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Call for improved price signals welcomed

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The Electricity Authority welcomes a new report which highlights that more work can be done to encourage people to reduce electricity use at peak times.

Electricity Authority Chief Executive Carl Hansen says the report confirms his view that the work the Authority already has underway will deliver significant gains for consumers.

"We’re encouraging and actively supporting electricity distributors (lines companies) to introduce better price signals, and they’re already onto it," he says. "Over time, these changes will help keep infrastructure costs down and reduce greenhouse gas emissions."

The report, released today, was commissioned by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA). It estimates the cost of supplying electricity to New Zealand households could be cut by $30 million a year by reducing demand between 5pm and 8pm on weekdays in June, July and August.

Mr Hansen says the work the electricity distributors have underway will help consumers make better choices for themselves and for the economy − such as shifting their electricity use to times of the day or week when it costs less to produce and transport electricity.

"This shouldn’t mean anyone stops their usual winter activity of cooking dinner at six o’clock, and turning on the TV and heater," he says.

"Instead, it’s about encouraging consumers to make small changes to reduce their electricity use at peak times, and to use energy-efficient products. For example, run your dishwasher at night or charge your electric car at off-peak times. You don’t need to have a smart home to do this - many products have a built-in timer that means you can delay when they start.

"For some time now, the Authority has seen falling consumption by residential consumers, on average, reflecting greater use of more energy-efficient products and construction of new homes. The work electricity distributors are doing to improve their pricing will add to this trend," says Mr Hansen.

Background

The Electricity Authority is an independent Crown Entity with a statutory objective to promote competition in, reliable supply by, and the efficient operation of, the electricity industry for the long-term benefit of consumers.

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