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The Lines Company Board announces date for new pricing system

12 December 2017

After an extensive and thorough review, The Lines Company (TLC) Board announced in October 2017 that it would move to a Time of Use (TOU) charging system to replace the much debated demand based approach that has been in place for just over a decade. This is in line with the Independent recommendation the Board received earlier this year.

The Board has now announced it is targeting 1 October 2018 as the date to transition to the new TOU system.

Board Chair Mark Darrow commented:

“This date gives us time to prepare for the change. We need to ensure that there is plenty of time for customers to fully understand how the new system works, and we need to provide a comprehensive communication programme starting in early 2018 to ensure we have a smooth transition, and everyone is fully informed on what the change will mean for them.

“Ultimately our aim was always to provide a fair, equitable and transparent charging method for providing energy distribution in the region. This means that lines charges may move up or down for individual consumers compared to the current approach but they will have much more immediate control over their charges. We strongly believe our own terms of reference will be achieved,” he said.

In addition to a major communication programme, TLC is working closely with the Waitomo Energy Services Customer Trust (WESCT) looking at other initiatives for community engagement including working closely with stakeholders at ways of providing community education and ideas andinitiatives around energy efficiency.

“This is a significant and important change for The Lines Company and our customers. It is essential that we have the customer voice at the forefront of our work and will be asking for more feedback from early next year to ensure we understand how our customers will respond to the change in pricing and to ensure our communication is helpful and informative. The exact charges under TOU have not yet been set and will be finalised nearer the time after further testing and community consultation. ”

“Part of the increased transparency will be to provide a web-based customer portal where customers can see their energy usage, which will enable them to be efficient with their energy decisions. The ability to load control remains an important tool for all energy companies and we will include appropriate incentives into the new TOU system,” Darrow concluded.

TLC will reset annual prices in the normal way on 1 April 2018 under the current system, and then change to TOU six months after that on 1 October 2018.

About TOU Pricing

TOU pricing measures how much electricity is used at different times of the day. With TOU pricing,prices for the volume of electricity you use vary according to the time of day. You will pay a lowerlines price for using electricity at off-peak times and a higher price for using it at peak times when electricity usage on the network is heavy. This is because we build and maintain the network based on peak load. Your monthly bill will now reflect the amount of electricity you use during different times of the day. You will be in control as your energy decisions will directly impact your monthly bill.

TOU is already offered in New Zealand by a number of networks including Vector, WEL Energy, Waipa Networks and Unison.

For more information contact