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We Haven’t Agreed to Anything Yet

CONSUMER COALITION ON ENERGY (CC93)

Spokesperson: David Russell

Consumers’ Institute, PO Box 6996, Te Aro, Wellington

Phone (04) 384 7963 Fax No (04) 385 8752


The Coalition:
Consumers’ Institute
Federated Farmers of NZ Inc
Major Electricity Users’ Group
Business New Zealand


Media Release

5 June 2001

We Haven’t Agreed to Anything Yet

“The Consumer Coalition on Energy (CC93) has serious reservations about the Electricity Governance Arrangements released for industry consultation today and will be taking the time to think things through carefully before agreeing to anything,” said David Russell, spokesperson for the Coalition.

CC93 has representatives on the Electricity Governance Establishment Committee (EGEC) and each of the three working groups that report to EGEC, but has chosen not to endorse the consultation document as a number of specific concerns raised by CC93 have been not addressed.

“At the end of the day, we want to be damn sure the proposed new arrangements are going to benefit consumers,” said Mr Russell.

“Consumers want reliable electricity at the lowest sustainable price. They also want to know who to hold accountable when supply is disrupted, when quality is poor, or prices are distorted by industry exploitation of market power or outright monopoly power. Consumer representatives must also be involved in decision-making processes for the new wholesale market arrangements.

“We’re going to consider the various features of the consultation package and ask whether they will meet consumers’ expectations before we comment, and when we do, we hope EGEC takes the time to consider what we have said. If this means a delay in finalising the arrangements that are forwarded to the Commerce Commission for authorisation, we’ll live with that.”

Mr Russell continued: “It’s taken enormous effort and cost to get this far, it would be foolish to begin implementing mandatory arrangements until there is significant buy-in from all stakeholders, particularly consumers.”

END


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