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Check out the latest news and updates below.
Check out the latest news and updates below.
24 January 2020
Aurora Energy’s Customer Advisory Panel has provided its response to the local electricity network’s proposed future investment plans. The Panel’s independent report is their response to Aurora Energy’s consultation document released in November 2019.
The Customer Advisory Panel was established in June last year to advise and represent to Aurora Energy the perspectives and preferences, including the service measures, that are important to consumers. The Panel has met four times to date, with an all-day workshop in November where Aurora Energy explained its proposal.
The Panel’s primary focus has been to provide meaningful input into Aurora Energy’s proposal for a customised price-quality path application, including our future investment plans and pricing options. The Customer Advisory Panel has assisted Aurora Energy in hearing a wide range of consumer and community viewpoints on our proposal.
The Panel was designed to help overcome some of the challenges of consumer engagement on electricity networks’ investment plans. These include the complexity of the topic being discussed, low levels of understanding of the role of electricity networks in bringing energy to consumers and the wide-ranging impacts of Aurora Energy’s decisions on individual power bills and future network services.
Aurora Energy will use the Customer Advisory Panel’s feedback along with the responses from other customers and stakeholders to refine our draft proposal. A summary of all the feedback we received during consultation, and how we responded to the issues raised, will be included in our final application to the Commerce Commission in June this year and will be publicly available.
Consultation on Aurora Energy's future investment plans is open until 24 January 2020. After that, there will be further opportunity for feedback when the regulator, the Commerce Commission, holds its own consultation during the period July - December 2020.
The Customer Advisory Panel will meet again in April when Aurora Energy will report back to the Panel how consultation feedback shaped its final proposal.
17 January 2020
Aurora Energy is asking customers to have their say on a draft proposal to tackle ageing electricity infrastructure in Dunedin, Central Otago and Queenstown Lakes and ready the network for the future.
The proposal, published in November last year, outlines a three-year $400 million programme to continue essential investments, maintenance and upgrades to improve the safety, reliability and resilience of the Aurora Energy electricity network.
Consultation closes at 5pm on Friday 24 January 2020 – have your say today at https://yoursay.auroraenergy.co.nz/. After that, there will be further opportunity for feedback when the regulator, the Commerce Commission, holds its own consultation during the period July - December 2020.
An overview of the proposal and why Aurora Energy is proposing to make the investment and an online submission form are available at the same link. Paper copies are available on request from Aurora Energy and from local libraries and Council offices.
You can have your say:
19 November 2019
Aurora Energy Chief Executive Dr Richard Fletcher is inviting customers to have their say on a draft proposal to tackle ageing electricity infrastructure in Dunedin, Central Otago and Queenstown Lakes and ready the network for the future.
The proposal, launched today, outlines a three-year $400 million programme to continue essential investments, maintenance and upgrades to improve the safety, reliability and resilience of the Aurora Energy electricity network.
“Our proposed plan is about the prudent investment that is essential to meet the needs of our communities now and into our future, to address the errors of the past and position the network for its future use,” said Dr Fletcher.
The proposal can be found at yoursay.auroraenergy.co.nz and provides an indication of what customers are likely to pay in line charges during the three-year period 2022-2024.
“Aurora Energy acknowledges the price rises required to fund this work will be difficult for some customers who will be required to pay more for the energy delivered to their homes and businesses. However, the alternative to raising prices is a continued deterioration in the safety and the reliability of the networks that power our communities.”
“The duty of the current Aurora Energy team is to tackle the challenges created by historic underinvestment head on and develop the networks to improve safety and reliability, cater for growth and prepare for the future. In Aurora Energy’s case, low levels of investment in the intervening decades has helped keep line charges lower than the national average but has led to a gradual deterioration of the electricity networks which power our communities and economy.
“New Zealanders are transitioning to a future that will be heavily reliant on electricity. Globally, all indications are that over the next 30 years developed economies will transition out of fossil fuels and into renewable energy technologies such as electric vehicles, rooftop solar and energy battery storage as we look to reduce carbon emissions. Electricity networks will enable this transition to a low carbon future. In cases like ours, where the network has aged, infrastructure will need to be renewed and, in some cases, replaced and reinforced.”
“While there is some scope to modify our proposal before we submit it in June 2020 to our sector regulator the Commerce Commission, it’s important to be clear that there are some key safety and renewal investments that simply have to be done.”
The proposal outlines estimated increases in residential line charges of up to $21 a month in year one followed by up to $10 a month in year two and up to $10 a month in year three to fund a significant increase in network and related system upgrades and maintenance.
Aurora Energy’s lines charges form only a proportion of a total electricity bill (around a quarter of an average residential power bill). We estimate that across the entire network (Dunedin, Central Otago/Wanaka and Queenstown), as a result of the CPP, the monthly total electricity bill will increase on average by 18% for residential households. This is an estimate only and will be dependent on several factors including how retailers choose to pass on their charges.
“The Aurora Energy of old did not spend as much as it should have on the network and prices were kept low as a result, an approach that was not sustainable. Our prices need to increase to fund essential investment, but we are committed to listening to our customers and seeking opportunities to refine our proposal where possible,” said Dr Fletcher.
“The $400 million three-year plan we are proposing reflects the prudent level of investment required to de-risk the network and position Dunedin, Central Otago and Queenstown Lakes for a future where the communities are heavily reliant on electricity.”
As previously signalled, Aurora Energy’s proposal will form part of its application to the industry regulator, the Commerce Commission, for a customised price-quality path (CPP), expected to take effect from 1 April 2021.
The final decisions on the scale of the plan and related pricing and reliability standards will be determined by the Commerce Commission, following customer feedback and further refinements by Aurora Energy. The Commerce Commission’s final decisions are expected in March 2021.
Aurora Energy General Manager Customer and Engagement Sian Sutton said the team were committed to ensuring people had the opportunity to comment on Aurora Energy’s proposal prior to the final report going to the Commerce Commission next year.
“For our consultation we have simplified these complex issues so that all members of the communities we service can relate this investment back to their lives. Our online consultation website has all the relevant information people need to understand our proposal to develop an informed opinion and easily make a submission,” Ms Sutton said.
Hard copies will be made available at the Aurora Energy offices, at local councils throughout the region. Drop in sessions are being held for those people preferring to speak face-to-face. Aurora Energy is encouraging customers to call 0800 22 00 05 for more information or visit the consultation website yoursay.auroraenergy.co.nz.
Customised price-quality path
The Commerce Commission can set a customised price-quality path to better suit the needs of a regulated electricity business and its consumers. In June 2020, Aurora Energy will apply for a customised price-quality path to take effect from 1 April 2021. As part of the regulatory process, Aurora Energy is committed to consulting with consumers before changing our prices and our proposed investment plan must be approved by the regulator.
9 October 2019
Our job is to deliver power from the national grid through our network to 90,000 homes, farms and businesses. How exactly does electricity get from where it's made to where you can use it? Head over to our videos page and and watch our latest clip to find out.
Aurora Energy is continuing to prioritise network renewal to provide a safe and reliable power supply to its Otago electricity consumers in its updated plans for the next decade.
The full report on the state of the Aurora Energy electricity network is now available, following on from top-level findings released last month. The full report of the independent engineering review by WSP found most of Aurora Energy’s assets pose a low risk to public safety, reliability or the environment.
Aurora Energy’s Chief Executive Richard Fletcher said prioritising network renewal to provide a safe and reliable power supply to Otago was a key focus of the company’s network plans for the next decade.
Aurora Energy's Chief Executive Richard Fletcher said the company continued to invest strongly in network renewal to provide safe and reliable power supply to Otago. Today, Aurora Energy released its 2018 annual report for the year ended 30 June 2018.
Otago electricity network owner, Aurora Energy, has confirmed the key service providers it will use to deliver its works programme over the next five years, an important step in its maturity as standalone asset owner.
Customers are being encouraged to have their say as local electricity network provider, Aurora Energy, seeks participants to join their soon-to-be established Customer Voice Panels.