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Church in NZ explores cut-price scheme for electricity

An effort is under way to use the muscle of New Zealand Church agencies and institutions to get a better deal on electricity prices.

NZ Catholic reports that Catholic agencies and institutions, including schools and parishes, are to receive letters asking for details of their electricity use. The information will enable the Church, as one body across New Zealand, to see if it can gain worthwhile price savings.

The financial administrator of Wellington archdiocese, Gordon Copeland, said accountancy firm Ernst and Young had been hired to run the project. It was not known how much electricity the Church used, but it must be significantly more than $A1.62 million worth a year.

"What we are asking all parts of the Church to do is to send in information about who their current supplier is, how much they are paying and any contractual arrangements they have," Mr Copeland said. The intention was that after that information had been collected, Ernst and Young would start negotiating contracts for the Church.

The more support the project received, the more muscle the Church would have to negotiate good deals, Mr Copeland said. It was impossible to say how big any savings might be, and he thought suppliers were more likely to offer reductions on the spot market price, than savings on fixed contracts. Fixed contracts could hurt the suppliers if electricity demand subsequently rose.

In Australia, Catholic Telecommunications' parent body Church Resources has been active since 1997 exploiting the buying power of the Church in an effort to achieve savings for Catholic organisations.

Church Resources (Australia)

NZ Catholic