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Final Version Of Electricity Policy Statement Rele

Minister of Energy Pete Hodgson today released the final version of a Government Policy Statement on the further development of New Zealand’s electricity industry.

A draft of the Government Policy Statement was released as part of the Power Package on 3 October 2000 and submissions were invited from key industry participants and consumer groups. The Government sought technical improvements rather than substantial revision.

The statement sets out the Government’s views on electricity industry governance and its expectations for industry action to improve performance. The overall objective is to ensure that electricity is delivered in an efficient, fair, reliable and environmentally sustainable manner to all consumers.

The changes made from the draft version of the statement include:
 clarifying the wording in a number of the guiding principles;
 adding a new guiding principle requiring that the quality of electricity services, and in particular any trade-offs between quality and price, should as far as possible reflect customers' preferences;
 adding a requirement that generators disclose the reasons for hydro spill, as well as the amount, timing and location;
 clarification of the mechanism for imposing fines when the Ombudsman considers a company has breached market rules, including clarification that no double jeopardy arises.

"I would like to thank all those who made submissions for their valuable contribution," Mr Hodgson said. "I strongly encourage all interested parties to take an active and co-operative part in achieving the Government’s expectations."

Last week the Government tabled in Parliament an Electricity Industry Bill containing backstop regulation-making powers for the Energy Minister to introduce the changes required by the Government Policy Statement if the industry fails to deliver.

The final statement is available on the Ministry of Economic Development website (www.med.govt.nz). A version showing the changes made to the draft is also available on the site.

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