The Electricity Authority (EA) has inadvertently confirmed everything New Zealand First has said about its swingeing power price increases.
“It is so easy for the beltway bureaucrats at the Electricity Authority to play down increases for homeowners as being not very much, when people on the minimum wage will have to work almost a complete day just to cover them,” says New Zealand First Spokesperson for Energy Fletcher Tabuteau.
“What is not being disputed is that homes and businesses in Northland, Auckland, Eastern Bay of Plenty, West Coast and Ashburton, all face $78.3m worth of annual power price increases to pay transmission infrastructure which has already been built.
“This is really a $78.3m wealth transfer that’ll disadvantage thousands of consumers and businesses in favour of a few shareholders, which includes the government
“In Northland there are 20,000 fewer businesses than there are households and the Electricity Authority has confirmed that it will be those who employ people and create jobs, who’ll be hit the hardest.
“This is why the Electricity Authority’s proposed power price hikes effectively killed off 200 jobs at the proposed Ngawha pulp plant.
“The Electricity Authority needs to be asked why they’re trying to make their numbers look better by forecasting price reductions for lines companies. This is clutching at straws to make their numbers look more acceptable to the families and businesses who’ll be hit the hardest.
“It further reinforces why the new Minister of Energy and Resources, Hon Judith Collins, needs to use her Section 18 powers under the Electricity Industry Act and order a review.
“The EA is supposed to be a transparent regulator and not the energy sector’s fortune teller. Then again is it no wonder with 43 staff on $100,000 plus, a Chief Executive on between $370,000 and $379,999 and a chairman who earned a staggering $252,000,” says Mr Tabuteau.