Labour came to power promising to fix the electricity market, yet since 2000 power prices have gone up 40% in real terms. And over the last year, electricity prices have risen by 7% for consumers, and fallen by 6.5% for businesses. On top of this, it's recently been announced that Transpower are putting up their prices by 15%, and other energy retailers like Contact are about to raise their prices significantly. At the same time, power company profits are rising fast. The Dominion Post has reported that 'State-owned power company profits topped $300 million in six months, up $37.6 million on the previous half year'. [Read more below]
According to the NZ Herald, It is estimated up to a third of New Zealanders - more than one million - are living in homes that are too cold, with temperatures lower than the recommended 16C minimum. The World Health Organisation recommends a "comfortable" living temperature of 18C, increasing to 21C for those who are elderly or sick.' Yet National and Labour's market model for electricity supply has seen electricity prices become increasingly unaffordable for such New Zealanders.
The Green Party has also just announced their market-orientated climate change policy, which they say will add about a cent/unit to electricity costs (which is probably about a 5-15% increase for consumers. And if NZers need any further evidence that market-based approaches don't work, then also note the recent MED report on telecommunication prices that shows that 'New Zealanders continue to pay some of the highest telephone charges in the developed world'.