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Electricity Inquiry Report

MEDIACOM-ELECTRICITY-NETWORKS-ASSOC

ELECTRICITY INQUIRY REPORT

The Electricity Networks Association is studying the Electricity Inquiry's report, which was released by Energy Minister Pete Hodgson earlier today. ENA Chairman Ken Forrest says it's a carefully considered response to a large number of complex issues. The report contains a number of sensible proposals that require further work before they can be implemented to ensure that maximum benefits are available to electricity users.

"We note the higher profile recommended for the Commerce Commission in administering information disclosure arrangements and in targeting unreasonable behaviour if this occurs. The Commission is the appropriate body to do this sort of work. I imagine that most of New Zealand's business community would favour use of the Commission as a professional business overseer rather than moving towards a politically administered regime."

"Similarly, the focus on measuring performance on the basis of outputs such as price and reliability is sensible. Impacts on consumers should be the primary focus of any regulatory system."

The report recognises that a "one size fits all" regulatory approach for such a complex industry would be unfair and distortionary. This view is supported.

"Distribution companies will be pleased that the effort that has been put into establishing industry protocols for customers to switch suppliers has been recognised in the report. This is critical to competition, and the commitment of retailers as well as distributors to set up a fair and efficient switching system will continue."

The Association's members will be focussing on the recommendations relating to improved energy efficiency. They recognise that this is a Government priority.

ends

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