FAQs prompt payment discount change
Why are you getting rid of PPD?
Your savings will not change but we feel that the prompt payment discounts are an outdated mechanism that disproportionately impact those who can least afford it. But this change is also a positive for our loyal customers who may on some occasions miss their payment date.
Which customers will get the guaranteed discount?
All Meridian customers will benefit from this Meridian guaranteed discount, equivalent to your current PPD which will ensure that you are not impacted by making a late payment, until we transition to a new, fairer pricing approach. We want to ensure that no Meridian customer feels disadvantaged if they miss paying their bill on time so we will be applying a Meridian credit to offset what would have been your PPD regardless of what day you pay.
What about new customers joining Meridian after 1 October 2018?
For new customers signing up to a fixed plan we will be offering a guaranteed discount (equivalent to the prompt payment discount) on the pre 1 October rates for the duration of their plan. For new customers signing up to a variable plan we will be offering a guaranteed discount (equivalent to the prompt payment discount) on the pre 1 October rates until we transition to a new, fairer pricing approach – stay tuned!
How much better off will I be?
The savings you receive today will be the same. You will continue to receive a monthly guaranteed discount equivalent to your current PPD, which means you will be in the same position as someone who always pays on time and always get their PPD.
Won’t we just end up paying for this in another way?
No, we will not be recovering this money elsewhere. Meridian is committed to fair pricing that serves all customers.
So why aren’t you just reducing your price?
This isn’t about changing our unit pricing. It’s about removing the harsh penalty that PPD creates when you don’t pay on the day your bill is due.
How will I see this discount on my account?
Instead of seeing a line for your prompt payment discount, you will see a new line for your plan discount. It might take us a bit of time to make this change in our bill so don’t be worried if you continue to the see the phrase ‘prompt payment discount’ after 1 October, you’ll still get the benefit.
Do I have to be on direct debit or credit card payment to receive the guaranteed discount?
No, this will automatically be applied to your energy account.
So, does this mean I don’t get a penalty if I don’t pay? Won’t you just get a big debt book?
If you’re a residential customer there’s no penalty. We still expect the vast majority of our customers will pay their bills on time. Dropping the PPD means that on the rare occasions when they don’t, or more to the point can’t, they aren’t unfairly punished for the delay in their payment and we don’t hurt people on a tight budget by putting them even further behind with their payments.
If your bill remains unpaid you will enter our usual credit cycle.
My neighbour isn’t a Meridian customer. Is this just for Meridian customers?
Yes, this is a Meridian initiative and if they would like to join Meridian to benefit, they can give us a call on 0800 496 496 or sign up easily online at www.meridian.co.nz.
What else could you offer me to save power and money?
We have a range of online tools and services to help you take control of how much power you use and get things done on the go. Our online tools offer a sophisticated but convenient way to keep tabs on your energy consumption.
- Track how much power you’re using and how much it costs.
- Stay on top of your energy usage with our weekly or monthly power use update emails.
- No more bill surprises — set up an email alert to give you a heads up if you’re tracking towards a bill that might be higher than usual.
- Explore our power use graphs to get insights into when you’re using the most power, and how much it’s costing you.
What is the average residential customer monthly bill and PPD?
Average monthly bill: $190
Average monthly PPD: $20
During winter this gets as high as:
Monthly bill: $255
Monthly PPD: $27
How are buying groups affected?
Buying group members currently always receive their PPD and in future will continue to receive a guaranteed discount equivalent to their current PPD, nothing will change.
Does this apply to business customers too?
Yes, business will also receive the guaranteed discount.
Trouble paying your bills?
If you’re having trouble paying your bill, or think you may have trouble paying your bill in the future, talk to us. We can discuss payment options and budget advice, or put you in contact with social agencies that may be able to help, such as Work and Income New Zealand.