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Electricity Authority Orders Review Under The Electricity Industry Act 2010

The Electricity Authority has ordered a review of the 9 August 2021 electricity cuts, while working with industry over the past few days to secure more information about the event and the impact on consumers.

"The Authority is using its powers to investigate the problem and provide New Zealand consumers with urgent assurance after Monday’s event," says James Stevenson-Wallace, Chief Executive of the Electricity Authority.

"We are very disappointed that some consumers were left without power on one of the coldest nights this year. Our focus over the past few days has been on the extent of the impact on consumers and initiating a review under the Act to give assurance to the New Zealand public."

The review has two phases.

1.Phase one of the review will seek immediate assurance that any systemic and process issues that led to Monday’s power cuts are urgently corrected. In particular, the review will be around the system operator’s demand allocation tool and communications. This part of the review will be completed in two weeks.

2.Phase two of the review will be wider than the system operator’s role. The scope will be informed by the findings of phase one of the review.

The Authority has published the terms of reference for the review on our website and will coordinate with MBIE to contribute to the review commissioned by the Minister for Energy and Resources.

The Authority has been in contact with all distributors and retailers in the areas impacted by the event. Approximately 34,350 customers were affected with the biggest impact felt in the Waikato region with over 17,000 customers disconnected. The Authority also contacted the Major Electricity Users Group to understand the response by industrial consumers.

The Authority encourages all consumers to contact their retailer if they are experiencing any issues after Monday’s event, and we commend retailers who have voluntarily offered compensation to their affected consumers.

Notes:

1.The Electricity Authority is an independent Crown Entity with a statutory objective to promote competition in, reliable supply by, and the efficient operation of, the electricity industry for the long-term benefit of consumers.

2. On Thursday 12 August 2021 the Electricity Authority received a claim of an undesirable trading situation. We will publish the claim on our website as soon as possible.

3.The Authority continues to work on the review of competition in the wholesale market.

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