Energy Trusts Call for Improved Electricity Regulation
Energy Trusts of New Zealand today held its May conference in Auckland. ETNZ is the national organisation for 21 energy trusts, the majority of whom own shares in companies that operate New Zealand’s electricity line networks. Member trusts have investments of more than $5 billion in these lines companies across New Zealand.
The ETNZ Conference addressed the issue of power pricing and the regulation of the New Zealand electricity sector.
At the Conference today Chairperson Karen Sherry, said “members are aghast the regulatory regime for the electricity industry in New Zealand encourages some consumer owned companies to increase prices while others have their lines charges reduced, where it seems that some electricity retailers then take the benefit of that reduction”. The regulatory regime is supposed to benefit consumers but what appears to be happening is the unregulated retailers continue to take gains meant for New Zealand consumers. “This is quite simply unfair” Ms Sherry said.
ETNZ Conference attendees also expressed concern about the amount, cost, and growing complexity of the information disclosure regime. Ms Sherry said “members are very concerned at the growing intrusiveness of regulation for limited consumer benefit”. Electricity consumers deserve electricity regulation that is straightforward, flexible and affordable. “ New Zealanders want fair and reasonable power prices that also allow their consumer owned lines companies to invest for the smart reliable network futures”, Ms Sherry said.
At the ETNZ AGM members acknowledged the contribution of retiring Vice-Chairperson Mr Brian Gurney(from King Country) and re-elected Karen Sherry from Auckland as Chairperson. Other persons elected to the National Executive were Erc Angelo from Northpower Trust (elected Vice-Chairperson), Gail Howard from the Buller Trust, James Carmichael from Auckland Energy Consumer Trust, Ross Inder from Marlborough Trust and Trevor Tufnell from Tasman Trust.
For further comment please contact Karen Sherry ETNZ Chairperson 029 846 5871