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Electricity and Gas legislation passed

Electricity and Gas legislation passed

Government electricity governance policy statement published

Energy Minister Pete Hodgson has today welcomed the completion of the third reading of the Electricity and Gas Industries Bill.

"This government recognises the importance of a properly managed electricity market to the economy and consumers. The market was failing to govern itself. That is why this government created the Electricity Commission. This Bill increases the scope of the Commission to encompass security of supply, consumer protection, competition, demand management, energy efficiency, conservation and the development of distributed generation as well as involving it in the planning of transmission upgrades," says Energy Minister, Pete Hodgson.

While the Electricity Commission will have responsibility for much of the day to day and longer terms operation of the market, the government remains responsible and accountable for setting its direction through government policy statements. The government policy statement (GPS) on electricity governance is published today and is available on the Ministry of Economic Development's website. http://www.med.govt.nz/ers/electric/governance-gps/

The Bill also allows for the establishment of a co-regulatory governance body for the gas industry and backstop powers for the establishment of an Energy Commission.

Other changes include enabling electricity lines companies to own generation equivalent to the higher of 50 MW or 20 per cent of their network load, allowing Transpower to contract for generation to manage grid reliability and delaying the transfer of jurisdiction for the lines targeted price control regime from the Commerce Commission to the Electricity Commission until after 31 March 2009.

The Bill also amends the Crown Minerals Act to enable the enhanced disclosure of petroleum reserves and production information.

"I commend the Commerce Committee for the excellent work it has done in refining this bill and United Future and the Green Party for their support of this Bill."

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