Teuila Fuatai

Teuila Fuatai is a reporter for the NZ Herald

Families struggle as power prices rise

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Wanganui power bills jumped by $90 in the last year, latest figures reveal.

A local budget advisor warns rising prices are causing havoc for Wanganui residents on low and fixed incomes.

Figures from a Business, Innovation and Employment Ministry survey show average household power costs increased by $90 in the 12 months to February in Wanganui. Nationally, average power bills were up $121.

The MBIE survey compared electricity prices available to new customers on February 15, to rates offered on the same day last year.

Otaihape Maori Komiti budget co-ordinator Shadrack Simi said many residents were struggling to cover basic living costs like food and rent.

"And power has gone up across the board ... and I think we'll see it again coming into winter."

In Wanganui, about 100 Energy Online customers experienced the largest increase in local prices over the 12 month period ($165).

Part of this rise was due to a $61 increase in Powerco lines charges.

Mr Simi said those worse affected by rising power costs were families with young children, single-income households and students.

Consumer NZ recommended customers "shop around" to ensure they receive the cheapest rates. People should compare plans across different power companies, chief executive Sue Chetwin said.


- APNZ

 


Average power price increases

Feb 2012 - Feb 2013

Region Price      Increase

Southland           $194.22

Northland            $176.72

Otago                   $162.38

Christchurch       $150.16

Tauranga             $138.85

Auckland              $127.73

Rotorua                $115.24

Wairarapa            $111.19

Hawkes Bay        $110.82

Wellington            $101.45

Wanganui               $90.56

Waikato                   $89.87

Dunedin                  $79.49

National                $121.32

Figures calculated by Powershop, sourced from Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

- WANGANUI CHRONICLE

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