Electricity company ramps up prices 9pc
4:00AM Saturday Dec 13, 2008
By Mathew Dearnaley

State-owned electricity supplier Genesis has alarmed the new Government by serving notice of 9 per cent price rises a day after an emergency restraint plea from Reserve Bank Governor Alan Bollard.

The company is sending letters to 76,000 householders throughout Auckland's North Shore and Waitakere sectors, notifying them of average price rises of 8.8 per cent to 9.2 per cent from January 18.

Genesis, which says it has struggled to delay price rises for as long as possible, acknowledges increases to annual power bills will range from $124 for small households using about 5000 units of electricity to $242 for larger families consuming double that amount.

That is despite Dr Bollard's call this week for prices to fall on almost all of life's essential goods including electricity, food and petrol.

Energy Minister Gerry Brownlee has acknowledged strong concern at the behaviour of Genesis, but the Opposition is calling for the Government to become more prescriptive about what it expects of state-owned enterprises in tough economic times.

More here.