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Government fails to protect electricity consumers

Government fails to protect electricity consumers

John Key’s Government has failed to protect householders from rising electricity prices, by voting against the Green Party’s Smart Meter (Consumer Choice) Bill tonight.

“It is ironic the two political parties who claim to support consumer choice have voted against it, said David Clendon, Green Party Consumer Affairs Spokesperson.

The Smart Meter (Consumer Choice) Bill gave effect to the recommendations from the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment’s report Smart electricity meters: How households and the environment can benefit (June 2009). Dr Jan Wright has expressed disappointment that householders are being told by electricity companies they can’t have a really smart electricity meter installed.

“The Bill ensured smart meters really would be smart and that consumers would be offered a choice of tariffs and information to give them power to reduce their electricity costs, but John Key and Rodney Hide clearly don’t want that,” Mr Clendon said.

“Consumers are now stuck paying for a technology they cannot benefit from.

“The Government’s objection that it is too soon to adopt this technology belies the fact it is mandated in Victoria and California.

“Mr Brownlee’s cold feet will ensure big power bills or cold feet for consumers.

“I greatly appreciate the support of the Maori and Labour Parties for this sensible legislation and look forward to its reintroduction under the next government,” Mr Clendon said.


The original report and the PCE’s commentary on the problems with smart meters:
http://www.pce.parliament.nz/media/media_releases/smarten_up_on_smart_meters_-_environment_commissioner

The text of the Bill is available at:
http://www.greens.org.nz/bills/smart-meters-consumer-choice-bill

ENDS

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