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Power charge changes cynical

Power charge changes cynical

Electricity demand has fallen 2%, yet prices still continue to rise, says Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer.

“If National's electricity market was working, prices would be falling. The fact is the market is broken.

“Despite National's support for more transparency for electricity consumers, it's moving in exactly the opposite direction.

“Energy Minister, Simon Bridges' decision yesterday to change the way electricity price increases are calculated is designed to disguise the fact that electricity prices are rapidly going up. It is clear the Minister wants to hide that fact.

“Mr Bridge’s decision to change the way electricity price increase methodology means that increases cannot be compared with previous years, so we won’t be able to see just how much prices have increased since the market came into operation. This is designed to minimise the impact of price increases.

“This new method of calculation will come into effect for the June quarter - just in time for the election. How cynical is that?

“I call on Mr Bridges to guarantee the transparency that consumers deserve.

“In the past two months tens of thousands of households have received their bills with steep price hikes. Those latest increases will come through in the next round, just in time for the new calculations. The new way of measuring electricity price increases will make them seem smaller than they really are.

“Electricity prices in the last quarter have continued their upward climb promising a hard winter for most New Zealanders.”

Ends

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