Meridian Energy customers in 13 North Island centres started paying an average of 4 percent more for power at the start of July. The rise adds about $104 to customers’ bills for the year.
The price increase affects more than 65,000 Meridian customers in Northland, Auckland, Thames Valley, Waipa, central Hawke’s Bay, Wairarapa, Taranaki and Manawatu. Average increases vary by area from 3 to 6 percent.
Meridian’s announcement comes despite flat electricity demand. Other large power companies, including Genesis Energy and Mighty River Power, stated earlier this year they were not increasing their energy charges.
The company said it had held its prices in most areas for four years but costs had risen. These included moving call centre staff to the living wage.
Meridian’s 2014 annual report records an after-tax profit of $229.8 million. The company is due to release its 2015 results on 19 August.