Electricity Reforms Have Cut Costs

  • Max Bradford
Enterprise and Commerce

The Government's electricity reforms are cutting costs for households and businesses, Enterprise and Commerce Minister Max Bradford said today.

He was commenting on criticism of the electricity reforms by the Hutt Mana Energy Trust, as part of it's campaign against Wellington power company TransAlta's proposal to sell its monopoly lines business to Power New Zealand. Mr Bradford said he did not accept the Trust's claims - included in newspaper advertising today - about the Government's reforms.

"The Hutt Mana Energy Trust put out a newsletter earlier this year which was positive about the Government's reforms in the electricity industry. Yet while they now say their campaign is about protecting consumers, they seem blind to the the fact that within weeks of the new Electricity Industry Reform Act (passed in July this year) we saw real competition begin to emerge between power companies.

"Many consumers are already benefiting from lower electricity prices, and the trend is spreading rapidly thanks to the reforms.

"The Trust also fails to recognise that the Government has made it very clear that it will not tolerate monopoly services being used as a license to print money."

Mr Bradford said the Government would be announcing it's plans for an innovative price control system for electricity lines companies next week.

"Monopoly businesses, public or private, will not be able to gouge consumers in the manner that the Trust asserts," Mr Bradford said. "The Trust needs to take off the blinkers."