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Rural power supply required to continue after 2013

9 May 2008

Rural power supply required to continue after 2013

The supply of electricity to consumers in remote rural areas will continue to be protected by the Electricity Act beyond 2013, Energy Minister David Parker and Rural Affairs Minister Damien O’Connor announced today.

“In 2007, the Labour-led government had been considering how electricity should be supplied to remote users beyond 2013, because the obligation to supply to places supplied as at 1 April 1993 was due to expire on 31 March 2013,” David Parker said.

“Following the consultation, the government will be revising section 62 of the Electricity Act so that the obligation to supply to those places will no longer expire in 2013. The obligation to supply will be able to be met by using either lines or using electricity supplied by alternative local generation, where the local consumers agree.

“This is a win-win situation. It allows distributors to meet the obligation in a more cost-effective way by providing the flexibility needed to accommodate new energy technologies as they become feasible and cost-effective to apply in different settings.”

Damien O’Connor said the expiry date that was built in to the Electricity Act had created concern for some rural communities.

“The Labour-led government instigated this review to give rural communities greater certainty. Maintaining security of supply is a priority, and this applies to rural customers just as much as for those in towns and cities,” said Mr O’Connor.

“Now that consumers have the security of knowing that their electricity supply will be required under the Electricity Act, I hope to see distributors and consumers focus on whether there are better ways to meet the need for electricity, for example, utilising on-site renewable sources and improving efficiency,” said Mr Parker.

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