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Power hikes hit marooned Christchurch residents

David Shearer
Energy Spokesperson

7 March 2014

Power hikes hit marooned Christchurch residents

Canterbury residents have been hit with a double whammy this week with flooding and increases in their power bills, says Labour’s energy spokesperson David Shearer.

“I have had emails from people in the Flockton basin in Mairehau who say that every component of their electricity bill is increasing. This at the same time they are trying to deal with one of the worst floods in memory.

“As one resident says ‘ We received a bill today of all days, we are stuck in our home due to flooding but the good news still keeps coming! Why is it that power prices only rise!’”

Power companies across the country are playing the ‘hey, it’s not our fault’ game as each part of the power industry blames the other for power increases.

“In the case of the latest bills from Christchurch, the power company Genesis is blaming the lines company Orion for some of the increases. The increase for an average family over a year on the composite rate would be around $200.

“It is imperative that this blame game is stopped along with the latest round of power increases. As consumers have said to me – when did it become policy to hike electricity charges every four months.

“The magnitude of the increase is outrageous given that New Zealand is oversupplied with electricity and demand has been slack for years .If the market was working as the government claims then prices would be going down.

“Power prices are now in crisis. The government must act before we face another winter of discontent.”

ENDS

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