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Grey Power On Electricity and Local Ownership

Grey Power considers the only effective way to lower electricity prices is to restore local public ownership.

The electricity price rises imposed on the consumers of Northland demonstrates yet again the cost of providing dividends for privatised or corporatised companies is greater than the cost of running the old inefficient community owned Power Boards in the first place.

Grey Power is concerned that a recent statement by Paul Swain , the incoming Minister of Commerce indicates the new government will still rely on competition to bring down prices .

Bitter experience , particularly for domestic consumers , indicates the futility of this policy. Competition will only limit excessive profiteering and price reductions will be small in comparison with the price rises that have taken place.

The only significant and effective way of lowering electricity prices is for the government to encourage the restoration of full community ownership of local distribution systems and the sale of electricity.

Ensuring prices are rapidly restored to their previous levels or lower will be a test of the political resolve of the new coalition government.

We have been promised an inquiry into the sorry saga of electricity reforms . Grey Power hopes and insists the inquiry promoted by the Energy Minister Pete Hodgson produces positive results of significantly lower prices for domestic consumers and is not an excuse for delaying effective action.

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