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Power prices up $360 under National – new analysis

Power prices up $360 under National – new analysis

Average power prices have risen by $360 under National, according to new analysis of MBIE data by the Green Party, with most of the money going to big energy companies not lines companies.

This follows Contact Energy and Meridian’s announcements of significant price hikes in recent days, and concerns last week about vulnerable people’s power being disconnected.

“Energy bills are a struggle for too many New Zealanders, and National has done nothing to help,” said Green Party Co-leader Russel Norman.

“Energy Minister Simon Bridges won’t even concede there’s a problem – he told Parliament he doesn’t believe people are paying too much for power, which shows how out of touch his Government is.”

The Green Party’s analysis shows the large power companies are pocketing the price rises, rather than lines companies.

“While the big power companies profit, families and businesses are hurting. Something has to change. Excessive electricity prices are a deadweight on our economy and a drain on strained family budgets,” said Dr Norman.

The power price increase works out at 20 per cent from November 2008 to November 2013. During that same period, the average hourly wage rose only 13 per cent, and the average household income 8 per cent.

The Green Party has introduced a range of proposals to reduce energy costs, including its NZ Power plan, which is expected to cut household energy bills by $300 a year, and its Solar Homes loan scheme to help consumers break free from the big energy companies.

"The Green Party will be campaigning on cheaper power prices this election because families have had enough,” said Russel Norman.

“Unlike the National Government, the Greens are not prepared to tolerate the status quo, which is working for the energy company executives but not for ordinary New Zealanders.

“While National stands up for big business, the Green Party is introducing policies that will make a real difference to households.”

Ends

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