Ge­n­e­sis plans price hikes in new year

The Dominion Post - - Business - Su­san Ed­munds

Ge­n­e­sis En­ergy cus­tomers are get­ting a new-year price rise.

The power gen­er­a­tor and re­tailer has re­vealed it will in­crease its prices by 3 per cent through­out the coun­try on Jan­uary 8, ex­cept in Ti­maru and the Far North, where prices will rise 4.5 per cent.

A Ge­n­e­sis spokes­woman said that was due to fac­tors in­clud­ing whole­sale prices, the cost of car­bon, and op­er­a­tional and net­work costs.

‘‘In a highly com­pet­i­tive mar­ket we know cus­tomers have a choice, which is why we’re fo­cused on de­liv­er­ing value through tools that help our cus­tomers un­der­stand and man­age their en­ergy use.’’

She said it had been 12 months since it last re­viewed its stan­dard res­i­den­tial elec­tric­ity prices.

Cus­tomers who are on fixed­price plans will not pay the new price until their con­tract ex­pires.

The move comes af­ter a strong quar­ter in terms of gen­er­a­tion for Ge­n­e­sis, which is putting the com­pany at the top end of its profit fore­cast of $370 mil­lion this year.

It re­ported an 86 per cent drop in profit in the last fi­nan­cial year to $20m.

Ge­n­e­sis does not have to in­form cus­tomers about price in­creases di­rectly until they are big­ger than 5 per cent.

A Vec­tor spokesman re­jected the claim that lines-com­pany prices were be­hind the move.

‘‘We find it a bit rich that they [Ge­n­e­sis] have cited net­work costs as a fac­tor in their pro­posed price rises, given Auck­land net­work charges ac­tu­ally dropped on av­er­age by about 1.35 per cent this year, and we have pro­posed to re­tail­ers, in­clud­ing Ge­n­e­sis, that av­er­age Auck­land net­work charges will drop again next year by a sim­i­lar amount. There­fore their pro­posed in­crease is ef­fec­tively even higher.’’

Mean­while, Fon­terra has asked to join the un­de­sir­able trading sit­u­a­tion (UTS) com­plaint laid by Flick Elec­tric, Pulse, Vo­cus Com­mu­ni­ca­tions and Elec­tric Kiwi with the Elec­tric­ity Au­thor­ity, re­lat­ing to whole­sale price in­creases in Oc­to­ber.

KIRK HARGREAVES/ STUFF

Ge­n­e­sis En­ergy says it will raise prices by 3 per cent through­out the coun­try on Jan­uary 8, ex­cept in Ti­maru and the Far North, where prices will rise 4.5 per cent.

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