Govt policy is fuelling electricity price surges

Year-on-year increases in industrial electricity prices since Labour came to office are making the cost of living crisis worse, National’s spokesperson for Energy and Resources Stuart Smith says.

“Figures from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment show that industrial electricity prices have increased by 63 per cent since Labour came to power. Compare that to the final five years under the last National Government, when prices went up by just 0.01 per cent.

“Industrial energy users provide New Zealanders with essential items including fruits and vegetables, milk, building materials, basic household chemicals, and much more.

“When these producers are hit with surging energy prices, these added costs are passed on to the end consumer, meaning Kiwi families are paying more for the essentials.

“Fruit and vegetable growers are one example of an industry struggling with energy costs. After years of rapidly rising prices, many growers can’t afford to heat their glasshouses. That is a core reason why fruit and vegetable prices have increased 15 per cent over the last year, and why Kiwis are forced to pay $15 per kilogram for tomatoes. 

“Labour’s ban on offshore oil and gas has forced New Zealand to boost our coal imports, which has recently had price hikes between 45 and 60 per cent. Instead of importing more coal which produces more emissions, we could have used indigenous natural gas to support our transition to a cleaner, greener economy.

“Double-digit price increases every year since Labour took office shows their energy and climate change policies have missed the mark and Kiwis are paying the price.

“The Government should reverse the offshore oil and gas ban to use the fuel that is already here, which is a better alternative in terms of our climate change ambitions. We simply cannot afford to keep increasing our coal imports, as we have been under Labour.”