6 Feb 2014

9 retailers set to enter electricity market

7:06 am on 6 February 2014

Nine new retailers are looking to enter the electricity market which the Electricity Authority says will enhance competition.

In its latest analysis, the authority says power companies have been absorbing rising costs over the last three years, rather than passing them on fully to customers.

It shows electricity retailers' costs increased 21.5 percent over the last three years, whereas prices charged to customers over the same period went up by only 12.5 percent.

The authority says that while published residential electricity prices increased by 3 percent last year, that figure doesn't include discounts and special offers.

Chief executive Carl Hansen says there's plenty of scope for these new retailers to get market share.

He says it will give consumers broader choice and some of the nine parties who are speaking with the authority have quite different ideas about how to deliver value to consumers.

If consumers value that approach they will sign on with that company which will be successful, but Mr Hansen says if consumers don't value it then those retailers will struggle which is the nature of the market.

He says there's plenty of scope for these new retailers to get market share and deliver value for consumers.