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MEUG welcomes decisions on power sector

MAJOR ELECTRICITY USERS' GROUP
Thursday, 10th December 2009
Media release by the Major Electricity Users’ Group (MEUG)

MEUG welcomes decisions on power sector

“The decisions on the electricity market and governance announced by the Minister of Energy, Hon Gerry Brownlee, is a very good package of reforms” said Ralph Matthes, Executive Director of the Major Electricity Users’ Group (MEUG).

“Government’s consideration of the recommendations by the Electricity Technical Advisory Group to the Ministerial Review has clearly recognised the need to boost competition in the retail and wholesale markets. MEUG particularly welcome the decisions on an asset swap and virtual asset swap between SOE. These are bold decisions that, in our view, reflect the seriousness of Government to do something about market power issues.”

“We also welcome changing the ownership of Whirinaki power station from Government to Meridian Energy and that station being run commercially. The final decision also strengthens the need for active monitoring of the market in addition to earlier release of generation offers.”

“There are second-order details still to be worked through such as continuing the existing policy to tax large efficient manufacturing enterprises to subsidise electricity efficiency programmes for others sectors of the economy. Details of the proposed new regulatory governance regime and the transition to the new Electricity Authority have yet to be published or decided. Once available we will be carefully reviewing those details to ensure, for example, that there is no reduction in the scrutiny of requests for approval of transmission upgrades, the cost of which is then compulsorily recovered from end consumers.”

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“Now decisions have been made this will remove a lot of the uncertainty suppliers had about the future structure of the industry. Voluntary development by suppliers of the forward and futures and options markets should now gain momentum and we look forward to working with suppliers on those developments.”

“We also look forward to working with Government, the Select Committee, officials, suppliers and other consumers to finalise and implement the package of reforms” concluded Mr Matthes.

ENDS

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