Counties Energy advises customers of upcoming price increase
Counties Energy will increase their lines prices by an average of seven percent from 1 April 2023. This will mean an average electricity charge increase to power users of around three percent on their power bill from their electricity retailer.
The increase, which equates to around 20 cents per day or around $6.35 per month, is being driven by a wide range of factors including high inflation, rising interest rates, the loss of Transpower rebate payments and an increase in Transpower’s annual transmission charges.
Counties Energy General Manager Commercial Andrew Toop says the company’s line charges are in line with other distribution companies in the North Island who are facing similar cost increases.
“Like all lines companies, we’re facing a large number of financial pressures, however these are exacerbated by regulatory changes that negatively affect us here in the north. While we’re all facing high inflation costs across the board, from increases in materials to salaries and wages, North Island lines companies, and ultimately their customers, are being particularly impacted. The loss of Transpower’s rebate payments, which in the past helped offset transmission charges, are unfortunately having to be passed on to electricity retailers. We’re also being charged an additional $624,000 in the annual charge from Transpower as a result of the Electricity Authority changing the regulations on how Transpower should price transmission services.”
“Situated in one of the fastest growing regions in the country, we’re also facing huge forecasted growth in population, resulting in increased debt levels as we fund infrastructure to cater for this future growth and ensure we have the electricity capacity needed for customer’s ever-increasing demand for power. We’re planning to invest $439 million over the next 10-years to meet increasing customer growth, replace end-of-life assets and to improve network reliability.”
Another contributing factor to the company’s increased costs is its necessary focus on its digital utility programme, including increased investment in essential cyber security and innovations such as an Advanced Distribution Management System (ADMS) to enable smarter, sustainable and innovative energy services and solutions. This new technology will be critical going forward as we transition to greater electrification in general and will be useful to manage the uptake of electric vehicles and solar arrays.
To view the 2023-24 Counties Energy Price Schedule go to https://www.countiesenergy.co.nz/about/content/regulatory
Counties Energy is the electricity distribution provider for the network that runs from coast to coast between southern Papakura and Mercer, and west of the Waikato River from Mercer to Waikaretu. The company is 100 percent owned by Counties Energy Trust who holds the shares on behalf of electricity customers.