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Gas needed for transition

5 0 57
08.11.2018

OPINION: While most Kiwis focused on the US political circus this month, an ominous while somewhat obscure business failure occurred in our backyard largely unnoticed.

Payless Energy, a niche electricity retailer quietly announced after seven years in business it could no longer trade, crushed by the weight of record high electricity spot prices.

New Zealand's Electricity Authority, headed by seasoned energy sector expert James Stevenson-Wallace, saw the failure coming and worked to quietly transfer customers of the faltering electricity business to one of its more viable counterparts on November 1.

The industry is expecting more businesses to collapse under the weight of electricity spot prices which have surged as high as $500 a megawatt hour over the past month, close to triple historic October highs.

Customers who signed up to cheaper electricity contracts exposed to spot market prices have been hammered for the past few weeks, some seeing weekly power bills double. Customers are exiting these contracts in droves looking for the security of fixed rate deals.

So why is this happening?

Three key factors have driven up the price........

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