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A Win for Electricity Markets

Media Release 27 February 2012

A Win for Electricity Markets

Pulse Utilities says it is pleased to have contributed to the successful dismissal of a High Court Appeal which sought to overturn a decision by the Electricity Authority that a sudden wholesale electricity price spike in early 2011 was an undesirable trading situation (UTS).

“The matters raised in the Authority’s decision and the subject of the appeals are of great significance to promoting competition in the retail electricity industry, “said Pulse Utilities Chief Executive Dene Biddlecombe. “Our participation in these proceedings was necessary to ensure the voice of competition from independent retailers was heard. ”

Pulse Utilities is one of the country’s fastest growing independent electricity retailers with a commitment to delivering a fair deal to consumers, particularly in rural and small town New Zealand. It has taken on the role of little battler against the industry giants in a bid to promote competition that brings consumers better deals and also accelerates long mooted reforms to the electricity market.

“We are a responsible and active participant in the evolving electricity industry. We were granted intervener status and made submissions to the appeal. The issues being heard were critical to our business future and also of general public importance, both in relation to the 26 March 2011 UTS and future regulation of the electricity industry,” Mr Biddlecombe said.

Pulse Utilities which retails the Just Energy consumer brand has been a strong advocate for ongoing market reforms aimed at ensuring competition, reliability of supply of electricity to consumers and the efficient operation of the electricity industry.

“We didn’t have to get involved in the hearings but it was important that the independent retailers’ viewpoints were heard. Like other players we could not to react in time to this sudden wholesale price spike and its ramifications. We believe it is vital for the Electricity Authority to continue to have the power to investigate and declare a UTS to retain confidence in the operation of the wholesale electricity market,” Mr Biddlecombe said. “We are a responsible, consumer-focused operator and conservative in our hedging so are well placed to manage normal market volatility.”

The appeal against the Electricity Authority’s decision to declare a UTS was brought by Bay of Plenty Energy/Todd Energy, Contact Energy and Genesis Power.

Various parties, including Pulse, applied to the High Court to participate in the appeals. A hearing was held at the Wellington High Court on 16 August 2011.

About Pulse
Pulse Utilities is an independent electricity retailer, listed on the New Zealand Stock Exchange. It is one of the fastest growing retailers in the country with its Just Energy brand attracting 32,000 customers with a promise of keeping prices as a low as possible for as long as possible with a full service, fair deal offer. The company believes that Kiwis should pay much less and smaller players should have fairer access to electricity supply in order to benefit consumers. The company sees itself as a little battler against the big electricity generators and retailers and runs a Little Battler community support schemes in its provincial and rural markets.


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