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Households on their own over rising power prices

20 February 2014

Households on their own over rising power prices

Consumers cannot count on the Government to tackle rising power prices because it won’t even admit they’re a problem, the Green Party said today.

The Electricity Authority told the Commerce Select Committee this morning that its job was “not to promote better prices for consumers” and that “rising prices are not a good marker of whether a market is competitive or not”.

This follows Energy Minister Simon Bridges telling Parliament yesterday he doesn’t believe Kiwis are paying too much for their power.

“Who exactly is looking out for the consumer in all this?” asked Green Party Energy spokesperson Gareth Hughes.

“Who is ensuring the big energy companies don’t keep raking in big profits at the expense of ordinary New Zealanders?

“Power bills have risen 22% since National came to power. If Government can’t admit this is a problem, how can it be expected to solve it?”

“These comments over the last 24 hours show the Government and its regulator are completely out of touch. This is not good enough when many households are struggling to pay their power bills,” said Mr Hughes.

The Green Party has introduced a range of proposals to reduce energy costs, including its NZ Power plan and Solar Homes loan scheme.

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