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Power savings effort goes unrewarded

Power savings effort goes unrewarded

Green Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons said the Energy Minister is providing little incentive for domestic electricity consumers to be rewarded for their efforts to save power.

The Green's Energy spokesperson said the Minister's response to her question in the House today confirmed that if domestic consumers saved 10 per cent, they would not see a 10 per cent saving for their power bill.

Domestic power bills contain two charges: a fixed charge, which covers the fixed costs of connecting the premises; and a unit charge, based on how much power is used by the household. Energy savings would only be reflected in a reduction in the unit charge portion of the bill.

"It is completely unsatisfactory that the Minister has no plan to ensure that domestic consumers get to save money on their power bills for the sacrifices they make," said Ms Fitzsimons.

"If the Minister can consider emergency legislation to lower our lakes and potentially wipe out part of New Zealand's native wildlife, then surely he can reconsider this absurd situation where domestic users are charged just for the line to run power into their homes.

"For many domestic consumers, that fixed charge is more than a dollar a day."

"If all power users are being asked to do everything possible to save power, why won't the Minister consider everything possible to encourage savings?

"It is not in the best interests of conserving power for this winter's crisis, and in future, for consumers not to enjoy any noticeable drop in their power bills.

"I question the Minister's response that fixed charges are there to reflect constant charges, when most other businesses incorporate such charges and overheads into their unit prices.

"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."

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