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EIR Act exemption application from Unison Networks

Commission receives application for EIR Act exemption from Unison Networks Limited

The Commerce Commission has received an application from Unison Networks Limited, seeking exemption from section 17 of the Electricity Industry Reform Act 1998 in relation to its involvement in a proposed wind farm.

Unison Networks Limited has entered into a joint venture with Hydro¡VElectric Corporation of Tasmania, to develop, construct and operate a wind farm to generate electricity in Hawkes Bay.

Unison Networks Limited is an electricity lines business which owns and operates the local distribution networks in the Hawkes Bay, Rotorua and Taupo regions. It also provides management services on a contract basis to Centralines, an electricity lines business based in Waipukurau.

Section 17 of the EIR Act prohibits the cross-involvement of electricity lines and supply companies.

Background

The purpose of the EIR Act is to reform the electricity industry:

ƒ{ƒnto better ensure that costs and prices in the electricity industry are subject to sustained downward pressure

ƒ{ƒnto ensure the benefits of efficient electricity pricing flow through to all classes of consumers

ƒ{ƒnby effectively separating electricity distribution from generation and retail and promoting effective competition in electricity generation and retail markets.

The Commission may grant an exemption only where doing so:

a. would not result in certain involvements in electricity lines businesses and electricity supply businesses which may create incentives or opportunities:

i. to inhibit competition in the electricity industry; or

ii. to cross-subsidise generation activities from electricity lines businesses; and

b. would not result in relationships between electricity lines businesses and electricity supply businesses which are not at arms length.

For further information on the Commission¡¦s role within the EIR Act, visit the Commission¡¦s website, http://www.comcom.govt.nz/acts/eiract/.

A public version of the application is available on the Commission¡¦s website, http://www.comcom.govt.nz/PublicRegisters/eira.aspx

ENDS

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