An investor in Contact Energy says the amount of money it spends on network distribution is a black mark on its profits.
Shareholder and former Contact board member John Milne was one of only four people who fired questions from from the floor at the company's annual general meeting in Wellington yesterday.
Mr Milne said that while Contact achieved a very excellent result, a $234 million net profit for the year ended June, he noted that lines charges rose $120 million in the same period.
This was passed on to retail customers, he said.
Mr Milne suggested the company needed to do a better job of explaining to investors the link between rising lines costs and the bulging power bills people get in the post.
Contact Energy chief executive of Dennis Barnes agreed that the connection was not clear.