Auckland’s Electricity Consumers Should Be Benefitting From Decrease in Lines Charges

The Auckland Energy Consumer Trust, the independent consumer trust and majority owner of infrastructure group Vector Limited, says it is disappointed that Auckland’s residential electricity customers are not benefitting from the recent decrease in electricity lines charges.

From 1 April 2013, as a result of regulation, Vector reduced its weighted average residential electricity distribution prices by 9%, equating to an annual saving of around $60 per year for average households.

In May, following the reduction in Vector’s lines charges, only two of the 11 power companies that retail electricity in the Auckland region have reduced their prices*.

AECT Chairman, William Cairns says it’s a shame that consumers aren’t benefitting more from the drop in lines charges.

“The electricity regulatory regime is in place for the benefit of consumers. It’s extremely disappointing that unregulated retailers – for the most part - are taking gains meant for consumers.

“Many New Zealand households are under financial pressure. The cost of basic items like food and petrol keep rising, and electricity prices are no exception. A recent survey** showed that around a third of New Zealanders cannot afford to heat their homes adequately in winter, which is of real concern. A little respite on power bills, we feel, would be welcomed by consumers.

“AECT encourages electricity customers to shop around and check that they are on the most suitable account plan with the most competitive retailer. Comparing prices and swapping providers has never been easier. Go to the whatsmynumber website and see for yourself.”