In June Aurora Energy (Aurora) is expected to apply to the Commission to spend around $400 million over the next 3 years to address safety and reliability issues on its network.
To pay for this, the power bills of Aurora’s consumers are likely to increase significantly. Major investment is needed in Aurora’s network. Our role is to decide how much money it should be allowed to recover from its customers to carry out its plan and over what period of time.
Aurora says its investment plan is to address historic under-investment in its network which has resulted in a gradual deterioration of its equipment including lines, poles and transformers. In recent years this has resulted in a higher number of safety incidents and an increasing number of unplanned power cuts.
We understand that now, more than ever, household incomes will be strained, especially in light of COVID-19. Many consumers will be struggling to pay their bills while needing a reliable electricity supply. A key consideration for us in setting Aurora’s new maximum revenues and quality standards is balancing the cost to consumers with the urgent need to fix Aurora’s network.
Aurora Energy owns and operates the poles, lines and other equipment that distribute electricity from Transpower’s national grid to 90,000 homes, farms and businesses in Dunedin, Central Otago and Queenstown Lakes. Aurora is a wholly owned subsidiary of Dunedin City Holdings Limited, owned by Dunedin City Council. Aurora’s charges are built into power bills and are something its consumers are required to pay no matter which power company they are with. Typically, electricity distribution charges make up about a quarter of an average residential consumer’s power bill.
We want to hear from you
Your opinion matters to us. We will review the findings from Aurora’s consultation with consumers and are committed to undertaking our own consultation to ensure your views are considered.
Due to COVID-19 we anticipate being unable to hold face-to-face public meetings. We are exploring alternative options to get your views.
A timeline of key steps in our assessment process are outlined below.
Find out more about our upcoming assessment of Aurora’s investment plan here.
Find out more about the work to restore Otago and Queenstown’s power network here.
We will be seeking specific feedback from consumers throughout our upcoming assessment process. However, if you want to get in contact with us please email email@example.com