Investing in our network and the impact to the price that you pay

Investing in our network and the impact to the price that you pay

As your local lines company, Network Waitaki is responsible for delivering electricity to over 13,000 homes and businesses from as far south as Shag Point, up north to the Hakataramea Valley and west to the top of lake Ohau. Owned 100% by our community through the Waitaki Power Trust, we take our responsibility seriously to ensure you have power whenever you need it – whether that’s keeping your home running or your business humming - through the provision of a safe, secure and reliable service.

We are planning to make significant new investment in the electricity distribution network so we can continue to deliver on our service commitments to you. That means, from 1 April 2024, there will be an increase to the distribution component of your power bill. Here we outline details of our investment plans, and what it means for the prices you pay...

HOW OUR INVESTMENT PLANS IMPACT THE PRICES YOU PAY

Comparative to other distribution businesses in New Zealand with a similar profile and service to ours, we have historically had some of the lowest prices. We now need to invest heavily in our network to meet growing electricity demand across our region, renew assets that are reaching the end of their life and to ensure our network is resilient for the future.

In order to make these essential investments on our network, from 1 April 2024, the distribution and transmission component of your electricity bill (which makes up around one third of the total bill) will rise by 11%. This is on average across all consumers and equates to approximately $12.65 more per month for an average household.

OTHER CONTRIBUTING FACTORS ON THE PRICES YOU PAY

There are additional factors that have contributed to this year’s price increase, such as:

  • Extraordinary cost inflation which is driving higher operating costs for our business
  • A 1.2% increase in pass-through costs from Transpower
  • Network Waitaki’s adherence to the Electricity Authority’s guidance for all electricity distribution businesses to move to more cost reflective pricing (including phasing out the Low-Fixed User Charge).

INVESTING IN OUR NETWORK – AND WHAT IT MEANS FOR YOUR POWER SUPPLY

Here’s some key projects in the pipeline over the next ten years as part of our investment plans to deliver on our service commitments to you and the Waitaki region:

  • To continue delivering a safe, efficient and reliable service there will be a general step increase in network renewals. This will see us replacing ageing assets that are reaching the end of their life, replacing some of our major transformers, and installing a new substation at Awamoko at a cost of $15M.
  • Construction of a new 220kV Grid connection and supporting infrastructure in the lower Waitaki Valley at a cost of $100M. This is needed to address the constraints on Transpower’s current 110kV transmission line between Waitaki and Glenavy (which supplies Oamaru). This new Grid connection is a positive development for our region and will secure the future electricity needs of Waitaki for decades to come.
  • New Zealand is experiencing an increased number and severity of extreme weather events. We need to ensure that all new distribution assets are built to new design standards to withstand these conditions.

AFFORDABILITY

Investment needed over the next decade would be funded by a combination of borrowing and the unavoidable increase of the distribution charge passed on to customers. We understand affordability is a real issue for a number of our customers, especially in the current economic climate. We encourage you to get in touch with us if you need help checking your plan and connection size is suitable for your needs. We also urge customers to visit Consumer NZ’s website ‘Powerswitch’ for a free and independent comparison of
retail power plans - www.powerswitch.org.nz.

For more information regarding our pricing please visit our website - www.networkwaitaki.co.nz

 


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