Entrust is calling for mandatory safeguards for electricity consumers

3 October 2023

Entrust is calling on the Electricity Authority to introduce mandatory safeguards to better protect Kiwi electricity users.

Entrust, the majority shareholder of Vector, is acutely aware that many Kiwis are under financial pressure and can face tough choices about whether to cut their electricity use or pay bills.

In a submission on the Consumer Care Guidelines, Entrust has called on the Electricity Authority to require electricity retailers to let their customers know if they could save money by changing to a cheaper pricing plan.

Entrust is also calling for new rules for pre-pay meters. Many consumers are not on pre-pay by choice and are more likely to be on a low income or vulnerable.

William Cairns, Entrust Chair said that Entrust doesn’t think vulnerable households should pay more to be on pre-pay or be without power if they can’t afford to pay in advance for all their power.

“The Electricity Authority needs to ensure vulnerable Kiwis, people with underlying medical needs, the elderly and families with young children are not being forced onto pre-pay. Entrust does not want to see Kiwi households going without power if they can’t pay in advance for all their power.

“If a household is having difficulty paying their bills they can sometimes be threatened with disconnection. The Electricity Authority should make it clear when it is not acceptable for electricity retailers to disconnect households, such as when family members are medically dependent on electricity or when the retailer would not be able to reconnect power promptly after payment has been made,” he said.