Boscawen Urges Investigation Into Power Prices

Press Release – ACT New Zealand

ACT NZ Climate Change Spokesman John Boscawen today called on Parliament’s Commerce Select Committee to conduct an urgent inquiry into the price increases recently announced by Mercury Energy and Contact Energy as a result of the Emissions Trading Scheme.Boscawen Urges Investigation Into Power Prices

John Boscawen MP, ACT New Zealand
Monday, May 31 2010

ACT New Zealand Climate Change Spokesman John Boscawen today called on Parliament’s Commerce Select Committee to conduct an urgent inquiry into the price increases recently announced by Mercury Energy and Contact Energy as a result of the Government’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).

“Both companies announced their price increases last week, and both stand to make windfall profits under the ETS – especially Mercury Energy, which generates most of its electricity from renewable sources,” Mr Boscawen said.

“As a member of the Commerce Select Committee, I believe that it is important that we take this opportunity to clarify the financial impact that the ETS will have on New Zealanders’ household budgets.

“This inquiry should investigate the effect of the ETS on both the cost and price of wholesale electricity; the level of windfall profits that Mighty River Power – which owns Mercury Energy – and Contact Energy might be expected to receive; and what further price increases can be expected by these firms under the ETS.

“No more than two meetings would be required, during which the Committee would invite both Mercury and Contact to explain the reasons for these price increases.

“The ETS is already set to impose a significant cost burden on New Zealand households – a burden that may become crippling if opportunistic companies take advantage of the situation to inflate their profit margins.

“The ETS should be scrapped or delayed but if the Government is dead set on imposing this ridiculous tax on the country, then New Zealanders should be told exactly how it will affect their lives,” Mr Boscawen said.

ENDS

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