Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Little reward for conserving consumers, say Greens

Little reward for conserving consumers, say Greens

Fixed power charges mean consumers are missing out on rewards for conserving energy, Green Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons said today.

Ms Fitzsimons said householders are complaining that they feel discouraged from saving power because they are not seeing any noticeable drop in their electricity bills.

"Fixed charges rob them of the financial benefits they should get for their sacrifices," said Ms Fitzsimons.

All household electricity bills include fixed charges, charged by both the lines company and the energy retailer, and variable charges related to the number of units used. The Green Party has advocated the removal of fixed charges so the unit charge incorporates all the costs of supplying power.

"These charges are the same, regardless of how much you use. Essentially, the less someone uses in general, the less the bill changes when they save.

"The Green Party has long campaigned to remove the fixed charges so that conservation-minded consumers would see a more direct result of their saving efforts.

"This would encourage conservation and reward those who saved. The elderly and other people who don't use much power in the first place would also benefit through lower power bills."

Ms Fitzsimons said many power companies are sliding round the Electricity Amendment Act (2001) that required power companies to offer a low fixed charge option with higher unit charges - an option that would benefit households who use less than the average amount of power.

"All power companies now offer that tariff but some seem to do everything possible to prevent people knowing about it and connecting to it. Call centres often pretend it doesn't exist and some companies have even tried charging an extra fee for people to sign up to that tariff.

"Now is a very appropriate time for the Minister to investigate how this law is working, how it is enforced and to what level the power companies have abused it.

"I call on the Government to bring in the Green policy - which was also the Labour Party policy at the 1999 election - to remove fixed charges altogether and cover all costs through the unit charge.

"After all, we don't pay a fee to enter the forecourt of a petrol station before we buy any fuel, but they have fixed costs too."

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced


Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election