INDEPENDENT NEWS

Underlying Electricity Problems Not Addressed

Published: Tue 31 Jul 2001 02:01 PM
Underlying Electricity Problems Still Not Addressed
Today's high-level electricity meeting presented no evidence that the power crisis is lessening, and the core issues have not yet been addressed, says Business New Zealand Chief Executive Simon Carlaw.
"Moves to access an extra 2% power from Taranaki, an agreement with Comalco to free up power at short notice and more incentives for saving power are all useful, but these address the symptoms rather than the underlying problems with the market," Mr Carlaw said.
"Price signals are not penetrating to all consumers. Pricing decisions can't be said to be transparent if prices can quadruple within a half-hour period - capacity doesn't change that quickly. And questions remain over the dominance of state-owned generators.
"We don't want price controls, but we do want a better-functioning electricity market so that small businesses aren't sent to the wall next time there's a dry winter. Hopefully next Monday's meeting will tackle this."
Ends

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