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