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John Key tells consumers to 'shop around' for power

Published: 11:57AM Monday March 10, 2014 Source: ONE News

With power bills set to rise Prime Minister John Key says shopping around might be a way to save on the price hike.

Most big power retailers are raising their prices to record levels within the next month, with some in the capital set to be hit with increases of up to 7%.

Retailers and electricity networks are blaming each other for the rises but Mr Key says consumers have options for their suppliers.

"We have a very competitive market," he says, "consumers should absolutely shop around. Lots of consumers change their supplier and they can get lower prices by doing that."

Mr Key says that the price of power has been tracked throughout the time National has been in Government and has compared it to what happened under the previous administration.

"Ours has been going up slower, at a slower rate."

Mr Key added that maintenance to power lines was a contributor to the price hike.

Meanwhile, tens of thousands of Kiwis on pre-pay electricity plans are being charged up to 60% more than those on ordinary plans, figures obtained by ONE News reveal.

Labour's energy spokesperson David Shearer says; "It's grossly unfair that these people, the poorest people in our society who have no choices, should be stung by our power companies in the search for more profit."

Labour claims in some cases families on the cheapest pre-pay plan pay more than $1,500 more than those on a standard plan.

Mr Key said the Opposition "will make all sorts of claims" and that there's only one thing to remember, "Their record was far worse."