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These power bills are shocking

If your power bills are rising and you do not know why, you are not alone: it is happening all over the country.

As Labour Party’s Energy Spokesman, I have been flooded with emails and letters from people whose power prices are rising as much as 21% in a year.

Even Canterbury residents, hit with some of the worst floods in memory, had power price rises during the very same week.

That is not right.

When demand for electricity is low, and we have an oversupply, prices should be coming down. We should not be having power increases at all because power is in abundance.

The Government tells us to relax and that the market is working.

Clearly that is not true.

Further hikes

And with the sell-off of our power companies nearly complete, brace for more increases as shareholders demand bigger profits off the back of consumers

What is even more frustrating though, is lack of transparency of power companies. It suits them to have a very vague billing system, which does not allow us to see where price increases are coming from.

Where is our money going exactly?

Are the lines companies like Vector and Orion putting their prices up?

Is it the Transpower, the company that manages our grid that is causing the increases?

Are our retailers like Meridian and Contact charging more than they should?

Transparency needed

There is no use consulting your bill to work it out; there is no transparency.

That is why I have drafted a Private Member’s Bill that will force electricity retailers to send clear, itemised bills to customers, so that we can all see who is responsible when our power prices rise.

Under this system, unreasonable price hikes will be obvious.

This Government might be telling you nothing is wrong, and to rely on the market. We do not think that is good enough.

Labour has bold, internationally-proven policies to streamline and modernise the system.

Meanwhile, my Private Members Bill will make sure that you can see where your power budget is going so that you can make sound financial choices for your household.

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