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Electricity and Gas legislation progresses

30 June 2004 Media Statement

Electricity and Gas legislation progresses

Energy Minister Pete Hodgson has today welcomed the report back to Parliament of the Electricity and Gas Industries Bill.

"This Bill, coupled with action on climate change and to promote gas exploration, is a further milestone in providing New Zealand with energy in an efficient, fair, reliable and sustainable manner post-Maui." said Energy Minister, Pete Hodgson. "I commend the Commerce Committee for the excellent work it has done in refining this bill and support its recommendations."

The Bill contains measures to promote security of supply, consumer protection, competition and sector governance. Significant changes made by the Committee include:

- Introducing a co-regulatory governance body for the gas industry. (Backstop powers remain for the establishment of an Energy Commission which could govern both the electricity and gas sectors.)

- Strengthening the mandate for the Electricity Commission (EC) to promote energy efficiency, including through funding programmes of cost-effective energy efficiency and conservation

- Enabling electricity lines companies to own generation equivalent to the higher of 50 MW or 20 per cent of their network load

- Explicitly allowing Transpower to contract for generation to manage grid reliability

- Requiring the EC to assess alternatives, costs and benefits prior to making rules or regulations

- Delaying the transfer of jurisdiction for the lines targeted price control regime from the Commerce Commission to the EC until after 31 March 2009

ENDS

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