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Sale Of Electricity System Assets


Sale Of Electricity System Assets

"Domestic consumers after some 15 years are still waiting to see some benefits from the privatisation of our electricity system," said Les Howard, President of Grey Power, today. "A major part of our generation has already been sold off to foreign ownership and now Government is contemplating allowing the sale of a very large part of the distribution network in the lower and middle parts of the North Island. These are the Vector and Powerco assets. Let me say here and now any political party, if elected, that proposes to sell any more of our assets can be assured that they will be a one term government."

"It has been clearly demonstrated that the only way some domestic consumers have benefited is in areas where the local distribution network has been retained in public ownership. In these areas consumers are enjoying annual rebates form the local Trust that make a substantial contribution to their energy costs. If there are further sales of our assets to overseas interests it can only mean higher prices for the consumers in the areas where the lines have been sold."

"The primary aim of Grey Power is that all New Zealanders should have access to sufficient affordable energy services to live in a healthy home environment, and to fully participate in society. We have continually campaigned for the introduction of Inverse Step Tariffs that would ensure that this can happen but Government has consistently ignored our advice. Consequently there are many people on low incomes who now live in fuel poverty. Research has shown that this causes extensive health problems for both the young and the old."

"Unless there is some action taken to bring the situation under control the will be more and more people becoming impoverished with the consequence high costs to the health system. Money, time and effort spent on rectifying these problems will provide financial benefit to the nation."

"Consequently, Grey Power is strongly opposed to any further sales of our assets. The debacle with the rail system should have been a lesson to those who would promote such action. Just since the year 2000 we have seen domestic prices rise by over 5% per year while commercial and industrial have remained constant. This means domestic consumers are being levied to provide the funding for future generation. This situation is going to lead to a major revolt if it is not rectified."

ENDS


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