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Living costs to keep rising as power prices climb - Young

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Kiwis will have even less money left in their wallets in 2019 with confirmation electricity prices are to rise, another example of how living costs are growing under this Government, National’s Energy and Resources spokesperson Jonathan Young says.

"Genesis Energy has confirmed a 3 per cent price increase for most of New Zealand. It won’t just affect its own customers because 80 per cent of the electricity it generates from Huntly is supplied to other power companies. They are expected to follow Genesis’ lead in their annual pricing reviews.

"Industry leaders are questioning the Government’s ability to reach its 100 per cent renewable electricity goal without driving up the cost of electricity. Making it even harder is the Government’s ban on new exploration which reduces options for reaching that goal.

"Infratil told its own shareholders bluntly that the Government’s renewables target is ‘not a practical goal and would make it impossible to achieve the largest possible national emission reduction for the least cost.’ Infratil is a major investor in renewable energy and a long-time partner in ventures involving state-entities.

"Genesis, which provides New Zealand’s power of last resort through coal-fired plants at Huntly, says lack of gas would make it harder to stop using coal. It is importing more coal to be ready for next Winter.

"These are the voices the Government should have listened to when banning future exploration because they’re likely to be intimately involved in the transition to a low-carbon economy and could have given an unfiltered assessment of the risks and weaknesses of the policy.

"There is still a vacuum at the heart of the Government’s energy policy - a gap where gas supplies dwindle before advances in technology allow enough new renewable energy to come on stream. We welcome new technology but Megan Woods’ claims on hydrogen filling the gap haven’t been tested.

"A National Government would repeal the ban and engage with all stakeholders in New Zealand’s energy sector to devise a rational and economically prudent path to low emissions. We absolutely believe the country has to respond to climate change and want a solution that fits New Zealand."

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