Competition in Electricity

Queenstown at night

The winds of change began to blow through the New Zealand electricity sector in 1987, when the generation and transmission department of the national government was corporatised. However the winds proved to be a mere zephyr until much later, and it is debateable whether they have ever exceeded a breeze.

Electricity Competition Milestones

Regardless of the outcome, the history of change makes for an interesting read. To learn more about the history of electricity competition in New Zealand, click here (PDF).

Wholesale Competition

The wholesale electricity market operates under a set of Rules, first established by the electricity industry in 1996 and now administered by the government-appointed Electricity Commission. The wholesale market remains dominated by Government's three generating companies.

For more information about the wholesale electricity market in New Zealand, click on the links below:

Retail Competition

In May 2000 the Government released its first analysis of changes in residential retail prices since full competition commenced in 1999. This analysis took pre-competition prices at 1 April 1998 as its benchmark. Contrary to the strident claims of retailers who had subsequently raised prices for the incumbencies they had purchased, the analysis demonstrated that average line charges by electricity distributors such as Aurora had not risen.

Pricing analysis by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment is repeated quarterly, and is available from the MBIE website.

Consumer NZ offers a free web-based calculator that lets you compare the pricing of electricity retailers where you live. Click on the banner to get started.