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Power prices soar on the eve of winter

David SHEARER
Energy Spokesperson

18 April 2014
MEDIA STATEMENT

Power prices soar on the eve of winter

On the eve of winter as New Zealanders are turning on their heaters, power prices have soared sky high, Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer says.

“Energy Minster Simon Bridges claimed in Parliament that prices were estimated to rise 2.4 per cent over the six months from February to August.

“Last month, many regions exceeded that in just one month.

“In parts of Waikato, Wellington, Tauranga and Christchurch some power company prices have jumped over 6 per cent in just a month. Other companies have hiked their prices up a staggering 10 per cent in a month.

“Prices are out of control and totally unreasonable for people facing high power bills with winter coming. It is simply not fair for Kiwis to face those sorts of bills.

“In Auckland prices have gone up around 1.5 per cent in one month. These projections will blow Simon Bridges estimates in just two months.

“The increases have been picked up on the PowerSwitch website. It tracks power prices and its latest update records the power bill hikes that many Kiwis experienced when they received last month’s bills.

“Just four weeks ago, John Key dismissed those increases in family power bills, saying it was Transpower charges – something Transpower quickly refuted. These latest increases dwarf anything Transpower could pass through.

“The electricity market is clearly broken. With electricity demand falling but prices soaring, prices should be going down, not up. The Key Government is defending a system which results in higher bills for families to maintain higher profits for newly privatised power companies.

“Genesis, the company that was sold off in the past week has been the worst culprit beating others on the magnitude of its price rises, across most regions.

“Labour’s NZ Power policy will reduce prices by hundreds of dollars a year and stem the ever increasing cycle of power price rises,” David Shearer says.

Results from the PowerSwitch website

Simon Bridges said power prices would increase 2.4% from 1 February to 1 August this year.

The latest PowerSwitch data shows significant price hikes taking place in most areas of New Zealand in just the last month that are in excess of 2.4%.

Prices are likely to rise far more than Bridges has claimed. Already rises up to 10% in one month have been recorded.

The statistics below are just for power price increases for the average consumer so some individuals will face even larger increases.

Major increases to annual bill from March to April this year by area:

Wellington

• Powershop is up from $2,155 to $2,280 - $125 or 5.8%
• Contact is up from $2,169 to $2,293 - $124 or 5.7%
• Meridian is up from $2,181 to $2,314 - $133 or 6.1%
• Genesis is up from $2,228 to $2,384 - $156 or 7%
• Mercury is up from $2,252 to $2,385 - $133 or 5.9%
• Nova is up from $2,253 to $2,386 - $133 or 5.9%

Christchurch

• Nova is up from $2,044 to $2,235 - $191 or 9.3%
• Contact is up from $2,060 to $2,148 - $88 or 4.3%
• Genesis is up from $2,204 to $2,356 - $152 or 6.9%
• Powershop is up from $2,206 to $2,409 - $203 or 9.2%

Waikato

• Contact is up from $2,102 to $2,213 - $111 or 5.3%
• Nova is up from $2,132 to $2,350 - $218 or 10.2%
• Meridian is up from $2,181 to $2,301 – $120 or 5.5%
• Genesis is up from $2,191 to $2,309 - $118 or 5.4%
• Mercury is up from $2,201 to $2,321 - $120 or 5.5%
• Powershop is up from $2,217 to $2,328 - $111 or 5%

Tauranga

• Powershop is up from $2,083 to $2,107 - $24 or 1.2%
• Mercury is up from $2,140 to $2,209 - $69 or 3.2%
• Genesis is up from $2,153 to $2,261 - $108 or 4.7%
• Nova is up from $2,172 to $2,285 - $114 or 5.2%
• Contact is up from $2,278 to $2,341 - $63 or 2.8%
• Meridian is up from $2,361 to $2,429 - $68 or 2.9%
• Trustpower is up from $2,478 to $2,547 - $69 or 2.8%

Auckland Central/Manukau

• Contact is up from $2,018 to $2,046 - $28 or 1.4%
• Powershop is up from $2,127 to $2,149 - $22 or 1%
• Nova is up from $2,156 to $2,172 - $16 or 0.7%
• Meridian is up from $2,149 to $2,180 - $31 or 1.4%
• Genesis is up from $2,204 to $2,284 - $80 or 3.6%
• Mercury is up from $2,251 to $2,282 – $31 or 1.4%

Dunedin

• Nova is up from $1,907 to $2,015 - $108 or 5.7%
• Powershop is up from $1,948 to $1,992 - $44 or 2.3%
• Contact is up from $1,948 to $1,996 - $48 or 2.5%
• Genesis is up from $1,981 to $2,074 - $93 or 4.7%
• Mercury is up from $2,081 to $2,134 - $53 or 2.5%


Data for more areas is available on the Powerswitch website at: https://www.powerswitch.org.nz/powerswitch/price-trends/graphs


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