Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Electricity distributors warned about service quality

Commerce Commission warns electricity distributors about service quality

27 June 2014

The Commerce Commission has warned Eastland Network Limited (Eastland), Aurora Energy Limited (Aurora) and Electricity Invercargill Limited (Electricity Invercargill) after they each failed to comply with the quality standards for electricity distributors in 2012.

The Commission sets quality standards to ensure there is no decline in the reliability of service delivered to consumers by electricity distributors. The quality standards place limits on the number and length of interruptions to the supply of electricity that a distributor is allowed in a given year.

The Commission investigated the electricity distributors’ failures to meet the quality standards and found that there was no serious fault on the part of the distributors.

“We consider that the warnings should be enough to deter those companies – and other electricity distribution companies – from failing to comply with the quality standards again,” said Commerce Commission Deputy Chair Sue Begg.

“Following their non-compliance, we have already seen the businesses take positive steps towards ensuring the level of service they deliver to customers in future meets the required standards,” said Ms Begg. “And we are pleased that the companies complied with the quality standards in 2013 and 2014.”

During the onsite investigation of Eastland and Aurora’s networks by the Commission’s engineering advisors, some concerns that might affect the future reliability of those networks were identified. Those concerns were reported to Eastland and Aurora, who have indicated they will consider them alongside the findings of their own internal reviews aimed at ensuring future compliance.

Electricity Invercargill provided evidence that its non-compliance was attributable to three outages caused by isolated operational incidents, so an engineering review of Electricity Invercargill’s network was unnecessary.

“Eastland, Aurora and Electricity Invercargill are now on notice that they are more likely to face penalties should they fail to comply with the quality standards in the future. We expect them to take appropriate steps to mitigate the risk of failing to comply with quality standards again,” said Ms Begg.

“The Commission has taken some time to come to the decision to issue the companies with a warning as assessing the particular circumstances of an electricity distributor’s failure to comply with the quality standards is a complex area. We’d like to acknowledge the cooperation of Eastland, Aurora and Electricity Invercargill with our investigations,” said Ms Begg.

The warning letters, as well as a paper summarising the Commission’s enforcement response to non-compliance with the quality standards for the 2012 assessment period, can be viewed atwww.comcom.govt.nz/default-price-quality-path-enforcement-responses.

Background
Electricity distributors transport electricity from the national grid to homes and businesses.

Eastland’s electricity distribution network area covers the East Cape and Northern Hawke’s Bay regions.

Aurora’s electricity distribution network area covers Dunedin and the Central Otago region.

Electricity Invercargill’s electricity distribution network area covers Invercargill City and the Bluff township area.

Part 4 of the Commerce Act 1986 provides that all suppliers of electricity distribution services are subject to default or customised price-quality regulation unless they are exempt. Exemptions apply for consumer-owned electricity distribution businesses. Eastland, Aurora and Electricity Invercargill are not exempt and are each currently subject to a price-quality path determination that sets a price and quality requirements that must be complied with.

Eastland, Aurora and Electricity Invercargill are each required to provide the Commission with a self-assessment against the quality standards following each annual assessment period. Eastland, Aurora and Electricity Invercargill reported non-compliance with the quality standards in the 2012 assessment period, which ran from 1 April 2011 to 31 March 2012.

The Commission considers that the electricity distributors’ failure to comply with the quality standards amounts to a contravention of a price-quality requirement applying to regulated goods or services as described in section 87(1)(a) of the Commerce Act 1986.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Future Brighter Money: RBNZ Releases New Bank Note Designs

New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year. More>>

ALSO:

Commerce: Supermarket Inquiry Finds No Breaches By Countdown

The Commerce Commission inquiry into anti-competitive behaviour by Countdown supermarkets, alleged by former Labour Party MP Shane Jones, has found nothing to warrant prosecution, although it warns supermarkets to take care in the way they communicate... More>>

ALSO:

Crown Accounts: English Flags ‘Challenge’ To Budget Surplus

Finance Minister Bill English is warning next month’s half yearly fiscal and economic update from the Treasury may not forecast a budget surplus, saying that returning the government’s accounts to surplus in 2015 will be “a challenge”, given the decline in commodity prices and weak global inflation. More>>

ALSO:

March 2015: Netflix To Launch In Australia And New Zealand

World’s Leading Internet Television Network to Offer Original Series, Movies, Documentaries, Stand-Up Comedy Specials and TV Shows for Low Monthly Price More>>

ALSO:

Price Of Cheese (Is Up): Dairy Product Prices Fall To Five-Year Low

Dairy product prices fell in the latest GlobalDairyTrade auction to the lowest level in more than five years, led by declines in rennet casein and skim milk powder. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Australians Scoring Trade Points Against Us With The Chinese

It hasn’t been a great year for Trade Minister Tim Groser... To top it off, Australia has just signed a FTA with China that has far better provisions on dairy exports than what New Zealand currently enjoys in our own FTA with China. More>>

ALSO:

Iwi & Local Consultation: Oil And Gas Block Offer 2015 Begins

Energy and Resources Minister Simon Bridges today announced the start of the Block Offer 2015 process for awarding oil and gas exploration permits. More>>

Industrial Action: Stats NZ Throwing Public Money Away Duplicating Data

The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ are throwing money away by collecting the same data twice for official statistics such as the Consumer Price Index... As part of the ongoing industrial action, field interviewers who are PSA members are continuing to collect data, but are not sending it through to Statistics NZ. More>>

ALSO:

Other Stats:

Space: Rosetta's 'Philae' Makes Historic First Landing On A Comet

After more than a decade traveling through space, a robotic lander built by the European Space Agency has made the first-ever soft landing of a spacecraft on a comet. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news