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Electricity crisis cost to commercial sector

Electricity crisis index of cost to commercial sector – to 18 April 2003 lost manufacturing sales total $15.3 million

”The economic impact of the electricity market crisis to the industrial and commercial sector has reached $15.3 million in lost sales since 1 March due to forced demand reductions. In addition businesses that must continue supplying products and services to consumers have paid $11.2 million above the unit price paid by households for their power. The weekly survey consists of all MEUG members and an increasing number of medium and small enterprises affected by the crisis.

“Forced reduction in demand by enterprises surveyed since 1 March totals 69,550 MWh.

“For the week ending Friday 18th April 2003 spot prices averaged 21.7 c/kWh at Haywards. The week before spot prices averaged 22.7 c/kWh. In comparison the energy cost of an average households power bill is about 7 c/kWh (and just over 13 c/kWh including line charges).

“Ralph Matthes, Executive Director of the Major Electricity Users’ Group (MEUG), said, “for the 49 days between 1 March to 18 April spot prices have averaged 17 c/kWh. At the same time some retailers are actively touting for business from households with energy prices less than half that rate. Its difficult to see how in a competitive market that behaviour would be sustainable.

“The graphs on the next page summarise the lost sales and additional spot purchase costs from those surveyed by MEUG and the Haywards spot price relative to that paid by households since 1 March.

“The survey results for the week ending last Friday do not cover all of the usual respondents because of the Easter holidays – so they understate costs,” said Mr Matthes. “The next full survey results to the week ending Friday 25 April will be published next Monday, 28 April.

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