14 Sep 2018

Electricity Authority skeptical of claims about energy generators' profits

5:25 pm on 14 September 2018

The electricity market regulator says it's sceptical about claims energy generators pocketed an extra $5.5 billion over seven years.

Electricity pylon.

Photo: AFP

A University of Auckland report calculated the difference between what traders in generator firms would have made if power was always sold at cost and what they earned between 2010 and 2016.

But Electricity Authority acting chief executive Rory Blundell said the report was inconsistent with recent findings from the recently set up Electricity Price Review Panel.

"This kind of analysis has been found wanting in the past and we believe will again," Mr Blundell said.

The panel was able to do further investigations if it believed that was necessary, he said.

"The authority specifically looks for instances when generators could potentially profit from raising prices. In 2017, we did not identify any such periods.

"We have provided this information to the panel."

The review panel published its first electricity price report in late August.

Its final report is due to be delivered to Energy Minister Megan Woods in May next year.

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