Jump to content

Electricity discount in time for winter

8 May 2024

More than 8,000 electricity customers in the northern part of The Lines Company (TLC) network will receive a credit on their power bill in time for winter.

The credit will show up in May or June power bills for beneficiaries of the Waitomo Energy Services Customer Trust (WESCT) who largely live in or around Te Kūiti, Ōtorohanga, Piopio, Mangakino or Mōkau.

WESCT owns TLC on behalf of the community and strongly advocates for the discount paid out by TLC each year. Southern TLC customers do not receive the discount because they are not WESCT beneficiaries.

On average the yearly discount is worth around $200 per residential power bill. How much of that is credited in this winter payment will depend on the customers’ price plan and their power bills between November 2023 and March 2024.

In total, TLC paid out $4.3 million in discounts for the financial year ending in March 2024 – up from $3.8 million four years ago. Over the last four years, $16.4 million has been distributed in discounts and a further $714,000 has been invested directly in community groups, local events and facilities and other initiatives.

That’s on top of the financial support TLC, with the support of WESCT, provides to Maru Energy Trust which aims to ensure homes are warm and dry.  Since being established in 2018, Maru has helped insulate close to 900 local homes and install more than 400 heat pumps.

“We’re lucky to be able to make a difference here in our own community, especially when 80 per cent of our staff are local,” TLC chief executive Mike Fox said. “We are strongly connected to this place and we want to see local families well supported now and in the future.”

In February TLC announced it would boost the discount from $4.3 million to $5.2 million next year. WESCT chair William Oliver said the discount, community grants and wider sponsorship programme showed the benefit of TLC being community-owned. It meant profits from the company stayed in the King Country “where they belonged”, he said.

“Being locally-owned means the assets are built for the benefit of today’s households, but in a way that also looks after our children and grandchildren. WESCT supports TLC committing to a bigger discount next year, and also advocates for TLC adding value in other ways, including through its community funding programme for example.”

To support the discount, TLC is rolling out energy education seminars to help families in time for winter. The free seminars help customers save money by learning how to use electricity efficiently. Seminars are booked in at Mangakino (Central Charitable Trust, Rangatira Drive 11am- 2pm, Thursday, May 9) and Ōtorohanga (Ōtorohanga Support House, Maniapoto Street 11am-3pm Thursday, June 13) with more yet to be confirmed. For details on the seminars, call the TLC team on 0800 367 546.

For more information contact