Power bill transparency promised

MICHAEL FOX
Last updated 16:10 13/03/2014

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Consumers could soon have itemised power bills so they know exactly what they are paying for as power companies and electricity suppliers blame each other for rising power prices.

Households will be hit with price rises next month, although a lack of transparency in the market means the sides are blaming each other for the increase.

Retailers are raising tariffs and blaming a rise on lines company and national grid charges.

The Electricity Authority has said it planned to find out what was behind the increases, and Energy and Resources Minister Simon Bridges said this would probably lead to itemised bills.

"Over time and in the not too distant future we should be in a position to have full transparency on bills," he said.

He supported itemised bills in principle, saying transparency was important so consumers knew "where the blame for their power bills and certainly the increases come from".

A proposal could be ready in the next three months, he said.

The Electricity Authority has also said it planned to give power consumers more information on their power usage to help make sure they were better informed when choosing providers and packages.

Bridges said yesterday that in spite of claims power prices could rise by more than 20 per cent, the average rise would be 2.4 per cent.

Those facing major rises were "absolute outliers", he said.

Labour energy spokesman David Shearer has said he would put forward a private member's bill to make electricity bills more transparent.

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- Fairfax Media

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