Kelly Makiha is a senior reporter at the Rotorua Daily Post

Editorial: Power's all yours to reduce that bill

Complaining about the power bill is more of a winter activity but still, here I am.

It's now official. In New Zealand we have more to cry about than most.

Kiwi power prices have increased at twice the rate of most other countries during the past three decades.

A book from Victoria University researcher Geoff Bertram, Evolution of Global Electricity Markets, claims New Zealand's power prices are now more than twice what they were 30 years ago, in real terms.

In the United States, Britain, Japan, France and South Korea, inflation-adjusted power prices are below what they were in the mid-1980s.

In South Korea's case, they are almost 50 per cent lower.

Australia, Germany and Canada's prices are slightly up and the European OECD countries are paying virtually the same as they were in 1985.

Bertram said New Zealand customers were being ripped off because, unlike most countries, there was no regulator keeping tabs on power prices.

New Zealanders pay substantially more for power than consumers across the Tasman.

In 2010, Australians were paying 14.83c per kwh, while in New Zealand power was retailing for between 22.7c and 24.97c per kwh.

Oh great, another reason for Kiwis to cross the ditch and gloat about why Australia is so much better than New Zealand.

I'm still forking out a hefty amount each month in my power bill (some of it my fault as I swap the heater for air conditioning on the stiffling days).

If I'm to say anything positive about our power bills, it is that since doing the What's My Number test and switching power companies from TrustPower to Genesis, I'm making considerable savings - about $50 to $80 a month at a guess.

So while we suffer in the news we are probably paying too much, at the very least go to and see if you too could be saving money.

What do you think?

Email, text DP then your message to 021 241 4568, or write to editor, PO Box 1442, Rotorua.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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