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Power price rise eclipses inflation

The Government is failing New Zealand households by letting residential electricity prices rise 3.8 percent while inflation is nearly zero, new data released today in the annual ‘Energy in New Zealand’ publication shows, the Green Party said.

“Power prices have risen 3.8 percent in the twelve months to March 2015 while inflation was only 0.1 percent in the same time period,” Green Party energy spokesperson Gareth Hughes said.

“When an essential household cost like electricity is rising so much faster than inflation, it’s clear that National’s economy is not working for New Zealand households.

“As investors in National's privatised energy companies open their dividend checks, families are opening their rising power bills and asking, who is the electricity market working for?

“The electricity market is broken when lines charges are now up to 40 percent of a household’s electricity bill and rising fast.

“The Government needs to tell the Electricity Authority to go back to the drawing board on its proposals to raise residential electricity lines charges even more for some households, while lowering them for huge industrial users like the Tiwai Point smelter.

“We need to be embracing new technologies and options like distributed generation to save customers’ money by avoiding the need for investment in distribution networks,” Mr Hughes said.

 

Residential electricity price increase, year to March 2015: 3.8%. Source: MBIE ‘Energy in New Zealand’, page 50.

Consumers Price Index, year to March 2015: 0.1%. Source: Statistics NZ.