Wednesday 27 July 2016
Entrust and Auckland electricity consumers say No to $78 million transmission price hike
Positive response to hip hop video with 262K Facebook views
An unprecedented response from Auckland consumers regarding an Electricity Authority proposal to increase electricity
transmission prices for Aucklanders by an additional $78 million per year shows how unpopular the proposal is, according
to Entrust (formerly Auckland Energy Consumer Trust).
Entrust Deputy Chairman, Michael Buczkowski said consumer engagement about the issue was unprecedented with a hip-hop
video about the issue developed in collaboration with the Hip Op-eration Crew receiving 262K views on Facebook and
hundreds of supportive comments. Additionally, a large number of submissions opposing the proposal had been made to the
“Typically very few consumers engage in a regulatory consultation process about a complex policy issue and while we
actively brought the issue to the attention of our beneficiaries we have received a much bigger response than we
expected which shows Aucklanders do not support the Electricity Authority proposal,” he said.
Mr Buczkowski said the Electricity Authority proposal would see Aucklanders paying an extra $78 million a year in
transmission grid charges, while electricity generators such as Meridian and Contact and the owners of Tiwai Smelter
would financially benefit by $94 million at the cost of Aucklanders.
“The increase would see average residential customers paying approximately $97 extra each year, while businesses would
face a $148 increase each year, schools an additional $1,577 each year and large electricity users like hospitals paying
up to $22,000 extra every year.
“This change would have an adverse impact on Auckland families, the elderly and small business owners who are at the
heart of Auckland’s economic engine room and least able to afford large increases.
“We believe it is fairer to spread transmission costs equally across all users of the grid including electricity
generators. This is fairer and in the long term interest of consumers,” he said.
Mr Buczkowski said Entrust had also made a formal submission to the Electricity Authority opposing their proposal (see
Appendix 1 below).