Goff fibs on power prices

On The Nation today:

Duncan        So looking at the asset sales, if you were to get into government and not sell those assets, how would you control power prices?  Because that has been a major issue over the last ten years, and National one of their big attacks in office has been that under your leadership, when I say leadership I talk about the Labour government, power prices went up 70-80% over ten years.  What will you do?  What reassurance can you give to voters that you’ll control power prices.

Phil              Oh the power prices are gonna fluctuate depending on how much extra you build in terms of generation.  No but what you can assure them is this.  That you don’t have an outside foreign investor coming in, wanting a really big return on their investment, because you know, and you know from Contact Energy that this happened, that your power prices will go up if you privatise.  Contact Energy was charging 500 bucks a year more for an average family of four, than any of the SOEs.

As Garner pointed out power prices went up massively under Labour, and the increases under National have been much lower. But the big fib is on Contact Energy charging an average family $500 a year more.

First of all, even if true it would not be a big issue, as people can swap providers and hundreds of thousands have and do. But it is not true.

Consumer has price info for various areas. I picked Auckland to start, as our most populous area. The current prices:

  • Genesis $2,096
  • Mercury $2,083
  • Meridian $1,971
  • Contact $1,918

So in Auckland Contact is cheaper than the three SOEs. The total opposite to what Goff claimed. They are in fact $178 cheaper than the most expensive SOE, not $500 more expensive.

Why is no one in the media fact checking these claims?

I decided to check all four major cities. Christchurch is

  • Meridian $2,055
  • Mercury $1,893
  • Contact $1,833
  • Genesis $1,763

Contact is cheaper than two of the SOEs.

Wellington is

  • Contact $2,093
  • Mercury $2,080
  • Genesis $2,042
  • Meridian $1,945

In Wellington they are more expensive, but by only $13 to $148.

Dunedin is

  • Meridian $1,929
  • Mercury $1,967
  • Contact $1,908
  • Genesis $1,756

Again Contact is cheaper than two of the SOEs.

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