Canterbury Electricity Market In Chaos
Canterbury businesses are facing virtual blackmail from Government-owned Meridian Energy, says National's Finance Spokesman David Carter.
"20 of Meridian's biggest consumers have been sent brutal letters, telling them they no longer 'fit with our strategy to create value for Meridian'. They can no longer enter into fixed price contracts - they are being forced to purchase power at fluctuating market prices, with increasing 'management fees' added on top of this.
"The only firms able to offer fixed prices are said to be offering rates between 40% and 80% higher than last year. This is disastrous for our city. Canterbury businesses have described the conditions as 'scandalous', and say the market is in chaos. They now have no certainty as to what level of electricity bills they are going to receive this year.
"The electricity market in Canterbury is an absolute shambles. The reforms have been dismantled by stealth, leaving Canterbury business in the lurch. Even more galling for business is knowing that the extra profits made by Meridian will be gobbled up by the Government in the form of dividends.
"Labour MP Tim Barnett has a lot to answer for. He has championed Meridian, using Parliamentary resources to encourage people to sign up. Where is he now, as Meridian introduces anti-business pricing mechanisms?"