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Customers deserve clarity in pricing communications

Electricity customers deserve clarity in pricing communications: Mighty River

Mighty River Power today called for change that would allow greater simplicity in electricity pricing announcements for the benefit of customers.

In response to yesterday’s report from the Electricity Authority into recent pricing communications by the industry, Mighty River Power’s Retail General Manager, James Munro, said consumers needed to be able to hold decision makers to account over electricity pricing changes. Industry rules could be improved to better achieve this outcome and remove confusion for customers, he said.

Mr Munro said retailers are required to notify their customers of changes in total prices, but that better clarity could be achieved for customers if lines companies notified changes in distribution and transmission prices and retailers took no part in that process.

“In most cases competitive energy pricing only makes up about half the bill. The rest consists of regulated charges and taxes, which are entirely beyond the control of retailers but passed onto customers through their bill,” Mr Munro said.

He said announcement and communication of these changes should come from the distributors (lines companies) themselves. This would mean that what is reported publically in the media matches what individual customers receive in their notifications (from their service providers).

Mr Munro said this “relatively simple change” would remove confusion in the reporting of price changes and help the public in holding industry and regulatory decision-makers accountable for their decisions.


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