Marlborough Lines customers to get cash back

Discounts and power trust distributions to the average Marlborough power customer will total close to $400 this year.

Discounts and power trust distributions to the average Marlborough power customer will total close to $400 this year.

Marlborough power customers could receive close to $400 in discounts and rebates from Marlborough Lines by the end of the year.

Marlborough Lines managing director Ken Forrest said it was expected that a distribution paid by the Marlborough Electric Power Trust would be about $150 per customer, while an average domestic power customer would receive a discount on their power bill of $226.38.

The power bill discount would vary depending on how much power individual customers used, Forrest said. 

It was calculated on the basis of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment estimation of an average domestic customer's energy usage, which was 8000kWh per year. 

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Discounts totalling $9.26 million would be paid to electricity retailers to distribute to customers connected to the Marlborough Lines network in March, Forrest said. 

It did not matter which power company a customer was with, they would be paid a discount as long as they were part of the network.

The timing of the discount would depend on their individual billing cycle, he said. 

Discounts paid to Marlborough Lines' customers since 1999 was close to $112m.  

Forrest said the power trust distributions would be paid to customers by the end of the year. 

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Customers were paid $50 in power trust distributions last year.

The distribution from the Marlborough Electric Power Trust had increased by $100 per customer, which Forrest said was a direct result of Marlborough Lines' investment in the Yealands Wine Group. 

"Going forward, it's our expectation that that amount will further increase." 

The lines company paid $89m for a 80 per cent share in the wine company in July last year. 

Forrest said Marlborough Lines had exceeded its financial projections for the first six months of its financial year following the company's investment in the Yealands Wine Group. 

Consistent with advice at the time of the investment, the amount paid to Marlborough electricity customers had increased.

"Marlborough Lines is proud of its investment in Yealands WIne Group and is pleased that it will provide ongoing benefits to the electricity customers of Marlborough."

Yealands Wines Group had more than 1100 hectares of vines planted and employed 130 staff at its two vineyards in Seddon and Hawke's Bay.

In seven seasons since being established it had become one of the world's top producers of sauvignon blanc, and was recognised internationally for sustainability.

It was the sixth biggest wine exporter in New Zealand, with Yealands wine sold in more than 80 countries around the world. 

 - The Marlborough Express


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