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Commerce Commission: Electricity Price Control

Commerce Commission will be open in its approach to electricity price control

"The Commission will be as open as possible in its approach to electricity price control. It is important, both for the industry and for the benefit of consumers, that there is an open and transparent regime, with a high degree of regulatory certainty", said Commission Chair, John Belgrave, in speaking today at an electricity industry reform conference in Wellington.

Mr Belgrave was outlining the approach that the Commission would be taking to developing and implementing a price control regime for electricity line businesses.

"The Commission had initiated its own price control inquiry, under the existing legislation, and was now proceeding apace. A preliminary issues paper had been released by the Commission and the submissions received, which had been very helpful, have been drawn on in planning the Commission's future programme of work.

"It will take time for the Commission to build up internal expertise, and initially there will be considerable reliance on the use of consultants. Requests for proposals have been issued to consultants to undertake detailed study of both approaches to price control, and the all important questions of how to value line business assets. Proposals were received from a range of consultants earlier this week, and these are currently being evaluated by the Commission. It is hoped to get detailed work on the options under way before the end of the year.

"It is important that the industry and other interested parties are fully informed of the steps the Commission is taking, and also that they are able to put their point of view. I am therefore delighted to have this opportunity to address this conference, to further explain the Commission's approach and outline the progress we are making", said Mr Belgrave.


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