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Government delays response on electricity prices

Jonathan Young - Energy and Resources

22 August 2019

The Government continues to drag out its reporting back on the Electricity Price Review and that’s causing frustration and increasing uncertainty for the industry, National’s Energy and Resources spokesperson Jonathan Young says.

“Wholesale electricity prices are 64 per cent higher this year than they were at the same time last year, costing companies millions more in energy costs that will be passed on to Kiwi consumers when they come to renew their electricity contracts.

“The Government should have delivered its response by now, and has given no reason for the delay. And its reckless oil and gas ban will further push up prices as New Zealand has to import more of its energy.

“Energy Minister Megan Woods is now focussed on managing the Government’s failed KiwiBuild policy, but she needs to reassure the energy sector that she hasn’t dropped the ball.

“The best way to do that would have been to produce a response to the Electricity Price Review report in a far more timely manner.

“Delays like this aren’t new for this Government. The response to the 100% Renewable Generation by 2035 report was delayed for many months, and we’re still waiting for the report on the Refinery to Auckland Pipeline inquiry, which the Government took over a year to initiate after significant fuel shortages in Auckland.

“Whether it’s a matter of the Minister being too busy or other factors that are causing this delay, the sector needs certainty now.

“If the Government wants the electricity sector to lead on decarbonising energy, it needs to let the industry know what its expectations and regulations will be.”

ends

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