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Savings for Vector and Horizon customers

CATHERINE HARRIS
Last updated 05:00 01/12/2012

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Vector and Horizon Energy customers will save money following a Commerce Commission final decision on electricity distribution charges.

The two lines companies have been ordered to cut their distribution charges, which reflect about a third of a consumer's bill.

The changes mean customers of Vector, which was ordered to reduce its prices by about 10 per cent, will typically save about $60 a year.

It must make a further price adjustment in 2014.

Horizon must reduce its charges by 3 per cent, an estimated saving of about $25 a year.

Vector has fought the commission's ability to regulate its prices but said yesterday that the final decision held no surprises.

It would continue to fight the commission on a "merits appeal," which challenged its pricing methodology.

That decision was expected in the first half of next year.

The commission reviewed the prices of 16 lines companies and ordered 13 to increase their prices by up to 10 per cent.

The biggest increase was Northland's Top Energy, where customers will pay an additional $106 a year.

Sue Begg, the commission's deputy chairwoman, said companies had some leeway as to how quickly they imposed the new increases or decreases.

She said price increases were originally set to rise up to 15 per cent, but they were reduced at the urging of four companies which did not think their customers could manage.

Begg said the commission was moving away from price thresholds which were last set in 2003, to a new regime which was firmer and considered investment.

Christchurch's distribution business Orion did not have its prices reset because it was weighing up whether to apply for a "customised" price path to help it deal with rebuilding issues from the earthquake.

Fairfax NZ

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- BusinessDay.co.nz

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