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Performance summaries released for electricity lines companies

9 June 2017

The Commerce Commission has published one-page summaries of key performance measures for each of New Zealand’s 29 electricity lines companies.

The summaries are designed to promote a better understanding of each lines company’s performance by providing high-level statistics such as profitability, capital and operating expenditure, asset condition, revenue and network reliability.

Commissioner Dr Stephen Gale said that the Commission has pulled together the data to make it easily accessible for industry, Government agencies and consumers, and to enable comparison across lines companies. The statistics are sourced from more detailed public disclosures.

“Electricity companies reach every New Zealand household and business so over time we want to make it easier for consumers to understand how their own lines company is performing year-on-year. The information in the summaries is still quite technical in nature, but we expect this kind of exposure will in itself help improve lines companies’ overall performance,” Dr Gale said.

“The summaries are a high-level snapshot of the lines companies and are not intended to represent a thoroughly detailed picture of performance. However, they suggest some differences between the performances of different lines companies, such as the health of assets including poles, lines and substation equipment. In cases of apparent poor performance, we will follow up with the companies to better understand their circumstances. We will also undertake further analysis in the future.”

The performance summaries are available on the Commission’s website.

Background

Where did the data for these summaries come from?

The summaries are based on the most recent information that was publicly disclosed by each electricity lines company under our information disclosure requirements (covering the year ended 31 March 2016). Most of the data has either been audited and/or certified by the directors of the businesses. However, we cannot guarantee that there are no errors in the data provided. We have not included Transpower, the national electricity transmission business.

What is the Commission doing to address potential issues of concern?

Lines companies themselves are ultimately responsible for managing their own networks. The Commission cannot get involved in the operational decisions each company makes. However, these summaries are part of a wider programme of performance analysis, which can shed light on the decisions of lines companies and any consequences.

Of the 29 lines companies in New Zealand subject to information disclosure regulation, 17 are also subject to price-quality regulation. If a regulated company breaches quality standards - or example if asset degradation leads to more outages on its network than is allowed - it may face prosecution under the Commerce Act. The remaining 12 lines companies are consumer-owned and are not subject to price-quality regulation.

For more information on our role in the electricity sector see our website.