14 Apr 2021

Soaring energy prices hit businesses

From Nine To Noon, 9:08 am on 14 April 2021
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Photo: 123rf.com

Low hydro lake levels and soaring wholesale electricity prices are causing some businesses to temporarily shut down operations, and more will follow, according to the Major Electricity Users' Group.

Data from energy consultancy firm Energy Link shows wholesale power prices are nearly seven times higher than they were a year ago, at $314.44 per megawatt hour (MWh) and have reached as high as $500 (MWh) in the past fortnight.

The Norske Skog paper mill in Kawerau shut production for two weeks recently because of the high electricity cost and New Zealand Steel to scale down its operations at its site in Glenbrook for the same reason.

The Minister for Energy and Resources Megan Woods has acknowledged higher prices are impacting businesses and the Electricity Authority is conducting a review of the review wholesale market.

Kathryn speaks with chair of the Major Electricity Users' Group, John Harbord.