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TV1 News

POWER CRISIS: Power prices are surging, and businesses are going to have to pass costs on to consumers. For weeks power shortages have been looming and power prices have been growing. Now businesses may have to cut production because their power bills are getting too big.

Fletcher Steel has already reduced capacity at peak times. Comalco has reduced its production five percent. The potential for blackouts is there if rain doesn’t come to replenish hydro lakes.

Mercury Energy says it has talked to businesses in Auckland about powering up generators, much as was done during the Auckland blackouts.

On Energy yesterday bowed out of electricity retailing, passing its customers onto Genesis, leaving consumers confused. Now there are only five major power companies. It is predicted On Energy won’t be the last company to go.

International credit agency Standard and Poors put out a statement saying New Zealand’s electricity market is unstable.

Critics of the electricity market say the Government should put a cap on wholesale electricity prices.

MPs are debating ways of controlling power prices under urgency. Ironically, nothing they are discussing will effect the current crisis – a crisis of supply.

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