Trustpower is to acquire about 1,400 commercial power accounts after Opunake Hydro opted to quit the retail market citing tough competition.
Trustpower supports the intent of the government’s net-zero emissions target by 2050 but says decisions such as the recent ban on offshore oil and gas exploration that deplete the capital needed for the task and don't achieve the objective "must be avoided".
Trustpower plans further automation in order to lower costs and improve services in the hotly contested power and broadband markets it operates in.
Trustpower lifted annual profit 35 percent as the electricity generator-retailer's earnings were bolstered by favourable hydro generation, firm winter wholesale prices and its retail strategy.
When Auckland's big power pylons first went up they were over green fields. Planners hadn't anticipated that 70 or so years later development would be so intense that high voltage lines would be humming over homes - to the extent that the legs of pylons have been used as retaining walls. Now Transpower is trying to anticipate future problems.
The Electricity Authority (EA) softened the harder edges of its transmission pricing proposal yesterday, but the Government still faces political fallout from a plan that would increase power prices in Northland, Auckland and Westland, but deliver over NZ$77 million in benefits to Meridian Energy and NZ Aluminium Smelters (NZAS).
A report for MBIE has found the Electricity Authority's NZ$15 million 'What's My Number' website and marketing campaign to encourage consumers to switch power retailers appeared not to have reduced power prices or increased competition much.
The average residential electricity bill rose 2.9% in 2013, including a 2.2% increase in distribution and transmission charges and a 3.4% increase in energy and retail charges.
The Electricity Authority has announced its Retail Advisory Group is considering recommending to the Authority that all retailers itemise lines charges in their bills.
Prime Minister John Key has defended significant increases in power prices for consumers as necessary to fund Transpower's national grid upgrades, arguing power price increases had been less under National than under Labour.