Who is Aurora Energy?

    Aurora Energy is the electricity network supplying homes, farms and businesses in Dunedin, Central Otago and Queenstown Lakes. Our job is to deliver power from the national grid through our network of poles and wires to 90,000 customers in Otago.

    Where is the Aurora Energy electricity network?

    Our network spans over 6,600 kilometres of overhead lines and underground cables. We deliver electricity to 90,000 homes, farms and businesses in Dunedin, Central Otago and Queenstown Lakes.

    Who are Aurora Energy’s customers?

    Our customers include all electricity consumers who are connected to our electricity network, or could be in the future, and their electricity retailers. We also regularly interact with landowners where our assets cross or adjoin their property and tree owners when we need to clear trees from overhead network lines.

    What's Aurora Energy’s role in providing electricity?

    We build, maintain and upgrade the poles, power lines, underground cables, substations and other equipment that take power from the national grid and deliver it to your place.  

    We're not the only ones responsible in connecting your place with electricity. Several companies work together to supply your electricity, from generation and transmission to sending your power bill.

    What is this process all about?

    Over the next ten years, Aurora Energy plans to invest more than $700 million in renewing, upgrading and maintaining the network to provide safe, reliable electricity supply, and that will cost more than in the past.

    We are applying to the regulator to match our funding to the costs to provide a safe and reliable electricity service. The process, called a customised price-quality path application or CPP, is designed as a check that our planned network investment is an efficient use of customer’s money and gets the balance right between the services customers want and the prices they pay. 

    Throughout this process we’ll be reviewing our future investment plans and asking what services and network that our customers, community and stakeholders want to ensure we deliver the services and support our customers need and expect.

    To ensure we’re capturing ideas, feedback and suggestions from across our community on how to do this, we’ve recently kicked off our community engagement process for CPP. This website is just one way we’ll engage with you on that journey. 

    Why have you started planning now for 2021?

    Your input on the future of your electricity network is important to us, and we’re committed to hearing from as many of our customers as possible. As we know this will take some time, we’re starting the engagement process early. This also ensures we have time to consider your feedback when submitting our proposal to the regulator, which we are due to make in June 2020.

    How can I help shape Aurora Energy’s future electricity network plans?

    It’s important to get the balance right between the services you want and the prices you pay. By playing an active role in the engagement process and on this site, you can help us understand what matters most when it comes to your electricity – and shape the future of your electricity network. 

    What do you do with the feedback we provide?

    Your feedback will be considered as we develop our pricing and services proposal. Consultation with customers is a key part of the CPP application process, and we will explain how your feedback has shaped our future investment plans in our CPP proposal.

    How can I get involved?

    You can get involved in helping to shape our future investment plans by:

    • Visiting this website to share your views and experiences directly with us.
    • Submitting your views during the consultation round on our CPP application.
    • Subscribing to email updates to hear about future opportunities to get involved. Register here.

    We look forward to hearing from you and thank you for being part of this important conversation.

Customised Price Quality Path

    What is a customised price-quality path or CPP?

    A customised price-quality path is where the regulator approves changes to the standard allowances for what an electricity network business can charge its customers and minimum service levels over a specified period.

    Electricity distribution businesses initially start on a default price-quality path that sets the revenue limits and minimum service levels over a five-year period. The default path is based on past performance and may not reflect the network’s current and future investment requirements.

    Where special circumstances exist, a business can apply to the Commerce Commission for a customised price-quality path or CPP, tailored to the business’s specific plans.

    The Commerce Commission is required to complete a detailed assessment of its proposal before making a decision on what its price path and quality standards should be. As part of that assessment the business is required to consult with its consumers about the changes it is proposing.

    The Commerce Commission has approved three CPPs to date, Orion in 2013 to address the impacts of the Canterbury earthquakes, Powerco in 2018 for a major upgrade of its ageing network and Wellington Electricity in 2018 to improve the networks’ resilience to major earthquakes.

    Why is Aurora Energy submitting a CPP application?

    Like most other electricity distribution network businesses in New Zealand, Aurora Energy is regulated in what we can charge to recover the costs of providing electricity supply and minimum service levels.

    Aurora Energy’s distribution prices have been the among the lowest in the country over the past decade but no longer cover the costs of providing a safe and reliable service and preparing for the future.

    Before we can change our pricing from the standard allowance, we need to gain approval from the Commerce Commission by submitting a customised price-quality path (or CPP) proposal. In developing that proposal, we must consult with consumers about the changes we are proposing.

    The regulator evaluates our submission to ensure what we propose to charge reflect our costs, that we are managing our business and network investments efficiently and that our proposal reflects the feedback consumers have provided.

    Our CPP proposal will outline our planned network investment, service levels and pricing for a specified period, typically five years. We are due to make our CPP application in June 2020 which, if approved, would take effect from 1 April 2021.

    Do consumers have a say in the process?

    Yes. As a regulated business seeking a customised price-quality path, Aurora Energy must consult with consumers about the changes we are proposing before submitting a proposal.

    Our application must provide evidence of consultation with consumers, a description of all issues raised and an explanation of whether its proposal accommodates these issues and if not, why not.

    How can I have my say?

    We’ll be seeking the views of customers on our future plans during 2019. We’ll discuss what you expect from us and value in your electricity service, before a formal consultation round on our CPP proposal in October-November this year.

    Throughout this process, we’ll seek feedback and make information available using a variety of channels to help connect with a range of customers and views.

    • Your Say. Your Network engagement website (you are here) where you can find information, join in the conversation and register for updates.
    • Customer Voice Panels in Dunedin, Central Otago and Queenstown Lakes that bring together a cross-section of residential and small business customers in our key service regions of Dunedin, Central Otago and Queenstown Lakes. These panels started in August 2018.
    • Customer Advisory Panel that draws on the knowledge and experience of community organisations that represent the interests of, and advocate for, a diverse range of consumers and organisations in our community. This panel started in June 2019.
    • Phone and online surveys to reach a representative sample of electricity consumers from across the network.
    • Face-to-face meetings with groups and individuals.

    Where can I find out more information?

    For more information about electricity distribution regulation including the CPP process, visit the Commerce Commission’s website.