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Electricity prices climb as crisis delivers shock

Electricity prices climb as crisis delivers first shock

The National Party says the Government's failure to address both a long and short-term electricity crisis is now hitting householders in the hip pocket.

Contact Energy's announced that its Wellington customers will be paying an average of 3% and 6% more from next month.

"You can bet some of Contact's Wellington customers will be paying a lot more than 6% too, with the company talking averages at this stage," says the National Party Energy spokesman Gerry Brownlee.

"The company's blaming the increases on higher wholesale prices and a 'narrowing gap between generating capacity and demand'.

"It must now be clear to the Government that urgent action's needed to ensure New Zealand has enough electricity generation capacity to sustain and strengthen economic growth," says Mr Brownlee.

"Just last week the Labour Party's closest allies, the trade union movement, warned the Government that rising wholesale prices were forcing some companies to scale back production.

"The National Party has been asking for Energy Minister Pete Hodgson to take action for months, but instead of addressing this critical issue right now, he's living it up in Hollywood - at the taxpayer's expense," Mr Brownlee says.

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