Consumer-owned electricity distribution businesses (EDBs)

The following EDBs meet the criteria in the Commerce Act to be considered as 'consumer-owned' and are exempt from price-quality regulation:

  • Buller Electricity Limited

    Counties Power Limited

    Electra Limited

    Mainpower New Zealand Limited

    Marlborough Lines Limited

    Network Waitaki Limited

  • Northpower Limited

    Scanpower Limited

    The Power Company Limited

    Waipa Networks Limited

    WEL Networks Limited

    Westpower Limited

Can consumer-owned status be lost?

Consumer-owned EDB status can be lost and price-quality regulation can be applied to a consumer-owned EDB where:

  • it notifies the Commission within 10 working days that it has ceased to be consumer-owned
  • the Commission on its own initiative (or a third party) becomes aware of a change in an EDB's status
  • its consumers petition the Commission to make a recommendation to apply price-quality regulation to the EDB.

Reporting requirements for consumer-owned EDBs

While consumer-owned status exempts EDBs from price-quality regulation, certain requirements are in place which consumer-owned EDBs must adhere too. These requirements include:

  • information disclosure regulation
  • providing a copy of an amended trust deed, with the amendments noted as soon as practicable to the Commission in the situation where a Trust of a consumer-owned EDB amends its trust deed at a future date
  • that the ward boundaries of ward based consumer-owned EDBs be reviewed no later than 5 years after 1 January 2011 and, after that, at intervals of no more than 5 years, in consultation with all consumers of the supplier
  • if the supplier becomes aware that it ceases to meet the definition of consumer-owned, the supplier has a statutory obligation to notify the Commission within 10 working days.

If a consumer-owned EDB has difficulty meeting any of these requirements they should contact the Commission.

Can other EDBs be consumer-owned?

If an EDB, other than those listed above, consider that it is consumer-owned, it must provide to the Commission a signed copy of the 'Statutory declaration that a supplier is consumer-owned' together with a complete copy of its current trust deed of the Trust.

The Commission will then assess the declaration and trust deed. If the EDB meets the consumer-owned criteria the Commission will notify the EDB of its status.