22 Aug 2012

Higher power charges could result from new rules

12:31 pm on 22 August 2012

Some rural electricity customers could have to pay more for their power if a new way of regulating lines companies is approved.

Draft rules for the cost of transmitting electricity have been issued by the Commerce Commission under a policy that allows lines companies to be regulated as natural monopolies.

If adopted, the rules could bring price rises of $10 to $13 per month for some customers. However, many urban customers could have price cuts.

Christchurch customers are excluded because the lines company there is being treated differently in the light of the earthquakes.

The commission says the proposals are open to submissions from the industry and notes that the methods used to calculate prices are currently being challenged in the High Court.