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Counties Power cautiously welcomes delay in decision on transmission price increases
Counties Power is pleased that the Electricity Authority’s current transmission pricing review has been delayed, a proposal which saw local consumers paying $3m more per annum in transmission charges, but also cautions that fundamental issues remain.
Today’s announcement from the Electricity Authority (EA) states that it would do a brand new cost-benefit analysis after major flaws were found in the existing version. The move comes after Counties Power and other industry participants and organisations have repeatedly called for a review after a series of grid pricing blunders from the body governing the country’s power industry.
“Affected companies such as Counties Power have had to invest many hundreds of thousands of dollars and labour hours on the consultation process and in funding their own independent impact reviews. Consumers and shareholders will never get this money back – so while the outcome is for now positive, the process has been poorly governed and costly,” Counties Power Chief Executive Sheridan Broadbent says.
Counties Power is hopeful that the EA takes an objective and good faith approach to the review of its proposal.
“The Authority says it needs to stick by a 1 April 2020 implementation date. This pre-supposes the new cost-benefit analysis will find there are still benefits to the change. Work by Transpower and others indicates there are little or no efficiency benefits to be gained so this is highly debatable.
“It’s also vital that any new cost benefit analysis is conducted by an independent consultant and overseen by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment so the modelling can take into account wider implications such as wealth transfers and regional economic impact,” she says.
The company looks forward to participating in a robust process going forward and is grateful for the support of its major energy users, consumers and the Counties Power Consumer Trust in giving the consumers of Counties Power a loud and meaningful voice during the consultation process.