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1600 dead, power prices 2/3 higher than Oz/US: Market working – Ryall

Written By: - Date published: 2:28 pm, June 19th, 2012 - 81 comments
Categories: capitalism, Privatisation - Tags: , ,

Independent energy analyst Molly Melhuish is putting out some facts that Tony Ryall will not find comfortable.

While Ryall is spouting that 400,000 New Zealanders switching electricity provider proves that the market is working, Molly points out that we pay on average 28.1c per kWh from private companies and 24.79c per kWh from state owned companies – residential customers pay on average 25.05c.

So as we all look forward to our electricity companies being sold off and paying 28.1c (plus – they’re rising by $64 for the 3 months of winter this year and expected to keep going up for a couple more years), we can also look back and see how well the commercial model has gone.

In the last eight years the typical family power bill went up 78% according to Consumer NZ; over 30 years commercial customers have had their rate drop 37% in real terms, and industrial customers 3%. It’s normal Kiwis that are being squeezed.

And far more than they are across the ditch and across the Pacific.  US customers pay on average 15.16c per kWh, and Australia around 15c too.  If our market is so great, how come our companies are so expensive?

Worse than the dollar cost though is the human cost.  Otago University research says that 1600 more people (four times the road toll) die in winter than other seasons.  This will be down to inadequate heating producing poor health.

So is the market working Tony Ryall?

And why is the asset sales process being rushed through parliament, before Treasury can analyse Molly Melhuish’s research?

Is it because evidence doesn’t matter?

[edit: added link to Molly Melhuish’s submission]

81 comments on “1600 dead, power prices 2/3 higher than Oz/US: Market working – Ryall”

  1. maffoo 1

    National – the Babykillers

  2. grumpy 2

    Electricity prices are the biggest rort in the country – and Molly Melhuish is little better, was captured by the electricity establishment 20 years ago. There is only one reason for such ridiculous prices – because they can!

    • Cin77 2.1

      I think you’re on to something there.

      • grumpy 2.1.1

        Perhaps Molly could explain if she feels guilty now in assisting Laurie, Hodge and Roger Sutton at Southpower in influencing Bradford that resulted in the crap heap we have now?

        That would be nice……

  3. The Baron 3

    I don’t agree with this headline at all. You think you can ever heat up winter enough to prevent those 1,600 deaths, Ben? And even if you could, how would that fit with your equally spurious bellyaching about climate change leadership less than a week ago?

    [Amended for my lack of reading comprehension]

    I haven’t even got started yet on what proportion of those deaths can be attributed to “not having the heater on enough”. Weak politicians run weak arguments like this BLOOD ON YOUR HANDS bullshit. The Labour talent pool isn’t that deep, Ben, but even you seem to be sticking to the shallow end.

    Oh sorry, I forgot the purpose of this thread was to blame national for not outlawing deaths in winter. Silly me.

    [Bunji: banned for 2 weeks for author abuse (see: self-martyrdom)]

    • grumpy 3.1

      The electricity pricing bullshit was going right through Labours 3 terms and they just regarded the extra money along with tax. They were grateful that they could spend the additional income on “social” projects. Labour are even more to blame, being hypocrites.

      • The Baron 3.1.1

        Oh nicely put, Grumps! All of that money into the consolidated fund from those SOE dividends.

        QUICK BEN, TELL HELEN SHE HAS BLOOD ON HER HANDS TOO. Moron.

      • Bunji 3.1.2

        So the people who didn’t stop it are even more to blame than the people who did it?

        Not saying Labour are blame free, but let’s see that defence in court…

        (and it’s one thing to see that excess money going to the government and the nation’s interests – it’ll be another all that cash going to foreign owners…)

        • grumpy 3.1.2.1

          …but….but… Bunji, the people who didn’t stop it were the people who ideologically should have felt compelled to do so – until seduced by all that extra income….

          • bbfloyd 3.1.2.1.1

            Dwarf by name… dwarf by nature….you really are becoming an obnoxious cretin little g….get yourself back to the doctor before you injure yourself….

    • Galeandra 3.2

      Here’s a useful site for you to visit, Baron.
      http://issues.co.nz/fairelectricity/DEUN+Manifesto

      Ben Clark’s headline might be a bit of a shock to you, but it is evidence based and shouldn’t put you off reading abut, and considering the issues. The current crowd deserve flak for not only not addressing the issue of pricing’s impact on social costs , but potentially exacerbating it for what look like ideological reasons only.The previous Labour government have their own share of the blame, too.

      And as for the ad hominem attack– well, your words create a risible self-portrait.

    • Ben Clark 3.3

      To quote Dr Barker who did the winter death research:

      “The big question has been, if we didn’t have that exposure to extreme – and partly indoor – cold, would people die of something else?
      “And it’s quite likely they wouldn’t … this excess winter mortality is not inevitable.” […]
      He said some people were surprised such research was being carried out in New Zealand, which seemed “desperate” when compared with Northern Hemisphere countries.
      “There, the idea that people should be cold at home indoors is quite a foreign concept – they’re mystified by it.”

      Something can be done about it, and not having private electricity companies who’ll charge vulnerable elderly people twice as much for power as corporates would be a start.

      Also, re: climate change – most of our electricity generation is renewable, and more could be. Those Dams, Wind turbines, Solar… they’re not contributing to climate change, but they do keep heaters running and people from dying.

      Better insulation and a rental WOF could be equally important, but not pricing warmth out of people’s price range is also a start.

      • grumpy 3.3.1

        Think you’re wrong here Ben. True, people die because their homes are cold but it’s got bugger all to do with power prices.

        The cost of heating a home has more to do with insulation levels, older homes (even new ones) are virtually impossible to heat retroactively. They really could not be heated regardless of electricity prices. In Europe central heating of the who house is usual. In NZ we either have old people hunched over a fan heater in one room or the great heat pump con that leads to high power bills and bugger all heat.

        • Ben Clark 3.3.1.1

          It’s got to be a combination of the 2. There’s no point in that heat all going straight out of the roof, but you’ve got to be able to afford to be warm…

          • grumpy 3.3.1.1.1

            Bullshit, in NZ we have an average heatloss of 80W/m2 based on a 20C differential. In Germany they have 35W/m2 based on a 32C differential.

            If a bucket has a bloody great hole in it, it doesn’t matter how much water you pour in – it won’t get full. Likewise the price of that water is irrelevant – it won’t fill!

            The price of electricity becomes important when you can manage your consumption of it – in most cases in NZ you can’t, you just limit yourself to what you can afford – and it’s never enough.

            • Draco T Bastard 3.3.1.1.1.1

              Going to have to agree with grumpy there but that just means we need to make housing standards even better. And those sorts of standards are good because a house built to such standards doesn’t even need power from the grid to be heated.

              • Grumpy

                Exactly, zero energy houses are already reality in Europe. We just need some balls.

                • bbfloyd

                  What’s “getting some balls” got to do with building better houses? grow up little g…..

                  the first thing that needs doing is to stop electing buck passing, incompetent tories so that they aren’t given the chance to further erode our ability to build those houses ….At an affordable price…….

                  that was your hero birches answer to everything… deregulate… the MARKET was going to provide……..How did that do? .. pretty well considering that the huge profits made out of the deregulation is only costing everyone else upwards of $10 billion…….

                  Leave your testicles out of this….. it’s juvenile…….. and a bit creepy…..

    • Dr Terry 3.4

      The Baron (or more correctly “silly me”?) I think it unfortunate that emphasis is placed upon “deaths”. The real point is that people (mostly the lower placed 20%, at least), are suffering in this country, for a number of reasons, one of these being highly priced heating. Who, other than the Government, must be held to account? Even governments must consider human cost, in company with economic self-interest.

  4. The Baron 4

    Serious point, would someone please link to Molly’s submission? I assume publicly available, but can’t find on parliament website as yet.

    EDIT: Here it is. I am probably linking to it wrong though, so MODS feel free to fix.

    http://www.parliament.nz/NR/rdonlyres/46777021-716E-47FD-B660-D5452999B5E0/220787/50SCFE_EVI_00DBHOH_BILL11223_1_A233413_MollyMelhui.pdf

    A decent author might have done this in the first place, but that wouldn’t have fitted the hysteria. Jesus Christ, Ben, it ain’t this hard pal.

    • The Baron 4.1

      Uh oh Ben, there isn’t anything in here about US and AUS prices either. Got a little linky-loo for that little stunner, cos it doesn’t match anything that I have ever seen or read anywhere else?

      Not that hard… god it really is amateur hour with you, isn’t it.

      • Ben Clark 4.1.1

        Much as you’ve now been banned, I’ll point out that if you read the Herald links in the OP you’d see the numbers for Australian & US prices.

        Also, it’s not my job to link to anything that you might find useful. Abusing people for not doing your work for you when they’re not even paid doesn’t win friends.

        But since you link to Molly’s submission, isn’t it interesting that since Bradford’s electricity reforms in 1991 price / kWH has diverged for residential and non-residential customers so much that we’re now paying twice as much as business for our electricity?

      • Dr Terry 4.1.2

        Nor does blasphemy help your case.

        Nor does blasphemy help your case.

  5. vto 5

    Just like selling land to foreign landlords, not a single compelling reason has been put forward to explain why selling the electricity companies is good for NZ.

    This lot are extremists who refuse to listen to logic. They are hell bent on an ideology, just like religious nuts.

    • grumpy 5.1

      Years ago there was a move to raise prices to Long Range Marginal Cost, or, the cost of the first electricity from new generation. This was argued as needed to attract new generation. Looks like it’s happenning.

      Ask yourself, why should prices go up? What new generation have the power companies built? Line maintainence???

      The assets (dams) are all paid for, transmission lines there – prices just going up because they can……

      • The Baron 5.1.1

        Mmmm hold on a little there… there has been more than a few attempts to build additional capacity that have run into some pretty dire resource consent challenges. Such attempts aren’t free – project aqua didn’t go anywhere, but Meridian spent a bomb on it before giving up. Likewise the recent proposal for the Mokihinui Dam.

        You’re right about the price signalling for capacity though. Buffers for investment should naturally appear as supply fails to meet increasing demand. All other things being equal, that would push prices up above LRIC, providing an incentive to add capacity to capture the windfall. Once supply catches up with demand, an efficient market would see price reductions back down.

        Dunno enough about market efficiency in our electricity. Need to read more and can’t be assed.

        • grumpy 5.1.1.1

          Probably Meridian’s biggest cost for the Mokihinui project was building a new Marae Hall at Arahura (100’s of kms away) for “local” iwi to get their agreement.

          Where is the last new generation or major infrastructure, built – oh I dunno – let’s say the South Island??? That’s right – none, so why the continual price increases?

        • Kotahi Tane Huna 5.1.1.2

          Baron: “…should naturally…” oh yeah? According to what law? Or is it just written that way in the little blue book?

          To put it another way: that all sounds very convincing. Citation please.

          • grumpy 5.1.1.2.1

            Baron is talking about basic Supply and Demand – something that does not exist in the NZ electricity market.

            • Kotahi Tane Huna 5.1.1.2.1.1

              Right – a theory that requires a bunch of caveats when it works at all.

              • grumpy

                …relies on a “free market”. In this case one does not exist.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Natural monopolies don’t have market space.

                  BTW, there’s a reason why the government built the electricity and telecommunications network – private business wouldn’t because it fails to get a financial return but it does get a social return.

        • vto 5.1.1.3

          Baron, Mokihinui was dropped by the power company, nobody else. Similarly, the giant windfarm down south – Hayes project (?).

          The reason they have been dropped is because the demand is not there (nought to do with RMA). As such, following market logic, the price should be falling. But it is not, it is rising. So, explanation please mr clever.

          The whole entire thing is a rip off of gigantic proportions, as grumpy amply points out..

          And who’s defending the whole shooting match? Nobody as far as I can tell, except for extremist politicans like Ryall and Key. And why the fuck would anyone believe them?

          • grumpy 5.1.1.3.1

            Correct vto, as a Righty, I abhor the blatant manipulation of a market and even more the assistance of successive government to facilitate that.

            • vto 5.1.1.3.1.1

              Well yes grumpy, and further consideration would result in the conclusion that such manipulation by governments – dishonest presentation of the facts to secure financial advantage – is fraud.

              Fraud.

              If you or I did that we would be arrested by the Police, charged with fraud, convicted of a criminal offense in the High Court and sent to jail. Why does this not happen to the governments?

              • Kotahi Tane Huna

                Why? For one thing – Parliament is sovereign.

                I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently – the public good that comes from a sovereign parliament against the public bad perpetrated by individuals who promote harmful policies, never mind their motivation.

                I think it makes more sense to strengthen the select committee process – with specific regard to the weighting of evidence – than to criminalise bullshit.

                • vto

                  You forgot to outline your reasons…

                  Why should politicians not be held to at least the same, if not higher, standards as the public? What is stopping it? Why should fraud be ok for politicians?

                  Because currently NZ politicians have only to hold themselves to the lowest standards in the country. Lower than anyone else.

                  • Kotahi Tane Huna

                    My reasons: argument is necessary for democracy to work – to overcome confirmation bias in the same way peer review does for science. However, while science has the luxury of time to reach conclusions, politics does not.

                    Persuasive arguments are just that – they persuade people including politicians and you and I. Some of them (the arguments) are based on evidence (which abounds, when you look) and some are not.

                    The current system allows too many fact-free arguments to influence policy. This is exacerbated by the fact that some political decisions must be made immediately.

                    When politicians sit down together in select committee they assume a responsibility that goes beyond their vote for or against the eventual proposal – I think their responsibilities are best impressed upon them at that level.

                    Parliament is not a football to be passed between the ruling cliques.

                    • vto

                      I don’t know if it all flows out of that. You refer to the parliamentary process not the government itself which is what I was talking about, following grumpy’s point about government manipulation of the electricity sector to secure financial advantage to the government. This is separate from Parliament.

                      Sure I understand the reasons for Parliamentary processes such as privilege etc, with all its massive warts and smells and I wish politicians like Peters would stop referring to it as the highest court in the land – it is nothing of the sort. It merely has powers above the highest court in the land, that is all, and to make that comparison is merely self-serving.

                      But for the government, not Parliament, to present a situation as something it is not in order to secure a financial advantage is fraud. Why is the government held to the lowest standards of honesty, amongst much else, in the country?

        • Dr Terry 5.1.1.4

          Baron, that last line is, finally, most convincing!

  6. tracey 6

    baron your last line cld be straight from the pm’s lips.

  7. grumpy 7

    “…And far more than they are across the ditch and across the Pacific. US customers pay on average 15.16c per kWh, and Australia around 15c too. If our market is so great, how come our companies are so expensive?”

    Because they burn coal? and oil?? and in the US have Nuclear????

    Maybe we should too?

    Or, maybe they haven’t had years of rorting by “energy” companies that pay seriously cunning executives obscene amounts of money to continue the rip-off.

    How many “energy companies” do we have?? and in the population of a reasonably mid sized European city?

    Perhaps we should ask Molly how it all came about?

    • MrSmith 7.1

      One reason prices are so high Grumpy could be that the city consumers subsidize the Rural consumers, as I understand it Rural consumers only pay 10% more for there power than city consumers pay, that’s law I understand (which I’m all for living in the country), someone might be able to confirm that for me. Another reason we pay through the nose could be the power companies have to make a profit which is what around 400/500 million and nothings going to change there selling half of them off, not to mention we have a small population spread over a large area compared to other countries.
       
      I would be all for re-nationalizing electricity in New Zealand tomorrow, it is to important to leave to the market that puts profit before supply, even if ‘I assume’ we have to pay to regulate and watch over it, which is another waste of money.

      • grumpy 7.1.1

        Not true.

        • MrSmith 7.1.1.1

          What every thing I said or just

          Section 62 of the Electricity Act 1992 contains an obligation to maintain lines services to connections established as at April 1, 1993. This obligation expires on March 31, 2013. Lines built after April 1, 1993 are not covered by the obligation.
          Unless section 62 is amended, consumers connected to lines which are uneconomic – i.e.  remote consumers – face uncertainty about continuity of supply at affordable prices.

          From here

          [Bunji: removed massive white space]

          • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.1.1

            Somebody fix that comment please. It’s got a lot of white space in it that’s irritating.

          • Grumpy 7.1.1.1.2

            Ok, partly true, the historic obligation on the old power boards to hook up remote sites was considered in the national interest but this no longer applies, and only to line charges, not energy.

            • MrSmith 7.1.1.1.2.1

              Ok Grumpy we made it to partly true, now please read the quote I posted and read the link. 
               
              Basically all lines built before 1992 have been subsidized to the Rural sector (line rental subsidizes) and these lines are still subsidized to this day, so basically the Rural sector have been getting a free ride on the backs of the average joe (so fucking National) and I can’t see the current government changing that can you?

              • Grumpy

                Nah, there is no subsidy on electricity prices, those lines were separately funded from rural development money. It was not just rich national supporters who got it.

                • MrSmith

                  I never said there was a subsidy on electricity prices I said there was a subsidy on the lines or the fee you get every month called ‘line rental fee’, and I don’t care how they were funded although “rural development money” sounds like another bloody subsidy to me. 
                   
                  and this:
                  “It was not just rich national supporters who got it.” 
                  Well most of the beneficiaries where Farmers and finding a Farmer that doesn’t vote National is like trying to find a virgin in a Catholic girls school.

    • Murray Olsen 7.2

      Most Australian power comes from coal. We pay approximately $A80 a month in Queensland. That’s one of grumpy’s arguments shot down. As for rorting, what the hell was ENRON all about? Please try sticking to some facts, it’s not that hard really.

      • Grumpy 7.2.1

        Enron invented carbon taxes too…….my poin t was that if Australian prices are low by using coal, then perhaps we should too?

        To be. Fair, hydro must always be cheaper than coal, shows how. Much our market is stuffed.

  8. just saying 8

    Well said Ben. I heard your brother speak very well on this issue too*. Good to hear an articulate oppostion position (particularly from a relative beginner).

    *I’m telling you because David doesn’t seem to come here.

  9. Adrian 9

    Are they rushing it because they think the skids are under Banks and he won’t be there in a month or so, hence losing their majority?
    Project Aqua was canned because the clay for the canal banks was going to have to come from North Canty at a huge cost overrun as they hadn’ done their homework on local availability.

    • Dr Terry 9.1

      They are probably rushing it because of dying to announce yet another nasty policy.

  10. Otago University research says that 1600 more people (four times the road toll) die in winter than other seasons. This will be down to inadequate heating producing poor health.

    I’ve seen some dodgy leaping to conclusions on this site before, but this one must be eligible for some kind of prize.

    • grumpy 10.1

      Actually Milt, I think it’s not far from the truth. The fault lies with terrible insulation levels, the great heatpump con and lastly, the price of electricity.

      • Draco T Bastard 10.1.1

        Heat pumps are great, far more efficient than any other heating system except possibly totally passive systems. I suspect the problem lies in poor installation and poor understanding of the system by the purchasers. It doesn’t help that our environment is especially corrosive to the radiators used in them but their aren’t any standards enforcing that the radiators be made corrosive resistant.

        • Grumpy 10.1.1.1

          All that and they plain just don’t work in colder parts of south island. Undersized run continually adding huge power bills. Also, add to maximum demand of grid and generators, leading to more demand for generation.
          The future, as it has been in the past and is now in passive houses is a radiant storage system.
          New Zealand is one of the few countries that regards reverse cycle air conditioners as a heating appliance.

          • Draco T Bastard 10.1.1.1.1

            All that and they plain just don’t work in colder parts of south island.

            Well, most of them don’t but there are some that do.

            As I said, poor understanding of the system by the purchasers. Essentially, people going out and making the wrong decisions due to lack of knowledge.

            The future, as it has been in the past and is now in passive houses is a radiant storage system.

            That’s the best option but it’s going to be decades (even if we put the regulation in place now) before every house is like that which means we need to make a few changes now that work now. Retrofitting insulation and heat-pumps are the best option for now.

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 10.2

      Grumpy’s right Milt – the phrase you quote is simplistic f’sure – but it bears scrutiny.

  11. captain hook 11

    these erks are not responsible to anyone, are self referential and welded to the ideas of milton friedman.
    In short they have lost touch with reality andare not to be trusted.
    they are like post modernists who believe that only there own truths count.
    Its about time the whole nest of them were cleaned out and the thing restarted again.

  12. BLiP 12

    .

    Its difficult to forget Max Bradford’s supercilious smirking at New Zealanders after his 1998/99 electricity market reforms were embedded in legislation. Three years later not an iota of smugness had left him when, in a 2001 confabulation Editorial Review he wrote:

    . . . As uncomfortable as that transition process was for some, the larger, and long-term, benefit of choice and lower prices has been achieved. I would be the first to admit the wide consumer perception in the New Zealand public is that the introduction of a competitive electricity market has been disruptive and, some might say, has not worked. That is a perception that will be gradually replaced by the facts. To return to the old central/local government monopoly days would be folly and a tragedy for consumers . . .

    What a total cockwomble, and now John Key’s National Ltd™ is about to deliver the coup de grâce to what should be a collectively-owned essential service available to all New Zealanders at a fair price. Instead, it is being gifted, risk free, to international casino sharemarket operators for further leveraging into even more imaginary money.

    But poor ole Max unfairly gets to carry the can, in some respects. Sitting here, watching the “debate”, listening to the Hollow Men squabble with their Straw Men, one bullshit National Ltd™ argument followed by another Labour Party recantation, its seems apparent to me now that New Zealand has been betrayed over and over again by those elected to represent the best interests of its people.

    The country’s political machine, I suggest, was fully captured by the corporates in 1983 when Roger Fucking Douglas was slipped his Treasury and Reserve Bank written 51-page “Economic Policy Package”. That document required the Labour Party to abandon its core beliefs, its MPs to abdicate their personal responsibility and hand over the future of New Zealand to market forces. Its not like there was no warning. Back in 1971, accountant-turned-politician Douglas was already talking about using cash profit as a measure of government efficiency. In 1972, he carved up the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation into three state-owned enterprises, and introduced an income-related contributory pension scheme. Turfed out in 1975, Labour had a long wait to get back into power but then along came a drunk Rob Muldoon who, on 14 June 1984, fell into the bankers’ trap. Calling for a snap election to be held in just four weeks time, Muldoon was gambling that Labour would not be prepared. Little did he know, the neo-liberals had already handed Douglas the manifesto which is still in play today.

    • BLiP 12.1

      .

      Don’t get me wrong. I’m not blaming Labour as much as I am blaming New Zealanders. We’ve allowed our politicians to reduce their role to managers just as we have swapped our collective responsibilities of citizenship for the comfort of being individual, molly-coddled, credit-card bearing consumers. Everything is “sweet as” until the job disappears, or a loved one falls ill, or we’re charged with a crime we didn’t commit, or its our six-year-old who’s labelled “FAILURE”, or we end up paralysed in an accident, or have to weigh-up paying the power bill or waiting another week to pick up the prescription from the chemist. It seems sometimes that unless such misfortunes visit us personally, its someone else’s problem. Passionless, “smiling zombies”, indeed.

      • RedLogix 12.1.1

        On song tonight BLiP.

        • BLiP 12.1.1.1

          .

          Very kind of you to say so. I guess there really is something to in vino veritas : )

      • prism 12.1.2

        Blip It’s not my fault, it’s those others. I sometimes wonder if we have had to fight for our freedom against an overseas attacker would we appreciate our rights better. Or is it as Gordon McLauchlan put it in Passionless People page 1 where he says we are ‘a group of people who have nurtured in isolation from the rest of the world a Victorian, lower-middle class. Calvinist, village mentality and brought it right through…’ and run away to ‘drab sameness and emotional numbness’.

        Also, ‘Right now, influence within our society is factionalised, compacted into pressure groups which exert their power almost exclusively for selfish needs without any sense of a total community’ and this results in the outliers being excluded.

        He says further on p.3 ‘I believe there is a deep well of reaction in this country and that the central personality within our homogeneous culture is an authoritarian personality.’

        • Draco T Bastard 12.1.2.1

          ‘I believe there is a deep well of reaction in this country and that the central personality within our homogeneous culture is an authoritarian personality.’

          He could be right about that too.

  13. Draco T Bastard 13

    In the last eight years the typical family power bill went up 78% according to Consumer NZ; over 30 years commercial customers have had their rate drop 37% in real terms, and industrial customers 3%. It’s normal Kiwis that are being squeezed.

    That seems to be normal business claptrap and, interestingly enough, against the supply/demand curve of the economists. For some strange reason the businesses just look at the large numbers they get from other businesses and give a discount when, rationally and in line with present economic theory, they should actually charge large users more. That way power use becomes more efficient whereas the present way cause use to become less efficient as it’s cheaper to use more.

    EDIT:
    As an example when I last worked at a telco they management got up and explained just important VIP (large) customers were and that we really needed to cater to them. They then put up a chart that showed where the money was coming from and where it was going to. The VIPs were costing money and all the profit was coming from the small customers – the ones that didn’t get same day fault fixing. I suspect the same will be true of the electricity market.

    • RedLogix 13.1

      Reminds me…. anyone here know the actual contracted price of electricity to Tiwai Point?

      • Grumpy 13.1.1

        No, but it’s real cheap. But, there are a lot of conditions.

        I know of communities who buy electricity from the LV side of the big transformer out the front. They get a damn good deal too.

      • mike e 13.1.2

        less than the cost of production.

    • Grumpy 13.2

      The large customers getting great deals are normally those who can configure their usage to be attractive to energy companies. Avoiding maximum demand and especially coincident demand while can give good deals. I know of one large customer paying 5c a kW/hr for energy plus line and demand charges.

      • Draco T Bastard 13.2.1

        You do understand that making it cheaper for large users is the actual problem don’t you?

        • Grumpy 13.2.1.1

          Cheaper? Or less expensive? Have you looked at the spot prices recently?

          If you published that then people would take notice, can’t understand why nobody does.

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    The Government has skewed the latest round of charter school applications to assist an American millionaire’s goal of ‘revolutionising” New Zealand’s education system, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. ACT Leader David Seymour and Ngāi Tahu’s Sir Mark Solomon in… ...
    16 hours ago
  • Key’s refugee response at odds with Kiwi traditions
    John Key’s response to the current refugee crisis is out of step with New Zealand’s tradition of pulling its weight internationally, says Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer. “In 1999, under a National Government, New Zealand accepted more than 400… ...
    18 hours ago
  • Coromandel rallies against the TPPA
    On Wednesday, John Key visited the southern Coromandel area with local National MP Scott Simpson and was challenged by citizens who spontaneously organised protests against the Government position on the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). I went down to Waihi… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    18 hours ago
  • John Key: where is your conscience?
    The Prime Minister’s refusal to raise the refugee quota in the face of an international humanitarian crisis shows a lack of empathy and moral leadership, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “There are times in politics when you are faced with… ...
    18 hours ago
  • Report highlights National’s poor funding decisions
    The Government’s poor coordination between its transport strategy and the needs of the regions has been highlighted in a new report by Local Government New Zealand, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Local Government was forced to write its Mobilising… ...
    2 days ago
  • Government wakes up to Opotiki Harbour
    John Key is expected to finally announce Government support next week for the Opotiki Harbour development, says Labour Economic Development spokesperson David Clark. "While it is astonishing that it has taken seven years for the Government to commit to this… ...
    2 days ago
  • New figures show speculators rampant
    New figures released by the Reserve Bank show there’s been an explosion in mortgage lending with most of the growth going to property investors, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Reserve Bank data shows mortgage lending was up 6 per… ...
    3 days ago
  • Spring is here – not pollen your leg
    It’s the first day of spring, and many people will be thinking about getting stuck into the weeds in the garden ready for planting. This year September is also Bee Aware Month. While there is a lack of movement from… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    3 days ago
  • Government must do more to help global refugee crisis
    John Key must urgently increase our refugee quota and let New Zealand play its part in helping address the tragic humanitarian crisis unfolding around the world, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “The refugee crisis in countries like Lebanon and Austria… ...
    3 days ago
  • The latest equal pay case – Go the Midwives
    ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    3 days ago
  • Key’s threat to veto premature
    John Key’s threat that he might use a financial veto against the Bill that will introduce 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave is premature and based on inflated costings, says the bill’s sponsor, Labour ‘s Sue Moroney.  “The Government keeps saying… ...
    4 days ago
  • Reflections on the plastic bag tour
    After a marathon public tour around New Zealand that took me to 29 different places around New Zealand from the far north of Kaitaia to the deep south of Invercargill to talk about phasing out plastic bag use, I wanted… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    4 days ago
  • Labour celebrates Tongan language and diversity
    Tongan Language Week is a timely reminder of the importance and beauty of our Pacific culture, identity and language in New Zealand, says our first Tongan born, Tongan speaking MP Jenny Salesa.  The theme for Tongan Language Week in 2015… ...
    4 days ago
  • Privatising CYF about ideology not care
    John Key’s suggestions today that Child Youth and Family could be privatized will be a terrifying thought for New Zealanders already dealing with the mess created in private prisons and plans to sell our state houses to Australians, Opposition Leader… ...
    4 days ago
  • Govt must make most of Jetstar competition
    Government agencies should pledge to always buy “the best fare of the day” to maximise competition between Jetstar and Air New Zealand and ensure savings for taxpayers while boosting services to regional New Zealand, Labour’s Transport Spokesperson Phil Twyford says.… ...
    4 days ago
  • Time for inquiry into petrol margins
    It’s time for an inquiry into petrol companies as margins are once again at the high levels that prompted concerns late last year, says Labour's Energy Spokesperson Stuart Nash. "Over the December January holiday period, petrol importer margins jumped to… ...
    7 days ago
  • More talk as Auckland congestion worsens
    The main impact of the Government’s agreement with Auckland Council today will be simply to delay still further decisions needed to relieve the city’s traffic congestion, says Labour’s Auckland Issues Spokesperson, Phil Goff. “Government has been aware for more than… ...
    1 week ago
  • Serco inquiry extended
    A two month delay to the Government investigation into prison fight clubs shows the extent of problems within the Serco circus, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “My office received a tsunami of complaints so I’m not surprised the terms… ...
    1 week ago
  • Truck Shops ignore consumer laws
    A damning Commerce Commission report out today highlights the failure of the Government to protect poor and vulnerable families from unscrupulous truck shops, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesperson David Shearer. “The report found that 31 out of 32 firms it… ...
    1 week ago
  • Taihoa at Ihumatao says Labour
    Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford has called on the Government to rethink its controversial Special Housing Area in Māngere. Auckland Council is today meeting to discuss the development which borders the Otuataua Stonefield Historic Reserve. This project is to get… ...
    1 week ago
  • Figures suggest National deliberately excluded farming
    Figures showing the dairy industry would be categorised as high risk if there were a further five severe injuries within a year, strongly suggests National designed its flawed system to deliberately exclude farming, Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway… ...
    1 week ago
  • Bleak report on the state of our children
    A damning conclusion by the Children’s Commissioner today that ‘we don’t know if children are better off as a result of state intervention, but the indications are not good’ should make fixing CYFs a top priority for this Government, says… ...
    1 week ago
  • Dodgy data used to justify axing KiwiSaver kickstart
    National’s agenda to run down KiwiSaver has become even clearer from a scathing critique of the Government’s justification for axing the $1000 kickstart, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Since National came to power they have not only continually undermined… ...
    1 week ago
  • Unsecure website risks Ashley MoBIEson hack
    Experts have raised security concerns that vulnerabilities in MoBIE’s half million-dollar website could lead to a possible Ashley Maddison-style hack, says Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark. “The real issue here is not what data is immediately available, but what… ...
    1 week ago
  • Democracy still the loser in Canterbury
    The Government has demonstrated once again how arrogant and out of touch it is in denying Cantabrians the same democratic rights as the rest of the country, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods.  “The Environment Canterbury Bill which has been… ...
    1 week ago
  • Waiver cost still a mystery
    The Government still has no idea what it’s going to cost community and voluntary groups to get a waiver from the fees police will charge to carry out checks on their staff and volunteers, says Labour’s Community and Voluntary spokesperson… ...
    1 week ago
  • China exports fall 27 per cent in a year
    Exports to China have fallen by 27 per cent over the last 12 months - showing that the looming economic slowdown should have been expected by the Government, says Labour’s Economic Development Spokesperson David Clark. “The Chinese economic slowdown should… ...
    1 week ago
  • National should support all families for 26 weeks
    Families with multiple babies, and those born prematurely or with disabilities, are the winners from moves to extend paid parental leave to 26 weeks but the Government must give all babies the same head start in life, Labour’s spokesperson for… ...
    1 week ago
  • National’s health and safety shambles puts school camps at risk
    Reports that schools are considering scrapping student camps and tearing out playgrounds highlights just how badly National has managed its health and safety reforms, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Schools have been left completely in the dark about the… ...
    1 week ago
  • National’s asset stripping agenda hits schools
    National’s fire-sale of school houses and land is short-sighted, mean-spirited, and will have huge unintended consequences that we will pay for in years to come, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. Documents obtained by Labour show the Ministry of Education… ...
    1 week ago
  • Takahe massacre supposed to get all New Zealanders involved in conservation
    The Minister’s claim that a  botched cull of one of New Zealand’s rarest birds was a way of getting all New Zealanders involved in conservation is offensive and ludicrous, Labour’s conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson says.  “An email from Minister Maggie… ...
    1 week ago
  • Serco circus rolls on with revelations of fight club practice
    Further revelations that a Serco prison guard was coaching inmates on fight club techniques confirms a fully independent inquiry needs to take place, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The Minister’s statement today that a guard was coaching sparring techniques… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government targets put ahead of students’ education
    The Government must urgently reassess the way it sets NCEA targets after a new report found they are forcing schools to “credit farm” and are undermining the qualification, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “A PPTA report released today says… ...
    1 week ago
  • ER patients in corridors as health cuts bite
    Patients are being forced to wait for hours on beds in corridors as cash strapped hospitals struggle to keep up with budget cuts, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. “People coming to the emergency room and being forced to wait… ...
    1 week ago
  • Not too late to fix Health and Safety for New Zealand’s workers
    The Government and its minor party supporters are showing an arrogant disregard for workers’ lives by not agreeing to a cross-party solution to the botched Health and Safety bill, Opposition leader Andrew Little says. “Yesterday I wrote to the Prime… ...
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Council of Infrastructure Development
    Tēnā Kotou Katoa. Thank you so much for having me along to speak today. Can I begin by acknowledging John Rae, the President, and Stephen Selwood, the chief executive of the Council for Infrastructure Development. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Reserve Bank points finger at Govt inaction
    In scathing criticism of the Government’s inaction, the Reserve Bank says Auckland housing supply is growing nowhere near fast enough to make a dent the housing shortage, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Reserve Bank deputy governor Grant Spencer today… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Chickens come home to roost on climate change
    The Government’s gutting of the Emissions Trading Scheme has caused foresters to leave and emissions to rise, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods. “The release of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Facts and Figures Report for 2014 on the ETS… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Website adds to long list of big spends at MBIE
    The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s $560,000 outlay on its new website is further evidence of excessive spending by Steven Joyce on his pet project super ministry, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says.  “Hot on the heels of… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Brownlee warned over EQC repairs but ignored them
    Gerry Brownlee was warned that EQC’s underfloor repairs weren’t being done properly by industry experts, the cross party working group and in public but he arrogantly ignored them all, says Labour’s Earthquake Commission spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove.  “Today’s apology and commitment… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Serco wants in on state house sell off
    The Government must keep scandal plagued outsourcing company Serco away from our state housing after their disastrous record running Mt Eden prison, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Today it has emerged that at the same time Serco was under… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Come clean on Pasifika education centre
    Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iinga needs to come clean and tell the Pasifika communities if he’s working to save the Pasifika Education Centre or shut it down, Labour’s Pasifika spokesperson Su’a William Sio says.  “I’m gutted the Pasifika Education Centre funding… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Time for NZTA to work on alternatives to flyover
    The High Court decision rejecting the New Zealand Transport Agency’s attempts to build the Basin Reserve flyover must now mean that NZTA finally works with the community on other options for transport solutions in Wellington, Grant Robertson and Annette King… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Shiny new system leads to record truancy
    Record high truancy rates shows the Government’s much-vaunted new attendance system is an abysmal failure, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Data released today shows truancy rates have spiked more than 15 per cent in 2014 and are now at… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Woodhouse wrong about quarries
      The Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety Michael Woodhouse was wrong yesterday when he said limestone quarries were covered by the farcical Health and Safety legislation, says Labour’s Associate Labour spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “He said he ‘understood’ limestone quarries… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Taxpayers money spent on culling one of our rarest birds
    It beggars belief that four endangered takahe were killed by incompetent cullers contracted to the Department of Conservation and the Minister must explain this wanton destruction, says Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It must not be forgotten that there are only… ...
    2 weeks ago

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