The Electricity Authority (the Authority) is working to improve distribution pricing to benefit all consumers. Distribution pricing is important as it affects:
- how consumers use electricity
- how distributors and others manage load, and
- when distributors invest in new or replacement poles and wires.
It also affects the timing, level and location of investments in new technology, such as distributed energy resources like solar panels, electric vehicles and batteries.
The Authority regularly engages with distributors and industry stakeholders on the topic of distribution pricing.
We made a submission to the Electricity Authority about distribution pricing in September 2022, on behalf of small electricity consumers. We recommended that:
- distributors should ensure that retailers have information to respond efficiently to customer queries if pricing plan rates change due to changes in transmission charges
- all industry bodies need to agree upon consistent messaging to small consumers about the nature of any changes and why they are occurring
- a mix of fixed and variable charges should be introduced
- the guidelines should include recommendations on spreading adjustments over an implementation period so that no consumer's overall retail electricity cost exceeds a 5% increase in any one year
- allocation of pass-through of costs should be transparent and consistent with the distributor's pricing methodology required by the Commerce Commission.