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Welcome Reductions In Electricity Line Charges

Energy Minister Pete Hodgson says a report showing a two percent reduction in electricity line charges during 2000 is good news, although there are still many areas in which electricity consumers deserve a better deal.

Mr Hodgson was referring to the annual Cap Gemini Ernst & Young Electricity Distribution Company Analysis, released today, which examines electricity line company performance.

The report says line company charges fell two percent in nominal terms and five percent in real terms during 2000, with further reductions expected as line companies continue to become more efficient. Most have agreed to freeze their prices until August 2001.

"The Government's approach of industry self-regulation backed up by a credible threat of price control is nudging the industry in the right direction," Mr Hodgson said.

"It is also encouraging that today's report notes a significant improvement in the reliability of electricity lines. It is very important that security of supply is not compromised in the drive to reduce costs."

Mr Hodgson said there was clearly still plenty of room for customer service standards in the electricity industry to improve, despite advances in recent months.

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