The BusinessNZ Energy Council has welcomed MBIE’s review of the New Zealand electricity sector.
BEC Chair David Caygill says the review broadly shows that the sector is a reliable producer of competitively delivered electricity with the ability to meet increased demand in the future.
He says the review also identifies a number of areas where improvement is possible.
“New technologies are posing questions. For example, greater expected uptake of electric vehicles will provide environmental benefits, but will also require increased investment in new electricity generation and enabling infrastructure such as charging stations and distribution capacity. It will be important that the costs of these investments do not fall disproportionately on groups that aren’t readily able to bear these costs.
“Another challenge is information provision to low-income households who may not be taking full advantage of the competitive sector to reduce their electricity costs. More information is needed to help all consumers use the competitiveness of the retail electricity sector to reduce their costs. This is a challenge that cannot be solved entirely by the electricity system, and it will be important to identify what the market can deliver and where social policy measures are more appropriate.
“Other challenges include the need to deepen the wholesale contract market and to achieve transmission pricing that delivers fair and efficient outcomes. It is important that prices reflect costs and that our business sector remains internationally competitive.
“Meanwhile, opportunities exist in many parts of the sector, including new technologies to enable lower pricing at different times of consumption and to further empower consumers to become their own generators and retailers of electricity.
“The review underlines the importance of the BusinessNZ Energy Council’s mission of enabling the trilemma of affordable, secure and sustainable energy.
“The BusinessNZ Energy Council looks forward to assisting government and industry to help the review navigate its way through the complex set of inter-relationships and trade-offs in New Zealand’s electricity sector.”