Orion proposes price increase for quake work

The lines company Orion has lodged an application with the Commerce Commission to increase prices to cover the cost of fixing its earthquake-damaged infrastructure.

The proposal means the average household could pay an extra $8.70 per month from April next year.

Orion, which operates the electricity network in Christchurch and central Canterbury, publicly announced the draft proposal in November last year and received 38 submissions on it.

Chief executive Rob Jamieson says the proposed increase, which adds 5% to the average household power bill, would stand for 10 years before being revisited.

Mr Jamieson says the commission has 40 days to analyse the 2000-page proposal and decide whether to accept it.

If it is accepted, the commission will begin its own period of public consultation.

"Later this year we expect that they will be consulting with the public once again," says Mr Jamieson. "We'll have a final decision on how the costs of the earthquake recovery will be handled, hopefully by December this year."

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