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Independent report contradicts Government power claims

David Shearer
Energy Spokesperson

20 February 2014

Independent report contradicts Government power claims

An independent report commissioned by the Government has delivered a body blow to claims that switching power companies means cheaper power, says Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer.

“The report by Covec says consumer switching has a small effect on the level of competitiveness and ‘no significant effect’ on retail prices.

“That is completely at odds with what Energy Minister Simon Bridges has been crowing about for the past few months.

“All of this just confirms what Kiwi consumers already know - that their power prices continue to go up. Switching power companies may have short term impacts but it won’t fix a system that is dominated by power companies who want to maximise their profits.

“Simply tracking the cheapest electricity suppliers charges shows there were massive increases between February 2011 and February 2014 .

“The overall increase across the nation was $243 with Northland ,Taranaki, Nelson and Otago topping the list with increases of over $400 .

“The Electricity Authority is supposed to be the watchdog on power prices. They told a Select Committee ‘rising prices is not a good measure of whether a market is competitive or not.’

“If a competitive market is not about bringing down prices ,what is it for?, David Shearer says.

ENDS

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