Benefits to Consumers & Retailers
Trusts are required to ensure that the electricity distributors they own operate as successful businesses. This poses challenges under the current heavy regulatory regime, but trusts and ETNZ are advocates for liberalisation of controls that discourage innovation and fail to promote sensible outcomes such as energy efficiency that would deliver wider benefits to the households and businesses their companies supply. Consumer and community ownership give ETNZ and our members a strong focus on consumer interests. While protecting the investments they are responsible for is a priority, trusts recognise that the best outcomes for the people and regions they serve must be kept in mind. This consumer focus is recognised in legislation, which exempts many trust-owned companies from the strict price controls applied to electricity distribution.
ETNZ and ENA
ETNZ works closely with the Electricity Networks Association (ENA) which represents the interests of the country's electricity lines businesses - the lines sector. ENA's trust-owned members range in size from Vector, with about 540,000 consumer connections, down to Buller Electricity, with about 4,500. A small number of ENA’s members are owned by local authorities rather than trusts, or are privately owned. Information sharing between the two organisations is encouraged, and the ETNZ Executive Committee exchanges views with the ENA Board from time-to-time.