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Greens prioritise warm, safe and affordable homes for Wellington

News from Green Party
The Green Party would push to ensure everyone in Wellington has a warm, safe and affordable place to live as part of the next Government. Co-leader, James Shaw visited Dwell Housing Trust and met with Renters United today to talk about the Green Party’s plan to make homes across the city more affordable and accessible. Read more »

Draft plan to reduce Wellington Electricity’s ‘allowable revenue;’ will this mean we’re paying less?

Press Release – Commerce Commission
The Commerce Commission has released a draft decision on how it proposes to move Wellington Electricity Lines Limited from a customised price-quality path (CPP) to a default price-quality path from 1 April 2021.

Wellington Electricity has been on a customised price-quality path since April 2018. This has enabled it to spend $31 million to improve its network’s resilience to a major earthquake. The CPP period is due to end on 31 March 2021.

“Wellington Electricity will soon complete its CPP earthquake readiness programme and is moving back to a default price-quality path,” Commission deputy chair Sue Begg said.

“The draft decision released today outlines two options for setting the revenue that Wellington Electricity can recover from consumers. We can either roll over prices from the CPP or set a new revenue allowance. We propose to set a new revenue allowance for the regulatory period from 1 April 2021, to better reflect Wellington Electricity’s expected future costs.

“Our proposal would see a 2.5% reduction in net allowable revenue for Wellington Electricity relative to the current year’s CPP value.

“This decision provides a relatively low-cost way of managing how Wellington Electricity transitions to the final four years of the 2020-2025 DPP, Ms Begg said.”

A copy of the draft decision is available on the Commerce Commission website. A final decision is expected by November 2020.

Changes to the line charges for electricity consumers in the Wellington region will be advised by Wellington Electricity prior to 1 April, and we expect they will be reflected in consumers’ electricity bills from the same date. 


Under the Commerce Act, the Commission regulates monopoly infrastructure providers, including most local lines companies, to ensure they deliver strong and sustainable services for the long-term benefit of consumers.

The Commission’s price-quality regulation sets rules about how much the lines companies can earn from their customers and the minimum reliability standards they must deliver. The companies must also publicly disclose information about their financial and physical performance of their networks to increase transparency. Community-owned lines companies are exempt from price-quality regulation.

The Commission only sets the maximum overall revenue these companies can earn each year and does not control what lines companies charge individual consumers or what electricity retailers charge their customers. We expect that electricity retailers will be transparent on the extent to which changes in distribution changes are reflected in a consumer’s bill, consistent with the Electricity Authority’s Guidelines for communications about price changes. The Electricity Authority’s guidelines can be found here.

Default price-quality paths compared to customised price-quality paths
DPPs are intended to be a relatively low-cost regulatory option and are not designed to meet the exact needs of every lines company. Where more significant infrastructure investment might be needed, a customised price-quality path is likely to be a more suitable option as it can be tailored to a lines company’s specific circumstances.

Wellington Electricity’s CPP
Wellington Electricity owns and manages the Wellington electricity network which connects to approximately 166,000 homes and businesses in the Wellington, Hutt Valley and Porirua regions. In March 2018, the Commission approved $31 million of spending to allow Wellington Electricity to improve its network’s resilience to a major earthquake.

Originally owned by local councils, ownership has changed significantly since the early 1990’s. At the start of the 1990s, the Wellington City Council Municipal Electricity Department (MED) and the Hutt Valley Electric Power Board (HVEPB) merged their electricity assets. As part of the Energy Companies Act 1992 two new companies were formed, Capital Power and Energy Direct. In 1996, the Canadian owned power company TransAlta acquired both companies to form a consolidated electricity distribution network business. In 1998, ownership was passed to United Networks, which Vector acquired in 2003. Both United Networks and Vector integrated the Wellington based network into their overall operations.

In July 2008 the network was purchased by CK Infrastructure Holdings Limited (formerly known as Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings Limited) and Power Assets Holdings Limited (formerly known as Hongkong Electric) to create Wellington Electricity Lines Limited (Wellington Electricity). Following this purchase, Wellington Electricity re-established its Corporate office and operates its business systems for the independent operation and control of the network.

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Solar power and LED lighting for Parliament

News from Parliament
Parliament is introducing new measures that will further reduce its carbon footprint and improve energy efficiency on the parliamentary precinct in Wellington. With support provided through the clean-powered public service fund, Parliament will be installing solar PV on the roof of the historic Parliament House and LED lighting throughout the buildings.

It’s estimated this will reduce Parliament’s carbon emissions by around 1,690 tonnes over the next ten years. Parliamentary Service will receive $1.3 million in support from the clean-powered public service fund and will contribute $0.960 million from its own budget towards the project.

The savings made through this initiative, and others, will be used to offset the travel that members of Parliament are required to undertake as they carry out their work across the country.

“New Zealanders look to Parliament to do the right thing and we should be leading by example, demonstrating our commitment to energy efficiency and renewable resources” Speaker of the House Trevor Mallard says.

“Over the past three years I have been working with Parliamentary Service to make the precinct more environmentally friendly and I’m extremely pleased to see that this latest initiative will have such a significant, positive impact as we work towards becoming carbon neutral in future years.”

Last year Parliamentary Service joined the Green Star environmental performance scheme, which assesses a building’s environmental impacts across a range of categories, including energy, climate change emissions, water, waste and transport. In 2018 the units that provide chilled water for air conditioning on the precinct were also replaced with more energy efficient units. This resulted in significant emissions savings as the chiller units are the single biggest use of electricity onsite.

Upcoming work will focus on investigating rain water storage and wind generation as part of ongoing efforts to improve the sustainability and resilience of the precinct.

Status quo retained: Regional Council votes against a Maori constituency seat

Report from LDR
There will be no specific Māori constituency seat at the Wellington Regional Council table after the board chose to retain the status quo for the 2022 elections. Read more »

Tech industry heavyweight joins Catalyst Cloud Board

Press Release – Catalyst Cloud
Wellington cloud computing innovators Catalyst Cloud have announced the appointment of Dave Moskovitz as an independent director. Read more »

Ōtaki Gorge Road closed after stress cracks found at Blue Bluff

News from Kapiti Coast District Council
New damage to the slip-prone bank at Blue Bluff on Ōtaki Gorge Road (13km inland from SH1) following Wednesday night’s heavy rain is causing concern and the Council have temporarily closed the area to vehicles. Read more »

Turning off a flow of burglaries: man arrested and charged with stealing 30 taps

News from NZ Police
The tap’s been turned right off on a flow of burglaries in Levin, after a man was arrested. The 21-year-old will be reappearing in court in relation to 14 burglaries involving the theft of taps from approximately 20 businesses. Read more »

Wellington people identified as close contacts of new covid-19 community cases

News from Ministry of Health
Today there are three new cases of COVID-19, all detected in recent returnees from overseas who were in managed isolation facilities. There are no new community cases. Public health services continue to contact trace, test and isolate close contacts of the three community cases reported yesterday. Read more »

Hutt City needs to replace 60% of its water network – cost $1.3billion

News from Hutt City Council
The Hutt City Council will today consider the level of investment needed for water infrastructure, as part of work to develop the Long Term Plan, which sets out Council’s plans for the ten years ahead. Read more »

WCC turns 150 – 36 mayors and hundreds of councillors

News from WCC
The Wellington City Council is turning 150 this month. On 28 September 1870 the Wellington City Council met for the first time after succeeding the Town Board. Since then it has had 36 Mayors and hundreds of councillors. Read more »

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