Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 

Call for independent review of electricity pricing reforms


Thursday 06 October 2016 06:00 PM

Lobby group calls for independent review of electricity pricing reforms

By Fiona Rotherham

Oct. 6 (BusinessDesk) - An independent external review and better processes are needed before the Electricity Authority proceeds with the latest reform of how the national grid is paid for, says a group of consumer trusts, businesses, farming, local government and electricity sector participants.

The group includes the Ashburton District Council, the Auckland Chamber of Commerce, Counties Power and its consumer trust, EA Networks, EMA Northern, Entrust, Auckland Federated Farmers, Northpower, Norske Skog, New Zealand Steel, Top Energy and Vector.

The authority’s board met in Wellington yesterday to decide on its transmission pricing methodology proposals. Published submissions on the proposal revealed fresh divisions over how to ensure the costs of the wires that carry electricity from power stations to all parts of the country are allocated fairly, with objections largely resting on whether the submitter's region would be better or worse off.

Submissions were roughly two to one against and that’s why independent international experts are needed to review the authority’s work, especially the cost-benefit calculations, said group spokesman Kim Campbell, chief executive of the Employers and Manufacturers Association, which is spear-heading opposition to the proposals, which would raise transmission charges to the north of the North Island, where billions of dollars of upgrades are providing benefits to consumers in Auckland and further north.

“If the authority is confident in the quality of its analysis, it has nothing to fear from an independent review. And if there are problems, then we’ll all be spared a restructuring that could rival the Bradford reforms for controversy," he said, referring to the reforms in 1998 that split the competitive provision of retail electricity services from the monopoly-owned local owners of electricity networks.

The group wants all parties brought together in a working group and cross-submissions to achieve a lasting consensus which the present “propose-respond” approach won’t achieve, Campbell said.

It’s also calling for the government to separately commission a wider review of the proposals to include social and economic impacts, given the authority’s narrow mandate to look at the efficiency of the electricity system only.

The authority’s own data shows consumers connected to electricity lines companies in the gun will be worse off to the tune of $115 million a year, while those connect to lines companies that benefit will only be $46 million ahead. One major beneficiary would be the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter, owned by Australian metals giant Rio Tinto, while Australian-owned NZ Steel, south of Auckland, would be a net loser.

State-owned grid operator, Transpower, suggested in its submission an alternative “simplified, staged approach” to resolve the long-running impasse and said it doesn’t believe the EA’s proposals can be implemented by April 2019, as proposed.

(BusinessDesk)

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

NZTA: Major New Zealand Upgrade Programme Projects Go To Tender

Two major New Zealand Upgrade Programme projects are beginning tenders for construction. The New Zealand Upgrade Programme is a $6.8 billion investment to get our cities moving, to save lives and boost productivity in growth areas. The first Auckland ... More>>

Reserve Bank: RBNZ Seeks To Preserve Benefits Of Cash

The Reserve Bank – Te Pūtea Matua is taking on a new role of steward of the cash system “to preserve the benefits of cash for all who need them”, Assistant Governor Christian Hawkesby told the Royal Numismatics Society of New Zealand annual conference ... More>>

ALSO:

Economy: Double-Dip Recession Next Year, But Housing Rolls On

New Zealand's economy is expected to slip back into recession early next year as delayed job losses, falling consumer spending, and the absence of international tourists bites into growth. More>>

ALSO:

Microsoft New Zealand: Microsoft Expands “Highway To A Hundred Unicorns” Initiative To Support Startups In Asia Pacific

New Zealand, 14 October 2020 – Today Microsoft for Startups launches the Highway to a Hundred Unicorns initiative in Asia Pacific to strengthen the region’s startup ecosystem. This follows the initiative’s success in India, where 56 startups were ... More>>

Fonterra: Farmers Taking Another Step Towards New Zealand’s Low Emissions Food Production

They’re hot off the press and intended to help take the heat out of climate change. Fonterra farmers are already among the world’s most sustainable producers of milk and now have an additional tool in their sustainability toolbox. Over the last few ... More>>

ALSO:

Electricity: New Zealand Remains In Top 10 For Energy Balance

The World Energy Council’s Energy Trilemma Index has become part of the energy dialogue both globally and in New Zealand. The Index illustrates the need for countries to balance energy security, energy equity and environmental sustainability. New Zealand ... More>>

ALSO:


Courts: Businessman Eric Watson Sentenced To A Four-Month Jail Term

New Zealand businessman Eric Watson has been sentenced to a four-month jail term in the UK for contempt of court, TVNZ reports. More>>

OECD: Area Employment Rate Falls By 4.0 Percentage Points, To 64.6% In Second Quarter Of 2020

The OECD area employment rate – the share of the working-age population with jobs – fell by 4.0 percentage points, to 64.6%, in the second quarter of 2020, its lowest level since the fourth quarter of 2010. Across the OECD area, 560 million persons ... More>>

Spark: Turns On 5G In Auckland And Offers A Glimpse Into The Future Of Smart Cities

Spark turned on 5G in downtown Auckland today and has partnered with Auckland Transport (AT) to showcase some of the latest in IoT (Internet of Things) technology and demonstrate what the future could look like for Auckland’s CBD with the power of 5G. 5G is ... More>>

Stats NZ: Monthly Migration Remains Low

Since the border closed in late-March 2020, net migration has averaged about 300 a month, Stats NZ said today. In the five months from April to August 2020, overall net migration was provisionally estimated at 1,700. This was made up of a net gain ... More>>

University of Canterbury: Proglacial Lakes Are Accelerating Glacier Ice Loss

Lake Tasman, New Zealand | 2016 | Photo: Dr Jenna Sutherland Meltwater lakes that form at glacier margins cause ice to recede much further and faster compared to glaciers that terminate on land, according to a new study. But the effects of these glacial ... More>>

ALSO:

Dairy: Fonterra Sells China Farms

Fonterra has agreed to sell its China farms for a total of $555 million (RMB 2.5 billion*1), after successfully developing the farms alongside local partners. Inner Mongolia Natural Dairy Co., Ltd, a subsidiary of China Youran Dairy Group Limited ... More>>

ALSO: