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Electricity Industry self-governing arrangements

MAJOR ELECTRICITY USERS' GROUP


Wednesday, 6 June 2001
For immediate release
Media release by the Major Electricity Users’ Group (MEUG)
Contact: Ralph Matthes, (04) 385 2945

Major users’ advise caution on progress to date with Electricity Industry self-governing arrangements

“The consultation package for a new governance regime and set of rules over mandatory aspects of the wholesale market and transmission services will be considered very cautiously by consumers” said Ralph Matthes, Executive Director of the Major Electricity Users’ Group (MEUG).

“Consumers including MEUG members have participated in the Electricity Governance Establishment Committee process to develop the new governance and operational rules. There are aspects of the new arrangements which are important to consumers but which in our view have not been adequately addressed. For example it is debatable if the design of the new arrangements meets the underlying premise of the Governments Policy Statement of December 2000 that the new governance board should not be controlled by the supply side of the industry. Decision making processes need to ensure that there is balance between the interests of consumers and suppliers but the proposed arrangements provide for the supply side to control the rule making and changing processes.

“Consumers are critically aware that we are at a cross-roads in designing a policy framework to ensure electricity is delivered at a quality desired by consumers at the lowest sustainable cost. The monopoly line component of end consumers power bills, which for an average household is about half the cost, are still not subject to effective regulation. The consultation package is a partial step towards addressing part of the industry’s problems – but only the Government can fix the monopoly line problems,” concluded Mr Matthes.



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