A major review of electricity pricing has been launched to find out whether New Zealanders are paying too much.

The government initiative comes after the International Energy Authority said electricity prices here have risen much faster than other countries.

Mother of six, Lorraine Monga, lives in an uninsulated home and says paying for power can be a real struggle.

“There are times when the money is not there for me so we’ll let it get cut and then it's easy to put back on once we can put the money back on.”

Mangere Budgeting Services encounter low-income whānau every day and CEO Darryl Evans welcomes the inquiry into electricity prices.

“When you see families that can't keep the power connected because they simply don't have enough money, they can't heat their homes, they obviously can't cook their food and a higher power price takes kai off the table.”

With only one-third of the electricity industry being price controlled, according to Graeme Peters the Chief Executive of Electricity Networks Association, this review is overdue.

“Well there are other sectors of the electricity value chain that aren’t price controlled and I think it's right that a panel should look at that.”

Peters also says the cross-subsidy should be scrapped.

“The cross-subsidy that I am talking about here is the fact that bigger households which are on lower incomes are paying more than they should for their power as opposed to smaller wealthier households and that's unfair on those households.”

Monga hopes that the report will highlight the struggles of low-income families.

“The extra would help; it would help a lot for me. It would help me with gas with the tamariki, food on the table and extra costings towards our tamariki and clothing.”

Early next year this mother and other New Zealanders will see the results of the report.

The government initiative comes after the International Energy Authority said electricity prices here have risen much faster than other countries.
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