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Answers required of Energy Minister

Pansy Wong National Energy Spokesperson

5 March 2002

Answers required of Energy Minister

"After Pete Hodgson meets with power company executives tomorrow, electricity consumers deserve answers to a number of questions," says National's Energy spokesperson Pansy Wong.

Such as:

1. How does Meridian's decision to offer around 60 of its business customers only fixed price contracts at 40-90% increases reflect the Government's policy that it will ensure delivery of energy at a fair price?

2. Does Meridian's action fulfil the SOE's aim, as expressed in its Statement of Corporate Intent, of taking into account community and consumers' interests?

3. What advice has Mr Hodgson for Invensys, a company accredited by ECCA as energy efficient, but initially refused renewal of its electricity contract and then hit with a price increase of 90%?

4. What changes have occurred in the electricity market for the Minister to reject his own pledge for price caps to regulate retail electricity prices?

5. Are the draft rules developed by the Voluntary Electricity Governance Board, which were budgeted to cost $2 million and blew out to $5 million, able to solve the immediate and medium term problems faced by both domestic and business electricity users?

"I - like many electricity customers around the country - will be interested to see if Pete Hodgson will provide answers to these questions," Pansy Wong concluded.

Ends

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