Vector told to pay refund
Power company Vector is refusing to make a lump $14 million repayment to Auckland households it overcharged.
Vector admitted to overcharging its customers in a Commerce Commission decision released on July 7, after a change to the way it set prices.
The pricing change meant about a third of households in Auckland were overcharged for power between 2014 and 2015 - amounting to an
$13.9m for Vector.
Auckland based Mercury Energy told Vector it should repay the money in a lump sum to affected households.
But instead of paying it all back at once - which Mercury estimated to be in the vicinity of $25 per home - Vector said it will set a cap on lines charges, reducing the amount of revenue it recovers over two years starting in April 2018.
‘‘Customers shouldn’t have to additional wait, and they will lose sight of the money they are owed,’’ said Julia Jack, Mercury’s chief marketing officer.
‘‘It is actually the customers’ money and it would help them with the current winter chill,’’ Jack said.
Affected customers were in Auckland’s CBD, Avondale, Mangere, Papakura and eastern suburbs.
Mercury wants Vector to accelerate the repayment via a rebate, Jack said.
Vector admitted overcharging its customers, meaning it took $14m more from them than it was entitled to in 2014 and 2015.