Thursday, May 21, 2009

Power to the people?

We’re paying too much for our power…well Duh!!!

The story came out today that the Commerce Comission have found that 4 power companies, 3 of the state owned, have overcharged New Zealanders $4.3 billion over 7 years.

Here’s the story from

Power companies lawfully exploited market

New Zealand's power companies have been found to have lawfully exploited their market power to raise wholesale electricity prices.

A Commerce Commission report into Contact, Genesis, Meridian and Mighty River Power clears the four companies of any price fixing. It says they did not take advantage of market power for any anti-competitive purpose.

But it has found the four companies legally used market power to charge an extra $4.3 billion, more than they would have earned had the conditions been competitive from 2001 to 2007.

The commission has also issued a warning to TrustPower for attempting to enter into an anti-competitive agreement with Genesis in 2004.

Now $4.3b sounds like a lot, it is in one lump sum, but how much is it out of pockets monthly?

According to the ‘About us’ pages on their websites, Meridian, Mighty River Power, Contact and Genesis have 1.83 million customers between them.

$4.3b, over 7 years, across 1.83 million users is $28 per month, per user (about $335 per year, or $2350 over the whole 7 years for each user)…so it is significant, but here’s the thing, the average power bill in New Zealand is around $150 per month, even if we take back the $30 that they are stealing from us, we are still paying around 50% more than Australia does per month for power…why?

April 1st this year Austraia had an across the board power hike of 20% to…wait for it, just under $90 per month on average.

If you look at the OECD tables, NZ uses less power per person in every category than Australia, but we pay more.

Should something be done about these soulless companies, remembering that three are owned by us, and how there are the modern reincarnation of Vikings, raping and pillaging our pockets?


Should our government explain to us why we are paying so much more for power, when we are all using less, than Australia?

A much, much louder YES!

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