Power Prices Increasing For Wellington Residents

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Higher Energy Costs Coming from Wellington Electricity

When earthquakes happen in the Wellington region, thousands of Kiwis are affected.

The only way to minimize an earthquake’s effects on this power grid? Make the electricity network stronger so that it can become earthquake-proof.

Wellington Electricity’s Recent Application to the Commerce Commission

When its rates were initially set in 2014, Wellington Electricity (WE) had no way of knowing the resilience expenditure that would be required. That’s why Wellington Electricity, which distributes power to approximately 166,000 homes and businesses in the Wellington region, formally applied to the Commerce Commission last December for a customized price-quality path.

The Commerce Commission has initially approved WE’s recover cost proposal.

Wellington Electricity’s Proposal to Recover the Costs

When the earthquakes happened recently, WE had to bring in not only enhanced communication systems but also emergency hardware, switchboards and mobile substations. Plus, seismic reinforcement was necessary for the substations.

To help recover the cost of these unexpected expenditures, WE has been given the go ahead to charge regional consumers an extra $1.90 to the consumer’s average bill of $160.

This monthly increase will help recover the $31 million needed to earthquake-strengthen the capital’s electricity network.

It’s expected that as long as the cost of energy and other components go unchanged, monthly bills will be reduced the following year due to the lower transmission charges from Transpower.

Commission Agrees to WE’s Proposal

The Commission views the extra expenditure as being costed appropriately and is confident that it will make the Wellington network better situated to withstand a major earthquake.

WE will need to prove that it has made the resilience improvements and will be penalised for under-delivery.

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