New Zealanders will get cheaper power prices under NZ Power, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe.
“The electricity market is clearly broken. With falling demand for electricity, prices should be going down. Instead prices are going up and companies are extracting excess profit.
“That’s not right and Labour will take action. Labour’s NZ Power policy will bring prices down by hundreds of dollars a year for Kiwi families and regulate future electricity price increases.
“We’re recommitting to bringing electricity prices back under control using NZ Power. NZ Power will bulk buy electricity from all the generators and pass the savings on to New Zealanders.
“We’ll make sure that companies get a fair price for their product but it will be a price linked to how much it costs them to generate that electricity.
“We are sick of hearing every time there is a power hike its everybody’s fault everybody's fault but the power generators and retailers.
It’s either line companies or lake levels or something else.
“Meanwhile, as Kiwi households pay more and more for electricity power companies have celebrated record profits. Contact Energy profits were up 17.6%. Meridian and Mighty River Power enjoyed high profits and increased dividends.
“New Zealand’s power should be some of the cheapest in the world. More than 60 per cent of it comes from hydroelectric generation, using free water flowing through dams that were paid off generations ago.
“Labour is also announcing new measures to increase transparency in the electricity market.
“Under Labour we will standardise electricity bills to include a full breakdown of the cost to the consumer. We will also make sure electricity companies provide consumers with the information that is useful to them from their smart-meters.
“Labour will investigate pre-pay electricity practices with the expectation that the cost of electricity via pre-pay is brought down to standard rates. It is not fair that those least able to pay have to pay the highest prices .
“There is also an astonishing number of Kiwi’s having their power cut off because they cannot afford to pay their bill. This is unacceptable.
“In the bigger picture, Labour has a commitment to ensuring that 90% of our electricity is generated from renewables by 2025. Too many of our carbon emissions are created by the generation of electricity. By increasing renewable’s we can help the transition to a smarter low-carbon economy.
“That’s a move that is critical to the clean green brand we trade on overseas. Labour has a vision for a future in which our environment and our economy can thrive and prosper, and in which all New Zealanders share the gains.”