The Commerce Commission has released a consultation paper which seeks feedback on the potential issues it will be considering when resetting the price-quality paths that will apply to 17 regional electricity lines companies in New Zealand.
It says these monopoly lines companies provide an essential service and charge consumers around $2 billion per year. To ensure these companies continue to provide reliable service to consumers – and are limited in the prices they charge – the Commission sets the maximum prices and minimum quality standards that they must meet.
Deputy Chair Sue Begg says the Commission is seeking views from all stakeholders before resetting prices and quality standards for the next regulatory period starting 1 April 2020.
“The current quality standards are focused on ensuring that consumers on each network do not experience more frequent or longer outages relative to historical levels,” she says.
“For this reset, we are interested in hearing from customers whether the current quality standards best reflect their expectations. We are also exploring whether other aspects of quality might also be regulated. For example, we could include in the quality standards the notification period lines companies provide customers for planned outages or their response times to consumer calls.”
Submissions close on 20 December 2018, with cross-submissions due on 31 January 2019.