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Trustpower profit up 80%, hopes price inquiry will be broad

Trustpower hopes the government inquiry into retail power prices will be wide and take into account all factors that push up bills.

The new Government will hold an inquiry into prices with its scope determined before Christmas.

New Energy Minister Megan Woods said she would work out the terms of reference during the next few weeks.

"New Zealanders are paying a lot for their power and we want to see why that is and what opportunities there are for making electricity more affordable," she told .

The minister said she wanted to know how bills could be simplified so customers could tell exactly what they're paying for.

Trustpower boosted its profit by 80 per cent for the past six months and its chief executive, Vince Hawksworth, said wholesale prices had firmed this winter as supply tightened but retail energy charges had been stable for several years.

While transmission and distribution costs may have moved up, energy costs had been kept in check by intense competition among a growing number of retailers.

Hawksworth said his company had simplified bills as much as possible and its customers were most concerned about the total price.

Net profit rose to $80.8 million in the six months ended September 30, from $45 million a year earlier, the Tauranga-based company said.

Operating revenue lifted 3.7 per cent to $520.1m, while operating expenses fell 7.8 per cent to $360.9m.

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