Power firms blame each other

19:25, Mar 05 2014

Wellington households facing power bill rises of up to 7 per cent from next month should be able to clearly see who is actually lifting the charges, according to Labour energy spokesman David Shearer.

Electricity companies, Genesis, Contact and Meridian, have announced in the past week that power bills would rise from April 1. But they laid the blame on higher electricity lines and national grid transmission charges, rather than a lift in the cost of energy.

For example, last week, Contact said prices would rise an average 6.8 per cent in the Wellington region, but lines company Wellington Electricity said the average increase was more like 4 per cent.

Shearer has drafted a private members bill to give consumers clarity and transparency around prices, by unbundling each component of a consumers electricity bill.

Yesterday the Electricity Authority also said it would check the claims electricity retailers are making about the reasons for their price increases for 2014, given the discrepancies between the companies' claims.