5, 17.1, 17.2, 17.10, 17.11, 17.12, 17.13 and 21 are for the benefit of and shall be enforceable against you by the lines company or lines companies, as the case may be, under the Contracts (Privity) Act 1982.
21. EMBEDDED NETWORKS
21.1 If your premises is connected to an embedded network, you acknowledge and agree that:
(a) the owner of the embedded network (and not the lines company that is the owner of the network connected to the embedded network) is responsible for the conveyance of electricity via the embedded network and that, to the fullest extent permitted by law, the lines company that is the owner of the network connected to the embedded network shall have no liability to you of any kind, whether in contract, tort (including negligence) or otherwise, in relation to the embedded network;
(b) without limiting the acknowledgement and agreement in sub-clause (a) above, to the fullest extent permitted by law, any and all warranties, guarantees or obligations imposed on the owner of the embedded network and/or the lines company that is the owner of the network connected to the embedded network (if any), to you by the Consumer Guarantees Act 1993 or any other law concerning:
(i) the services to be provided by the owner of the embedded network;
and (ii) the goods to be provided by us, are excluded, and as a condition of you being entitled to onsell electricity to an end-user, you must include provisions in all agreements between you and an end-user that exclude all warranties, guarantees and obligations of the kind referred to in this sub-clause (b) to the fullest extent permitted by law, including where the end user is acquiring, or holds itself out as acquiring, electricity for the purpose of a business;
(c) you indemnify the lines company that is the owner of the network connected to the embedded network in relation to all direct loss or damage caused or contributed by the fraud, dishonesty or wilful breach of this agreement by you;
(d) the lines company that is the owner of the network connected to the embedded network will have no liability to you in contract, tort (including negligence) or otherwise in relation to the supply to you under this agreement;
(e) the acknowledgement and agreements referred to in subclauses (a) to (d) above are given by you for the benefit of the lines company that is the owner of the network connected to the embedded network and are enforceable by the lines company that is the owner of the network connected to the embedded network in accordance with section 4 of the Contracts (Privity) Act 1982.
22. MERIDIAN WEBSITES
22.1 As a Meridian customer, you may use our website in accordance with this agreement and we may send you login and other details so that you can do so.
22.2 The term “our website” when used in this clause 22 is a reference to any website or online platform that we operate.
Usernames and passwords
22.3 You agree that you:
(a) are responsible for all actions taken using your online account on our website, including being responsible for all actions of any person with whom your username and password is shared, unless clause 22.24 applies;
(b) may share your username and password if:
(i) you have a joint account holder, with that person;
or (ii) you are a business, with those of your directors or employees who need to deal with your Meridian electricity account, provided that you ensure that each such person complies with this clause 22;
(c) must amend your password when any person with whom you have shared your password stops being entitled to use your password (for example, because they cease being a joint account holder or leave your employment) - in any case, we recommend that you change your password frequently;
and (d) other than as permitted above, must maintain the confidentiality of your password.
Your use of our website
22.4 You agree not to use our website for any purpose or in any manner that is unlawful or to engage in any conduct that may impair or cause damage to the operation of our website whether by way of a virus, corrupted file or through any other means. You also agree not to alter, modify, reproduce, transmit or otherwise deal with the content, software, text, graphics, layout or design of our website without our prior written approval in each case. Permission to use material from our website may be sought from webupdates@meridianenergy. co.nz. If you or a person you are responsible for materially or persistently breaches this agreement, or if we reasonably believe that your use of our website is affecting its performance for other users, we may temporarily or permanently suspend your access to our website. Our right to suspend your access to our website is without prejudice to any other right, power or remedy we may have under this agreement, at law, in equity or otherwise.
22.5 Subject to the restrictions in clause 22.7, you may electronically collect, download or print extracts of material or content from our website in the following situations only:
(a) for your private or personal use;
(b) for criticism, review or news reporting of current events, provided that an acknowledgement of source of such materials is provided in each case;
(c) for research or private study;
(d) where insubstantial portions of such material or content are quoted in another document provided that an acknowledgement of the source of such materials is provided in each case.
22.7 The permissions given in 22.5 are subject to the following conditions unless you obtain our express prior written permission in each case:
(a) no more than one copy of such material may be made;
(b) no part of the website or any material or content appearing on our website may be reproduced or stored in or transmitted to any other website;
(c) no material or content appearing on our website may be redistributed, disseminated, transmitted or broadcast in any form, either electronic or non-electronic, or included in any retrieval system or service.
22.8 You may create one or more hyperlinks to our website if you do not imply any endorsement by or connection to us. You must not create any hotlink, inline link, or direct link (each a “hotlink”) to our website (or any file on our website) or embed any page of our website on another website (using a frame, iframe, or otherwise) without our prior written permission in each instance (and in accordance with any conditions we attach to our permission). If you would like to create a hotlink to our website, please contact us.
22.9 Our website may provide links to internet sites maintained by our partners or other third parties. Such linked sites are not under our control and we are not responsible for their contents (including the accuracy or legality of any linked site or any material contained in a linked site). We are providing these links to you only as a convenience, and the inclusion of any link does not imply endorsement by us of the linked site. We will not be liable for any damages or loss arising in any way out of or in connection with or incidental to any information or service provided by any third party.
22.10 The views expressed in any third party material published on our website are not necessarily the views of Meridian and we expressly disclaim all responsibility for the content of any third party material published on our website.
Credit and debit card payments
22.11 You can only make credit and debit card payments by using Visa, MasterCard or American Express credit and debit cards. The option to make payment by credit or debit cards may not be available on all of our pricing plans.
22.12 If your payment is declined or reversed (also called a “chargeback”) by your credit or debit card issuer (including, for example, because your card has expired), we may charge you a dishonour fee and you must make alternative arrangements for paying the amount due to us. You will only receive any prompt payment discount available to you if we receive your alternative payment by the due date shown on your invoice. If you have three or more consecutive payments declined or reversed, we may elect (at our sole discretion) to stop accepting credit or debit card payments from you. If we make this election, you will need to pay your invoices by an alternative payment method.
22.13 If you set up a recurring credit or debit card payment:
(a) we will continue to process credit or debit card payments for amounts you owe to us until you advise us otherwise. If you wish to cancel the recurring credit or debit card payment, we will endeavour to do so with immediate effect, but there may be circumstances when we are unable to cancel the next payment scheduled;
(b) you are responsible for ensuring that the credit or debit card remains valid and has not expired;
(c) we will endeavour to remind you when your saved credit or debit card is expiring;
(d) if your credit or debit card has expired and you have not replaced it with another valid card, we will still attempt to process your payment but you should be aware that it may be declined by your credit or debit card issuer. If this occurs, clause 22.12 (relating to declined payments) applies;
(e) we do not store credit or debit card details in our billing system.
All credit and debit card transactions are processed by DPS, a trusted online payment solution provider who stores these details in accordance with their policies. You can view DPS’s policies on their website www.paymentexpress.com.
22.14 This clause 22 replaces any prior terms and conditions relating to credit or debit card use or authority that we have with you.
22.15 When you visit our website, we may use automated tools and methods (such as cookies, sessions, and usage monitoring software) to collect certain information about your visit, including (without limitation):
(a) the internet protocol address and domain name used by your computer to connect to the internet;
(b) the operating system and the browser your computer uses, and any search engine or inbound hyperlink used to reach our website;
(c) the date, time, and duration of your visit;
and (d) the pages you viewed.
22.16 This information will be used in aggregate form to analyse how our website is being used and provide you with a personalised experience. Your web browser may allow you to disable acceptance of cookies or certain types of cookies used for this purpose. However, if you limit or disable these cookies your access or use of our website may be restricted.
22.17 First party cookies and third party cookies can also be used to deliver targeted interest-based website advertising. This enables us and other third parties, to show our advertisements to you, while you browse the web, based on your previous visits to Meridian’s website. We have signed up to Google’s interest based website advertising service, known as Remarketing with Google Analytics. This means that third party vendors, including Google, can show our advertisements on sites across the internet. We and third party vendors, including Google, use first party and third party cookies (such as the ‘Google Analytic cookie’ and ‘DoubleClick cookie)’ to inform, optimise and serve advertisements based on your past visits to our website. You can advise Google that you wish to opt out of interest based advertising by visiting Google’s Ad Settings page. Please read Google’s policy on how Google uses information from its partners’ sites: www.google.com/policies/privacy/partners.
22.18 Except as set out above, we will not disclose any such information except in aggregate form.
22.19 We may gather more extensive information if we are concerned, for example, about abnormal website usage patterns or website security breaches.
22.20 “Cookies” are small files stored on your computer that assist us in collecting the information above. “First party cookies” are cookies that are associated with the domain of the site a user visits. “Third party cookies” are cookies that are associated with a different domain to the site a user visits.
22.21 Due to the nature of the internet and electronic communications and because we provide our website to you at no additional charge, we will not be liable to you if our website or the services supplied through our website become unavailable, interrupted, restricted, or delayed for any reason. Information accuracy
22.22 We endeavour to ensure the information available through our website and that the content of our website is free from errors. However, because we provide our website to you at no additional charge, we have no liability to you for any errors in that information, unless the Consumer Guarantees Act applies (after the application of clause 17.1). Malicious code and unauthorised access to information
22.23 Although we endeavour to:
(a) prevent the introduction of viruses or other malicious code (together, “malicious code”) to our website;
and (b) protect the security of your personal information, we do not guarantee that our website, or any data available from it, is free from malicious code or your transmissions or data or of the information contained on your computer system or on our website will not be accessed or altered by an unauthorised person.
You are responsible for ensuring that the process that you use to accessing our website does not expose your computer system to the risk of interference or damage from malicious code.
22.24 To the extent allowed by law, you will not be liable to us and we will not be liable to you for any damages or harm attributable to malicious code or the unauthorised access to or unauthorised alteration of information, unless you or us (as the case may be) intentionally introduced the malicious code or intentionally allowed the access or alteration of information.
New Zealand website
22.25 Our website is controlled and operated from within New Zealand. Details contained on our website relating to the products and services have been prepared in accordance with New Zealand law and may not satisfy the laws of any other country. We make no representations or warranties as to whether or not the information or products available from our website are appropriate or available for use in other countries. If you choose to access our website from outside New Zealand you are responsible for compliance with applicable local law.
23.1 If you have any questions in relation to this agreement or your electricity supply in general, please contact us.
24.1 In this agreement, unless the context otherwise requires:
(a) business day means any day other than a Saturday, Sunday or a statutory public holiday in New Zealand.
(b) Electricity Authority means the body of that name established under the Electricity Industry Act 2010 and any replacement for that body.
(c) electricity supply means the supply of electrical energy by us, metering services by us through our metering services provider, and the provision of line services for the delivery of electricity by the lines company.
(d) emergency situation means a situation in which there is a probable danger to life or property or immediate risk to the continuity or safety of supply or distribution of electricity.
(e) equipment includes, as the circumstances require, all meters, pre-pay equipment, load management equipment, switches, relays, fuses, wiring and other equipment that uses or is used (or intended or designed to be used) in or in connection with the generation, conversion, transformation, conveyance or use of electricity. A reference to the lines company’s equipment includes a reference to equipment owned by the lines company’s agent or any other third party the lines company has contracted with for the use of that equipment.
(f) industry standards means any accepted industry arrangements, guidelines, protocols or other voluntary standards.
(g) lines company means:
(i) the owner of the network connected to your premises and its employees, contractors or agents; and
(ii) if the owner in (i) is the owner of an embedded network, the owner of the network connected to the embedded network, and its employees, contractors or agents.
(h) lines company agreement means an agreement between Meridian and the lines company governing use of the lines company’s network.
(i) load management means the control of electricity flowing to your premises by way of load management switches in, over, on or relating to your premises.
(j) medically dependent consumer means a person who needs mains electricity for critical medical support (including use of medical or other electrical equipment needed to support a treatment regime), such that loss of electricity may result in loss of life or serious harm.
(k) meter means the metering and other equipment installed at your premises which is used to measure and/or provide information about the quantity of electricity which we supply to you and/or patterns of electricity usage and/or demand and includes all associated load management equipment and wiring and includes a smart meter and the metering communications network.
(l) metering services provider means any person appointed by Meridian to perform any services relating to the metering of your electricity supply or arising out of your relationship with us, and that person’s agents and subcontractors.
(m) network means any network for the distribution of electricity owned or controlled by the lines company.
(n) network connection point means the point at which your premises connects to the lines company’s network, which is usually at the pole fuse for an overhead connection, or the property boundary for an underground connection.
(o) premises means the address supplied with electricity under this agreement and includes all land, dwellings and other buildings at that address.
(p) Transpower means Transpower New Zealand Limited, the company that operates the national transmission system.
(q) vulnerable consumer means:
(i) for reasons of the consumer’s age, health or disability, the disconnection of electricity supply to the premises where that consumer resides presents a clear threat to the health or well-being of that consumer; and/or
(ii) a customer who has genuine difficulty paying his or her electricity bills because of severe financial insecurity, whether temporary or permanent.
(r) we, our, us, or Meridian means Meridian Energy Limited, its subsidiaries, employees, contractors and agents and those contractors’ and agents’ subcontractors and subagents.
(s) you and your means you, the customer.