Aurora’s application is significant and is approximately double the allowances we set Aurora for the previous comparable periods.

Aurora says its investment plan is required 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.

To pay for this, Aurora had forecast significant increases to power bills. You can read Aurora’s final proposal here.

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.

Our role in Aurora’s investment plan is to set network reliability standards and determine how much money it should be allowed to recover from its customers to carry out its plan and over what period.

On 31 March 2021 we published our decision on Aurora’s CPP. Overall, we consider Aurora has made its case for a step up in investment in its network. Without a CPP, its network would continue to deteriorate, safety incidents would increase, and its customers would experience more, longer, outages.

We have decided to allow Aurora to recover $46 million less from its customers than it had asked for on a five-year CPP. This reduction is because we consider some of its expenditure could be deferred to a later date and some was not sufficiently justified to the level Aurora had sought. Even so, Aurora would be able to significantly increase its expenditure to address the issues on its network and recover the cost from its customers.

To help mitigate the impact of increased bills we have capped Aurora’s annual revenue increases at a level approximately 10% per year.

We have also amended Aurora’s quality standards for unplanned outages to better reflect the state of its network. This has not been set at the levels Aurora requested but would allow it to meet targets that reflect its performance over the past five years. Overall, this should see the reliability of supply stabilise at current levels before gradually improving over time.

Alongside our decision on Aurora’s CPP, we have released our draft decision on additional reporting measures that are designed to improve the ability of customers to hold Aurora to account. These would require Aurora to publish a yearly report on its progress on delivering the investment plan, present this report to customers directly, and report more clearly on service quality and regional pricing issues.

A summary of our final decision on Aurora’s CPP and our draft decision on additional reporting measures, consumer fact sheet and the full reason paper are all available below by clicking on the 'Documents’ tab.

Submissions on our draft decision on Aurora Energy's information disclosure requirements closed on 10 May. We will consider these submissions before publishing our final decision on these additional reporting measures. We expect to make our final decision in August 2021.

Meeting with Aurora Energy and the Commerce Commission – 3 May 2021

On 3 May the Commerce Commission and Aurora Energy met to discuss the technical drafting of the draft information disclosure decisions and any workability issues Aurora identified that might impact on the effectiveness of the proposed requirements. Click here for a summary of the points raised by Aurora Energy in the meeting and listen to the meeting here (morning session) and here (afternoon session).

The summary does not include our side of the discussion with Aurora on the points they raised in this meeting, but this can be heard in the recording. The recording has been redacted to remove a small amount of detail such as personal, confidential or commercially sensitive information. This meeting was for the information only and Aurora Energy was asked to include any points discussed in its written submission. We invite interested parties to review and cross-submit on the summary and/or the recording.

We want to hear from you

Cross-submissions on Aurora ID draft decision

We are currently seeking cross-submissions (comments on other parties’ submissions) on our draft decision on Aurora Energy's information disclosure requirements. Submissions close at 5pm on Monday 24 May 2021.

Submissions on the technical drafting of the draft determination

On 7 May, we granted Aurora Energy's request to a submission extension to comment on the detailed technical drafting of the draft determination only, and as such we invite all interested parties to submit on this by 5pm on Monday 24 May 2021.

Please email your submission (or cross-submission, if applicable) to feedbackauroraplan@comcom.govt.nz.


About Aurora

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.


Contact us

We are seeking specific feedback from consumers during our consultation.

However, if you want to get in contact with us or be added to our mailing list for updates on this project please email us at feedbackauroraplan@comcom.govt.nz


A timeline of key steps in our assessment process are outlined below.

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