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Regulator rejects Electric Kiwi claim

NZN 5/07/2016

The electricity regulator has rejected a call from retailer Electric Kiwi to investigate the pricing actions of Meridian Energy.

But the Electricity Authority will review the performance of the electricity market and the conduct of its participants.

It said it will focus on whether the market performed in a manner consistent with the authority's objective of promoting competition, reliability and efficiency for the long-term benefit of consumers.

Electric Kiwi, which has around 3,000 customers, claimed the country's largest electricity generator had manipulated market conditions on June 2 when wholesale electricity prices spiked to more than $4,000 per megawatt hour.

Its customers were shielded from the price spike which was caused by an unusual combination of factors on a cold, windless day in the North Island.

"The review will look at trading on June 2, as well as other similar events, and how the wholesale electricity market performed in regard to those events," EA's chief executive Carl Hansen said.

It found the June 2 event did not constitute an 'undesirable trading situation' but had highlighted a number of issues that need further analysis and consideration.

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