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Confirmed Terms of Reference for Electricity Price Review

Confirmed Terms of Reference for Electricity Price Review

The Electricity Networks Association (ENA) welcomed the confirmed terms of reference for the Government’s electricity pricing review released yesterday.

Chief executive Graeme Peters said the opportunities for public engagement both in relation to the issues identified by the expert advisory group and then again when the advisory group proposes options to address those issues will allow New Zealanders to have meaningful input into the review.

“It’s important that the public has confidence in the process and issues identified by the review.

“We hope that the process will be as transparent as possible and get to the real facts related to electricity pricing.”

Mr Peters also said it was useful for the terms of reference to acknowledge that in terms of electricity affordability, that this depends on many factors other than electricity prices – including housing quality and income levels.

“The Government has already partially addressed the issue of affordability with its winter fuel payment to superannuitants and beneficiaries.

“The review may highlight how issues of affordability could be best addressed for other low-income groups.”

The reconsideration of the current low fixed charge regulations in the scope of the review was also welcome, Mr Peters said.

“With over 60 percent of consumers currently qualifying for the low fixed charge, these regulations are evidently no longer-fit-for purpose.

“These regulations are unfairly resulting in larger – often low-income – households which don’t qualify subsidising the prices of wealthier smaller households which do.”

“These regulations need to be removed as a matter of urgency.”

ENDS


The Electricity Networks Association represents the 27 electricity distribution businesses (or lines companies) which manage New Zealand’s 29 local lines networks.


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