1 May 2024

Lines companies on spending plans to enable net-Zero goals

From Nine To Noon, 9:35 am on 1 May 2024

Later this month the Commerce Commission will lay out what it thinks lines companies should be able to spend on infrastructure and recoup from customers.

It will be a highly anticipated announcement with the country's 27 networks expected to need to spend more than $20 billion in each of the next three decades to enable the country's increasing electrification.

Lines companies are monopolies regulated by the Commerce Commission or by a consumer trust that owns them. Lines charges from networks - not including Transpower's cost  - make up 27 per cent of a consumer's bill. The Commission will release its draft decision on the next 5-year regulatory period on what lines companies can spend later this month, with a final decision in November.

In recent years many of the lines companies have announced substantial increases to forecast expenditure - for many it is well over double what they have thought was previously needed.

Simon Mackenzie is chief executive of Auckland-based Vector - the country's biggest lines company with more than 600,000 connections. Tracey Kai is chief executive of Electricity Networks Aotearoa, an industry organisation representing all 27 lines companies. 

Photo: RNZ / Cole Eastham-Farrelly