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TransAlta price rise outrageous

The Green Party has slammed TransAlta's decision to double its fixed charge to electricity customers, saying it will set back efforts to improve energy efficiency. Last night energy retailer TransAlta doubled its fixed charge to customers, significantly increasing the cost of many people's monthly power bills. "Doubling the fixed charge will hit small users of electricity especially hard," said Green Party Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons.

"That means pensioners in particular will be socked by the increase and so will anyone who is doing their best to conserve energy through efficiency measures. "Energy companies have no justification for loading a fixed charge onto their price at all. When you go to a petrol station you are not charged $10 for driving onto the forecourt before you fill up with petrol. The same should apply to electricity - you should only pay for what you use.

"By doubling the fixed charge TransAlta is creating a massive disincentive for people to reduce their energy consumption. It also works against Christchurch City's efforts to reduce air pollution. Anyone who is considering getting rid of their open fire will now think twice as a result of TransAlta's selfish move. "I would encourage Transalta consumers to protest against TransAlta's price hike by shifting their account to one of the other energy companies. Foreign-owned companies like TransAlta only get the message when it hits them in the pocket."

ends

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