INDEPENDENT NEWS

Electricity Efficiency: Why Are We Waiting?

Published: Fri 15 Sep 2000 02:55 PM
The delay surrounding the release of the electricity policy is starting to build uncertainty, and is unnecessary, says the Employers & Manufacturers Association (Northern).
"We need an efficient electricity supply market system, so what is taking so long?" asked Alasdair Thompson, EMA's chief executive.
"The electricity reforms were kicked off by the last Labour Government more than ten years ago. Since then we have been stuck with grossly overvalued assets, which resulted in virtual licences to print money.
"The painfully slow progress made by National over nine years in office appears set to carry on with Energy Minister Pete Hodgson at the helm.
"He has held his review, so where is the policy? What's he doing to control monopoly pricing on artificially high asset values, and what's being done to reward long term investment in energy efficiency?
"Minister Hodgson knows full well our electricity market was designed by the generator supply side of the market and that it is time for this to change.
"We need demand side pricing. To have that, we have to have a real time market, not one based on 'day behind' pricing.
"It seems that only monopolists protected from competition, and socialists who prefer price controls to competition, are against competitive real time market pricing.
"The Minister with Responsibility for Auckland, Judith Tizard, contributed absolutely nothing recently by blaming former Minister Max Bradford. Minister Hodgson knows what must be done, so why is he dithering?
"Is there a problem with the Alliance and the Greens again, or is the problem within the Labour caucus?
"It is time for the Minister to release his policy and plan of action. If he cannot get the Alliance's support, we say he should go elsewhere for it."
Further comments: Alasdair Thompson tel 09 367 0911 (bus) 025 982 024

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