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.
This chart (prepared by PwC for the Electricity Networks Association in May 2013) attempts to unravel the proportions of electricity charges related to lines distribution charges, electricity generation costs, network transmission costs and GST.
Mighty River Power Chief Executive Doug Heffernan has called for a debate about separating lines and power bills for retail customers, arguing it would help remove confusion over just who is moving power prices and why.
The Electricity Authority (EA) has signalled that as many as nine new electricity retailers could enter the market, which it said was a sign the market was competitive and barriers to entry were not too high.