New Zealand has several major electricity generation companies, including Trustpower. Most of New Zealand’s electricity is generated by hydro, with a growing number of wind farms, plus some gas, geothermal and diesel generation.
Electricity is carried on the ‘transmission grid’. This is made up of over 12,000 kilometres of high voltage lines and is run by Transpower.
From the grid, electricity is carried on local line networks, run by local distribution companies; and also accessed directly by high volume customers. The lines charge on your bill pays the local distribution company.
Electricity retailers buy the power from the generators and sell it to consumers. As a retailer, Trustpower has over 200,000 customers nationwide.
Each home or business premises has a meter to measure how much electricity is used. The advantage of a competitive market is that consumers can switch between retailers to get the best service and price. Trustpower has a comparatively stable customer base, reflecting a high level of customer satisfaction.
New Zealand has large gas reserves and around 15 producing gas fields. There’s ongoing development of gas fields and exploration for new fields.
Reticulated (plumbed) gas is carried around the North Island by pipeline and is currently not available in the South Island. It’s a reliable system, run by network service providers and one private pipeline owner. Bottled gas (LPG) is stored in depots around the country and distributed from your local depot by truck, to your door.
New Zealand has multiple gas retailers, which like electricity, ensures consumers have choice. At Trustpower, we supply both reticulated and bottled gas and back that up with our commitment to quality service.
Each home or business premise has a meter to measure how much reticulated gas is used. Gas bottles (canisters) are delivered and the empty bottles collected.
New Zealand local line networks are owned by wholesale companies which must be separate from retailers like Trustpower who provide services to customers. The national copper network is owned by Chorus, while the fibre network being built under the Government-sponsored ultra-fast broadband (UFB) programme is owned by four different companies. Ultrafast Fibre is responsible for Hamilton and Tauranga as well as other towns in Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Taranaki and Whanganui; Enable in Christchurch; North Power in Whangarei; and Chorus in the rest of the country including Auckland, Wellington and Dunedin.
There are a range of providers with different portfolios of phone and internet services, it’s a competitive market and by law all retailers must have equal access to the copper and fibre local line networks. Trustpower have been providing phone and internet services since 2007 and Ultra Fast (fibre) Broadband since 2012.
As more homes and businesses turn to Ultrafast broadband, the big trend is for increased data packages. That’s why at Trustpower we offer flexible solutions to suit specific needs.
The electricity, gas and telecommunications industries all have comprehensive self-regulation, with industry rules and common quality standards. In addition, all operators must comply with New Zealand legislation such as the Commerce Act 1986, Fair Trading Act 1986, Consumer Guarantees Act 1993, and Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA).
New Zealand’s electricity regulations state that power retailers must offer a low fixed charge pricing option to customers who meet certain conditions. However, in some cases, the Minister of Energy may grant regulatory exemptions to pricing rules.