Tuesday, 02 April 2019 10:39

NZ Commerce Commission focus on benefits of new technologies in electricity

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NZ Commerce Commission focus on benefits of new technologies in electricity Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

New Zealand competition regulator, the Commerce Commission, and the Electricity Authority, have initiated a joint project to assess how new technologies and business models emerging in the country’s electricity sector might benefit consumers in the future.

Deputy chair Sue Begg said the commission and the authority had a shared focus on ensuring electricity markets were working well and the regulatory environment supported the best possible outcomes for consumers in the long term.

“New technologies such as network batteries, solar panels and electric vehicle chargers present new opportunities for the sector.  We want to better understand lines companies’ incentives to invest in these new technologies and the impact these investments will have on consumers in the long term,” Begg said.

“Our aim is to ensure our collective regulatory tools are appropriate and flexible enough to incentivise innovation and promote competition in emerging services.”

Begg said emerging technologies would enable new business models and give consumers greater options and choice over how they use energy (and how much).

The terms of reference for the project are available on the Commission’s website.

As part of the Input Methodologies review, the Commerce Commission indicated it would need to increase its knowledge and understanding of emerging-technology related developments and, subsequently a project was launched to gather information on the impact of emerging technologies in monopoly parts of the electricity sector.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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