Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Why these big price increases?

The Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment, MBIE, has come out with new estimates of retail electricity prices. One of them is a unit value measure - the $ amount that retail customers paid for electricity, divided by the amount they consumed - and the other is a quarterly survey of what a 'typical' household would pay, if it took up the lowest available offer in its region.
Here is an excerpt from the quarterly survey: to save a bit of space I've shown just the North Island results.

As you can see, MBIE has split out the total retail bill into an electricity lines component and an "energy and other" component, which we can assume will be dominated by the cost of the electricity itself.
I'm struck by some very high percentages increases (highlighted in yellow) in the lines component of people's electricity bills. If it's all down to price increases allowed by the Commerce Commission, fine. But if it isn't, what on earth is going on?

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