Vec­tor told to pay re­fund

Central Leader - - BODY CARE - NICOLE LAWTON

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.

SIMON MAUDE/STUFF

Vec­tor ad­mit­ted over­charg­ing its cus­tomers, mean­ing it took $14m more from them than it was en­ti­tled to in 2014 and 2015.

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