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Shearer claims on power pricing misleading our customers

Shearer claims on power pricing a “work of fiction” – misleading our customers

Claims by Labour Energy spokesperson, David Shearer, about rocketing power prices and “outrageous” profits are plainly incorrect and grossly misleading for New Zealand electricity consumers.

Mighty River Power Chief Executive, Doug Heffernan, says the official data from the industry regulator (Electricity Authority) and audited results reported by major power companies this week tell a very different story of a highly competitive market with flat to declining energy prices.

“It’s misleading, deceptive and unhelpful for our customers to have someone suggesting power prices are rocketing when the Electricity Authority, the regulator, says that the competitive energy price is up only 0.3% in the past year, and 0.5% in each of the past three years.

“Our own audited results, released today show that average energy prices for our 380,000 customers were flat over the year to 30 June 2014, and actually fell 4% in the final quarter of the financial year.” The recent results from other major electricity companies showed a very similar picture, Dr Heffernan says.

“At a household level, total pricing for our residential customers – including the impact of regulator approved lines and transmission charges – went up about 1.7% on average over the past year, in line with general inflation. Many people used less power with consumption per customer down 2.5%, this meant our customers on average paid about 1% less in dollar terms on their actual electricity bills than they did in the previous year.”

Claims of “outrageous” profit in Mighty River Power’s FY2014 results are equally incorrect – with reported underlying earnings up just 3% on the prior year (FY2013), Dr Heffernan says.

ENDS.

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