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Electricity Retailers Fined Over Switching Problem

The committee that sits in judgement on electricity retailers who fail to switch customers on time recently fined retailers a total of $65,791 (including costs) for breaching electricity industry rules last year.

The MARIA Conduct Committee, a quasi-judicial panel of independent experts, recently imposed nine fines and a warning for failures to switch a total of approximately 550 domestic customers within the industry agreed timeframes.

Fines totalling $27,500 went to Genesis Power, Mighty River Power, Meridian Energy and TransAlta (now On energy), while Contact Energy received a warning. Costs of $38,291 were also imposed.

“These fines demonstrate to MARIA participants and the public that the MARIA rules really work. Any failure to observe these rules will not be treated lightly,” said Richard Rowley, the Chair of the MARIA Governance Board – the body that governs customer switching and the retail electricity market.

“However, all these cases were problems from last year,” added Mr Rowley. “The offending companies are working hard to improve, and the number of customer switches now being processed each month give me confidence that things have improved.”

Previous decisions of the MARIA Conduct Committee are available at:
http://www.m-co.co.nz/C3maria.htm.

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