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Energy Trusts of New Zealand (ETNZ)

Media background Monday 16 May 2005

Energy Trusts of New Zealand (ETNZ)

- The ETNZ is the national organisation for 24 energy trusts, the majority of whom own shares in companies that operate electricity networks (lines businesses).

- Member trusts have investments of more than $5 billion in these lines companies.

- The trusts that own most of the lines industry on behalf of communities or consumers are not involved in day-to-day management. However, like any group of shareholders, have rights to appoint suitably qualified directors to the boards of the companies they own.

- While some of the Trusts have deeds and responsibilities which are similar, many are varied and may include community trusts, consumer trusts and a mix of appointed/elected people on them.

- Consumer ownership allows local businesses, industry and individuals to have input on issues like the supply stability of the networks and the pricing mechanisms of their local lines company.

- Trusts are obliged to foster an environment that enables lines companies to operate as successful businesses. This is very difficult under the current heavy regulatory regime.

- For example, the removal of cross-ownership restriction would enable lines companies to freely generate and retail electricity. This would positively encourage increased investment and competition in both generation and retailing, to the benefit of consumers.

- Currently, retailers do not have to separate the energy and distribution costs on the bill. ETNZ supports more transparent billing information for consumers.

- ETNZ works closely with The Electricity Networks Association (ENA) which represents the interests of the country's electricity lines companies - the lines sector.

- ENA's 24 members are the lines companies marked on the diagram below. They range in size from Vector, with about 750,000 end users, down to Buller Electricity, with about 4,000.

- The ETNZ Conference provides a forum for representatives from the energy trusts to share knowledge and to hear from key stakeholders involved in the energy sector.

Lines Companies

1. Top Energy
2. Northpower
3. Vector (UnitedNetworks)
4. Vector
5. Horizon Energy Dist.
6. Counties Power
7. WEL Networks 8. Waipa Networks
9. The Lines Company
10. Powerco
11. Eastland Network
12. Hawke's Bay Network
13. Centralines
14. ScanPower 15. Electra
16. Nelson Electricity
17. Marlborough Lines
18. Network Tasman
19. Buller Network
20. Westpower
21. MainPower 22. Orion Group
23. Electricity Ashburton
24. Networks South
25. Delta Utility Services
26. PowerNet
27. Stewart Island


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