A power disconnection during the lunchtime rush was the last straw for cafe owner and Executive Chef Rob Crisp, who had been battling for months with his electricity supplier.
“I tried to sign up my business with a major electricity provider and after two months of not receiving a bill, they cut off the cafe’s power right in the middle of our busiest time of day. They said it was because I never paid their bill, which is ironic because I never received a bill, even though I repeatedly asked to be sent one!” said Sixes & Sevens Cafe owner Rob Crisp.
After shopping around and hearing good things about Flick Electric Co., which sells electricity to customers direct from the wholesale market, Rob signed up.
“It was such a smooth and easy process to sign up with Flick. It was a real ordeal trying to sign up with my old power supplier as they struggled to separate my residential property from my business. But Flick got it first time.”
So how does Flick work?
Flick passes through to the customer all the costs of getting power to their property – that’s generation, transmission, distribution and metering – at the wholesale price, without any mark up. Flick then charges a separate fee to service a customer as a retailer.
Through their personalised online dashboard Flick customers receive a price signal from the market which they can respond to, effectively giving them choice over the price they want to pay for power.
The wholesale price of generation changes every half hour of every day on the spot market, rising and dropping in line with national demand. More than 40% of all prices are less than $0.06cents/kWh meaning there is significant opportunity to save.
Small to medium sized business can really reap the benefits of Flick’s model, whether you are working from home, the owner of a dairy, a hairdresser, an accountancy firm or a bakery. By shifting a few tasks to low-demand times of day, when prices on the spot market are cheaper, it can cost much less for an owner to run their business.
“I like the fact I have access to real-time information on how much electricity costs and how much I am spending, so I pick the price I want to pay for the things I need to run to work for the business. For instance, I changed the time I bake to earlier in the morning (3am-6am) to take advantage of the low spot price during that time – it’s saving my business money and I’m incredibly happy,” said Crisp.
Why is Flick better for Kiwi businesses?
- Huge savings are available – just by riding the lows and highs of the spot market. Flick customers are saving 17% on average (compared to what they would have paid with their old retailer, including any prompt payment discounts). Customers who are responding to price information are saving much more.
- Weekly billing – one of Flick’s unique features is that customers are billed weekly on an actual reading (no estimates!) via their smart meter. This approach is better for cash flow and eliminates the stress of getting a huge bill at the end of the month. Weekly billing also reminds customers to engage with their electricity purchase and make small changes to bring their bills down.
- No contracts with ugly break fees – Flick believes customers should be free to leave at any time if they’re not loving the Flick experience, so they don’t lock customers into contracts with nasty break fees.
- Custom alerts – Flick customers receive alerts when prices are rising via their app. This empowers customers to take charge of their electricity expenditure by shifting consumption.
- Easy switching – it takes less than 3 minutes over the phone or online, and Flick manages the transition directly with your previous power company so you don’t have to handle any awkward conversations.
The power is in your hands
“Flick really got me thinking about my power use and I’ve made some small changes in my business, such as shifting staff workload to the early hours of the morning when the spot price is low to get most of the baking done, and switching things off when I’m not using them to save money on my power bill.”
Rob points to turning the coffee machine off at 4pm when the cafe closes as one simple example.
“At first I was skeptical about weekly billing as everything in my business is done on a monthly basis, but it’s actually really helped with the business cash flow and budget management. So my advice to other businesses out there is don’t be afraid of weekly billing.”
Rob Crisp says Flick has given him one less thing to worry about with the running of his business – he knows the light’s won’t be going off during his business rush-hour meaning he’s as happy as his own customers.
Check Flick out
The best way to get an introduction to how Flick works, and how it’s completely different from the traditional power companies, is to visit the website – or you can hear what the thousands of happy Flicksters are saying on Flick’s Facebook page.