16 Jun 2020

Aurora Energy customers face up to $30 price hike a month

11:57 am on 16 June 2020

Lower South Island electricity supplier Aurora Energy has applied to increase prices to fund a $383 million network investment plan.

Power lines in the Hawke's Bay area

Representational image. Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

The company, which distributes power to Dunedin and Central Otago and Queenstown-Lakes, is proposing significant increases which would mean the average residential power bill would go up by $20 to $30 a month, depending what region customers are in.

Aurora said the money was needed to address historical underinvestment in its network, resulting in a gradual deterioration of its equipment.

It said in recent years this had caused a higher number of safety incidents and an increasing number of unplanned power cuts.

The company was fined nearly $5m this year after excessive outages between 2016 and 2019.

The Commerce Commission will make a final decision in March and any increase will take effect in April 2021.

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