Electricity is essential to New Zealand homes,
businesses and industries. Traditionally, electricity flows from generation,
through transmission and local distribution networks, to where it’s used. Today, new and evolving technologies are changing
the way people engage with electricity markets — they increasingly have more choice and
control than ever before. They can store and sell electricity. Or support others by sending their unused
electricity back into the grid. Consumers’ expectations are also changing. Many will still choose to get their electricity
from a power company. But we see a future where people expect to
be active players in the electricity market. So, what do these opportunities mean for electricity
regulation in New Zealand? We want New Zealand consumers to benefit from
a competitive, reliable, and efficient electricity industry. We constantly ask:
Are prices reasonable? Will the lights stay on? Do consumers have choice? Is innovation happening? We provide independent regulation, set the
market rules, and monitor the operation of the electricity system and markets. To do all this in a changing world, we need
to be on the front-foot. Our key priorities over the next four years
are: A level playing field.
Regulation — and the actions of some existing players — should not stop smaller scale consumers
and others from joining the market. Or, stop the market being flexible enough
to allow for change. Efficient pricing.
Prices should reflect the costs of supplying the services consumers want, and encourage
people to use technology in ways that benefit us all. A secure electricity supply.
We use a lot of water to generate electricity, and our lakes have limited storage. This requires us to stay vigilant to help
New Zealand get through ‘dry years’. Consumers’ best interests are at the heart
of our work and we want them to benefit greatly from innovation now and in the future. For more information about who we are and
what we do, visit ea.govt.nz
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