Northlanders accounted for nearly 15 per cent of all submissions to the Electricity Authority on its proposal to grant Transpower an annual increase in power charges of nearly $300 per household.

None of the Northland submissions supported the proposal, saying it patently favours large consumers and metropolitan areas such as Auckland at the expense of poor and remote areas.

The independent Crown entity sought public feedback on changes to the way transmission costs are charged by Transpower, which wants to recover the full cost of its services, including $3 billion of upgrades in the North Island.

The authority has proposed multiple options, including increasing lines charges for Top Energy customers in the Far North from $155 to $421- an increase of 172 per cent - and from $300 to $560 or an 87 per cent hike for customers on Northpower network in Whangarei and Kaipara.


One option would mean a slight decrease of about $6 per year in lines charges for an average household.

Although the Commerce Commission is responsible for setting Transpower's total regulated revenue requirements, the authority is responsible for approving the method by which Transpower shares the income among its transmission customers.

Of the 89 submissions the authority received, 13 were from Northland.

Lines' companies Top Energy and Northpower, Refining NZ, and Northland MP Winston Peters were among those who made submissions.

The Tai Tokerau Northland Economic Action Plan Advisory Group said of particular concern was the authority's proposal to retrospectively recover costs from large investments by Transpower outside of Northland which would be poor regulatory practice.

Refining NZ chief executive Sjoerd Post said the authority's proposal was at odds with the Government's push to incentivise people to move to regional New Zealand.

Whangarei resident Ross Clark said the authority's proposal paper was a "confusing maze of corporate-controlled, jargon-described" arrangements beyond the easy comprehension of the public.

"Electricity is a national asset for all NZ and pricing should be fair and equitable to all regardless of location."

The authority is expected to make a final decision by mid-2016. If approved, the earliest any transmission price changes would apply is from April 2019.