Orion upgrade bid 2000 pages long

GLENN CONWAY
Last updated 14:00 25/02/2013
Orion chief executive Rob Jamieson.
JOSEPH JOHNSON/Fairfax NZ
Orion chief executive Rob Jamieson.

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An application for a massive electricity network upgrade, which will cost Canterbury householders an extra $1000 each over the next decade, has been sent to the Commerce Commission.

Christchurch power company Orion today filed a 2000-page application outlining its plans which includes new underground cables, overhead lines and substations it says will make the system at least as robust and reliable as it was before the quakes.

The application, if successful, would add about five percent, or about $8.70 to the total average monthly household bill. When  its  plans were first revealed last November, the monthly cost was estimated at $8.50.

The change came about from ''final calculations,'' Orion chief executive Rob Jamieson said.

The price hikes did not include inflation.

Jamieson said it was mindful of the impact any price increase has, especially for those on lower incomes.

''However, we have to consider the long term interests of our region. We think it's fair to recover our reasonable costs from the consumers who use and benefit from our service.''

The level of detail required by the Commission was behind the massive 2000-page proposal, making it, he said, one of the most open and transparent applications made by any business for any price increase.''

Orion's plans attracted 38 submissions which have also been included as part of its application.

The Commission has 40 working days to evaluate Orion's proposal and then decide if it complies with its rules.

If it does, the proposal will be publicly notified and dates will be set for public submissions.

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