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New transmission pricing unfair on Aucklanders

New transmission pricing unfair on Aucklanders

Auckland mayoral candidate Phil Goff has slammed electricity transmission proposals which would add on average $190 a year to each Aucklander’s electricity bills. He says they are unfair and unwarranted.

The Electricity Authority is currently consulting on its proposed Transmission Pricing Methodology. If it proceeds, it will apply new pricing to existing and new grid assets. Our costs will go up while South Island generators and major industrial customers will have their costs slashed, Phil Goff said.

“At the moment transmission costs are shared equally across the country. Under new proposals, regions furthest from the generators will pay more for the costs of maintaining and adding to the electricity grid.

“Auckland households, along with low income households in Northland and the West Coast, will face large hikes in their annual electricity costs. Auckland consumers would, on average, experience a 37 percent increase in the transmission costs in their electricity bills. Large generators like Meridian and Contact, and large corporates like Fonterra and Rio Tinto, will increase their profits by millions of dollars.

“New Zealand’s electricity generation was the product of investment by the government - on behalf of all taxpayers- over many decades. We shared the costs equally so we should share the benefits equally too.

“The new pricing model ignores the inequality it would create. Communities close to large generation projects already enjoy many economic benefits in terms of added employment and income.

“Under the proposal, Auckland will collectively lose $78 million. Meanwhile Meridian’s shareholders will benefit by around $57 million, Contact’s by $16 million and Rio Tinto will be $20 million winners. Households in Auckland, Northland and the West Coast will be paying for the increased shareholder value of Meridian, Contact and Rio Tinto.

“This will see a wealth transfer from those least able to afford it - low income communities in Auckland and Northland, for example – to large, wealthy corporates. The Government should reject the Electricity Authority’s proposal.”

ENDS

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