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Consumers will pay for new Electricity Commission

Consumers will pay for new Electricity Commission

National Party Energy spokesman Gerry Brownlee says it is consumers who will suffer as a result of the Government's Electricity Commission announced today.

"Consumers face increased electricity prices with no guarantee of reliable electricity supply. They'll foot the bill for the Commission by paying a new Government levy on top of already rising electricity prices.

"The Commission also threatens to increase electricity prices further as it will severely constrain competition and innovation in the electricity market," says Mr Brownlee.

"Costing more than $6 million in operational expenses in its first year alone, plus an excessive Chief Executive Officer's salary, the Commission will do little more than take from consumers back pockets.

"This year's problem was a lack of generating capacity. Dry weather and short supply of thermal fuel have merely exacerbated that underlying problem.

"This country needs 150 megawatts of new generation a year to meet growing demands. The Commission's talk of reserve generation will not address this short fall," says Mr Brownlee.

"Since 1999 Labour has commissioned less than 200 megawatts of new generating capacity. In the four years prior to 1999 more than 1200 megawatts were commissioned.

"The new Commission is nothing more than a bureaucratic nightmare which will make little or no difference in crisis years. It's consumers that will pay for the Government having its eyes off the ball for too long," says Mr Brownlee.

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