[ Bioenergy ]
22 August 2000
NORTH SHORE TIMES ADVERTISER
PO Box 33235
NORTH SHORE CITY
POWER PRICE CHANGE NOT LEGAL
Your correspondent J P Wright (1 Aug) asks for suggestions on the power line charge surge. TransAlta’s virtual doubling of the line charge in a period of no increase from line company United Networks represents social engineering of an inequitable form. Where is the concern for those obliged to economise from financial necessity? It certainly secures a guaranteed higher income for the electricity retailer regardless of levels of consumption. The volume rate changes penalise those who conserve to reduce resource depletion while benefiting those who waste power.
My research reveals that the only contract I have ever entered into is one issued by Waitemata Electricty. Presumably the Energy Companies Act 1992 enabled new power companies to take over such contract and carry on with electricity supply on the same terms. Clause 4 – Tariff Schedule requires at least one month’s notice to be given. TransAlta’s letter dated 10 July giving notice of changes from 1 August does not comply with this term and is thus "ultra vires" to the contract.
I have written to TransAlta’s CEO notifying him that their "proposed" change is not legal. I have recalculated the amount due on the prevailing rates and paid this lesser but legally due amount as full and final settlement for the period covered by the bill.
You may be able to copy this example and achieve a saving but be aware that I am not a solicitor. Customers who plugged in after 1992 should check the terms of any later company contract they may have entered into.
E mail Tim Leitch here or use my Feedback page - use upper or lower menu links.