The Electric Kiwi blog

Hour of Power

  • Free power: Why it's good for for the country too

    renewable energy

    Electric Kiwi has a smart way to help you save even more money. We call it the Hour of Power.

    It's simple really, you choose 60 minutes of off peak power that suits your lifestyle. All electricity used during that hour is free each day! The off peak time slots are between 9am-5pm and 9pm-7am and you can adjust your free hour each day to suit your power needs!


    Using electricity during the Hour of Power is not only good for your bank balance, it’s also good for the country.

    Here’s why.

    In New Zealand, electricity generators monitor in real-time how much electricity is required across the nation. They then generate that amount of electricity to send to homes and businesses.

    Around 80% of the electricity generated in New Zealand is from renewable sources, such as hydro, geothermal and wind. However, sometimes there is not enough renewable electricity to meet demand during ‘peak’ electricity use hours (such as 7-9am and 6-9pm when most people are showering, heating their homes and cooking), especially during a cold snap. This means expensive, and non-renewable, gas or coal-powered plants may need to start up and run for an hour or two during the peak – increasing the price of electricity.

    Spreading the country’s electricity use more evenly throughout the day will help to reduce these spikes in demand, and the overall price of the electricity. This will send a signal to generators to reduce even further the proportion of non-renewable power used to power New Zealand.

  • Free power - so what's the catch?

    free power

    Free power. For an hour.

    Every day. Some of you might be thinking “what’s the catch…is the Hour of Power actually free?”

    Yes, 100% free. You will not be charged a cent for the electricity you use during your Hour of Power. Here's a quick explanation why:

    The price of electricity

    This changes every 30 minutes. Electricity is most expensive during 'peak' use times - in the morning when people are getting ready for work; and in the evening when people arrive home from work.

    Your two Hour of Power options are in ‘off peak’ times – when the price of electricity is lower (though we make it free for you!).

    Why is electricity more expensive during peak time?

    In New Zealand, electricity generation plants (such as wind turbines and hydroelectric dams) monitor in real-time how much electricity is required across the nation, and generate that amount of electricity to send to homes and businesses.

    However, sometimes these turbines and dams cannot generate enough electricity to meet demand during ‘peak’ electricity use hours (such as 7-9am and 6-10pm), especially during a cold snap. This means expensive ‘stand-by’ plants may need to start up and run for an hour or two during the peak, which increases the price of electricity during those times.

    It costs lots of money to start and keep these stand-by generation plants maintained – especially given they are only used infrequently.

    Why the Hour of Power is good for you – and the country

    Good for you - By shifting more of your electricity use into your Hour of Power, such as putting the dishwasher and washing machine on, you can reduce your bill significantly – many customers are getting up to 15% of their power for free by using it every day. It’s up to you how much you save.

    Plus we give you low rates outside of your Hour of Power. So even if you don’t use your free hour much some days, you’ll still be saving. You can compare your most recent bill with Electric Kiwi’s rates using our easy Bill Compare tool.

    Good for New Zealand - By shifting some electricity use into your Hour of Power, you also help to reduce 'peak' demand on the national electricity infrastructure. By spreading our power use more evenly over the day, we can stop using standby electricity generation plants – which means cheaper electricity, and less pressure on resources.

    So there’s no catch - go ahead and put that load on us!

  • 3 easy steps to cutting your power costs by up to 15%

    Hour of Power

    Let’s face it – saving money can be hard work. That’s why we’ve used technology to make saving money on power really easy.

    Here’s how:

    1. We give you free power

    For a 60 minutes each day, Electric Kiwi customers are not charged a cent for the power they use. We call it the Hour of Power, and it’s a very straightforward way to reduce your power bills.

    The Hour of Power gives you control over how much you save. How it works is simple. The more electricity use you shift into your free hour, the more money you save.

    First, you choose 60 minutes of off peak power that suits your lifestyle. The off peak time slots are between 9am-5pm and 9pm-7am every day.

    2. You make a couple of very small changes to when you use power


    Then you make a couple of small adjustments to when you use power. Making no change to the way you currently use power will see you receive around 4% of your power for free – but by changing when you use certain appliances or hot water will save you a lot more.

    Below we’ve put together a few examples how to get the most out of your Hour of Power – without dramatically changing your lifestyle:

    A. Do nothing different – save 4% on your power costs
    B. Set the timer for your washing machine or dishwasher to go during your free Hour of Power a few times a week – save 8% (this is the average amount our customers save).
    C. Set the timer for your washing machine and dishwasher during your free Hour of Power five times a week – save 10%.
    D. Run your washing machine and dishwasher during your free Hour of Power five times a week, and take a shower during that hour – save 15%.

    Of course you can also save by shifting other power use into your free hour – baking a cake, putting on your electric blanket, charging up your devices or whipping up a smoothie. Any power you use during that hour is completely free.

    3. We give you the info you need to save even more


    All Electric Kiwi customers have access to a personal online account, which shows you how much you’ve spent on electricity in a selected date range, and how much money you’ve saved with your Hour of Power.

    You can also view your electricity consumption over a day to see when you’re using the most electricity and the least, which can help you see if there’s any other power use you could shift into your free hour.

  • How to get up to 20% of your power for free: 20 top tips

    Set the timer

    As an Electric Kiwi customer, you’ll receive a free 60mins of electricity, 365 days a year. It’s a savings booster we call it the Hour of Power, and it gives you the ability to cut your power bill even more.
    During this hour, all electricity is 100% free.

    By using the Hour of Power some customers are chopping hundreds off their annual power costs - with some savvy users receiving up to 20% for free. 


    How you do it is easy.

    Maximising your free power - a how-to guide

    First up is to select your free hour. The off peak time slots are between 9am-5pm and 9pm-7am every day.  With a bit of planning, your hour can be maximised whether you're at home, out and about, at work or even asleep. 

    3 easy tips to kick your free power savings off:

    1. Get a timer or use your appliances’ in-built timers – This a must do! Plug-in appliance timers start from under $5 for a simple version, or you can get wifi gadgets such as the WeMo switch, which allow you to turn on and off appliances from anywhere via an app.
    2. Washing machine  - set the timer or turn on during your free hour
    3. Dishwasher- set the timer or turn on during your free hour


    If you did those last two just 5 times a week, you’re already getting 10% of your power for free. Nice! Keen to save even more? How about:

    4. Dryer- set a timer or turn on during your free hour.
    5. Dehumidifier – set a timer or turn on during your free hour.
    6. Charge devices - plug in phones, tablets, laptops (don’t forget to switch off at the wall once you’re done).
    7. Take a shower or a bath – hot water heating is a major source of electricity use.
    8. Vaccuming – more fun when the power’s free (hey, we’re trying to find a positive!)
    9. Ironing – Ditto.
    10. Cooking – bake, or get tonight’s dinner on the go.
    11. TV – sometimes we all need a little break from the kids/work/chores.
    12. Heat pump/heaters - get the house toasty before the kids get home from school.
    13. Heat panels – get the bedrooms toasty before bed.
    14. Electric blanket – warm up before you snuggle down.
    15. DIY – charge up power tools or plug in and get reno-ing.
    16. Gardening – use for electric hedge trimmers and lawnmowers.
    17. Spa/pool – set the pump timer to maximise your free hour.
    18. Fans – cool down your room on those humid summer evenings.
    19. Christmas/party lights – get festive for free.
    20. Have a drink on us – power up your juicer, coffee machine, nutri-ninja, or blender on the house.