Power pricing a beneficiary-entitlement issue

LETTER

Electrifying news in a Gisborne Herald report of August 2, 2017. Our District Council pays more than 50 percent of its electricity “total costs compared to consumption (retail) charges” to Eastland Network Ltd (owned by our community trust ECT).

How much of our residential power bill goes to ENL? Is that 50 percent too? I have to say it feels like it this winter, but I think our share is around 40 percent — something that should be shown on our monthly accounts.

We have to pay for the council’s share too, through our rates. The spokesman for ENL, Eastland Group chief executive Matt Todd, is quoted saying: “Eastland Network reviews its prices every year to meet the requirements of regulation.”

The regulations are intended to stop monopoly power-supply companies like ENL over-charging. It is not intended to be used to set a recommended selling price.

ENL has been pinged in the past by the Commerce Commission for overcharging.

Here in Gisborne Tairawhiti and Wairoa we have the highest supply charges for power in New Zealand — which helps produce a large annual profit for ECT.

It would not be so bad if the profit was shared back to the council with a saving in rates. Better though, in my opinion, if we had a general lowering of residential power costs.

But hang on; we have our Mayor on the ECT trust board — he must be aware of this. Perhaps he, or some of our council representatives, will speak to what I see as pricing and beneficiary-entitlement issues at next week’s public annual meeting for ECT beneficiaries?

Our MP Anne Tolley, who might attend as a beneficiary herself, could usefully share her views. It affects 17,000 of us.

winston moreton

Footnote from Eastland Group chief executive Matt Todd:

The delivered residential electricity prices in Gisborne are not the highest in the country.

The MBIE survey in May 2017 showed the delivered residential electricity price in Gisborne was 33.9 cents per kilowatt hour (c/kWh) against a national average of 30.7 c/kWh. Of the 42 regions, six had higher prices than this. Unsurprisingly, these were regions with similar rural low density networks: Buller, Central Hawke’s Bay, Marlborough, Eastern Southland, Northland and West Coast.

Lines charge, which include distribution (Eastland Network) and transmission (Transpower) within Gisborne are 45.57 percent of the bill. There were seven other regions where this was higher.

The decision to split out the lines charges within a consumers’ electricity bill is up to the electricity retailer. Most choose not to, although Eastland Network’s position is that it supports and encourages this separation.

Flick Electric shows a full break down of all line charges. As a Flick customer, my average cost of electricity since I joined has been 30.1 c/kWh, even including higher prices in the past two months as a result of the dry winter, and my savings to date are $349.

Electrifying news in a Gisborne Herald report of August 2, 2017. Our District Council pays more than 50 percent of its electricity “total costs compared to consumption (retail) charges” to Eastland Network Ltd (owned by our community trust ECT).

How much of our residential power bill goes to ENL? Is that 50 percent too? I have to say it feels like it this winter, but I think our share is around 40 percent — something that should be shown on our monthly accounts.

We have to pay for the council’s share too, through our rates. The spokesman for ENL, Eastland Group chief executive Matt Todd, is quoted saying: “Eastland Network reviews its prices every year to meet the requirements of regulation.”

The regulations are intended to stop monopoly power-supply companies like ENL over-charging. It is not intended to be used to set a recommended selling price.

ENL has been pinged in the past by the Commerce Commission for overcharging.

Here in Gisborne Tairawhiti and Wairoa we have the highest supply charges for power in New Zealand — which helps produce a large annual profit for ECT.

It would not be so bad if the profit was shared back to the council with a saving in rates. Better though, in my opinion, if we had a general lowering of residential power costs.

But hang on; we have our Mayor on the ECT trust board — he must be aware of this. Perhaps he, or some of our council representatives, will speak to what I see as pricing and beneficiary-entitlement issues at next week’s public annual meeting for ECT beneficiaries?

Our MP Anne Tolley, who might attend as a beneficiary herself, could usefully share her views. It affects 17,000 of us.

winston moreton

Footnote from Eastland Group chief executive Matt Todd:

The delivered residential electricity prices in Gisborne are not the highest in the country.

The MBIE survey in May 2017 showed the delivered residential electricity price in Gisborne was 33.9 cents per kilowatt hour (c/kWh) against a national average of 30.7 c/kWh. Of the 42 regions, six had higher prices than this. Unsurprisingly, these were regions with similar rural low density networks: Buller, Central Hawke’s Bay, Marlborough, Eastern Southland, Northland and West Coast.

Lines charge, which include distribution (Eastland Network) and transmission (Transpower) within Gisborne are 45.57 percent of the bill. There were seven other regions where this was higher.

The decision to split out the lines charges within a consumers’ electricity bill is up to the electricity retailer. Most choose not to, although Eastland Network’s position is that it supports and encourages this separation.

Flick Electric shows a full break down of all line charges. As a Flick customer, my average cost of electricity since I joined has been 30.1 c/kWh, even including higher prices in the past two months as a result of the dry winter, and my savings to date are $349.

Your email address will not be published. Comments will display after being approved by a staff member. Comments may be edited for clarity.

wiki gerrard - 2 months ago
I am not sure whether to believe you regarding electricity prices in the Gisborne region, Matt Todd. I would like to know who is really benefiting. What benefits does the Gisborne community receive from ECT?

Poll

  • Voting please wait...
    Your vote has been cast. Reloading page...
    Is MMP in its current form the best way for us to elect our government?