Consumers say No to $78 million transmission price hike
Wednesday 27 July 2016
Entrust and Auckland electricity consumers say No to $78 million transmission price hike
Positive response to hip hop video with 262K Facebook views
An unprecedented response from Auckland consumers regarding an Electricity Authority proposal to increase electricity transmission prices for Aucklanders by an additional $78 million per year shows how unpopular the proposal is, according to Entrust (formerly Auckland Energy Consumer Trust).
Entrust Deputy Chairman, Michael Buczkowski said consumer engagement about the issue was unprecedented with a hip-hop video about the issue developed in collaboration with the Hip Op-eration Crew receiving 262K views on Facebook and hundreds of supportive comments. Additionally, a large number of submissions opposing the proposal had been made to the Electricity Authority.
“Typically very few consumers engage in a regulatory consultation process about a complex policy issue and while we actively brought the issue to the attention of our beneficiaries we have received a much bigger response than we expected which shows Aucklanders do not support the Electricity Authority proposal,” he said.
Mr Buczkowski said the Electricity Authority proposal would see Aucklanders paying an extra $78 million a year in transmission grid charges, while electricity generators such as Meridian and Contact and the owners of Tiwai Smelter would financially benefit by $94 million at the cost of Aucklanders.
“The increase would see average residential customers paying approximately $97 extra each year, while businesses would face a $148 increase each year, schools an additional $1,577 each year and large electricity users like hospitals paying up to $22,000 extra every year.
“This change would have an adverse impact on Auckland families, the elderly and small business owners who are at the heart of Auckland’s economic engine room and least able to afford large increases.
“We believe it is fairer to spread transmission costs equally across all users of the grid including electricity generators. This is fairer and in the long term interest of consumers,” he said.
Mr Buczkowski said Entrust had also made a formal submission to the Electricity Authority opposing their proposal (see Appendix 1 below).