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Electricity Governance Arrangements Challenge Govt

Published: Wed 2 Oct 2002 03:14 PM
Electricity Governance Arrangements a Challenge to Government
"The Commerce Commission's approval of electricity industry self-governance will provide a real challenge to the Government, which must ensure that its full policy objectives are met." said Molly Melhuish, energy analyst, for the Sustainable Energy Forum.
The approved electricity industry Rulebook specifically excludes public interest matters, except in a non-binding foreword. It sets up Market Rules for the mutual benefit of wholesale market participants.
"Small consumers are represented mainly by the Major Electricity Users Group, and the large generator-retailer companies, whose real interests are often contrary. The interests of energy efficiency and small renewable energy businesses are ignored", she said.
Transpower's expert consultant, Professor Bill Hogan, wrote for Transpower's final submission:
"If industry decision-making is not inherently superior to that of a body having the responsibility, capability and authority to support the public interest, then the whole theory of the Applicant's design crumbles. This is a radical conclusion, fully justified by the record. It requires a correspondingly radical reorientation of oversight and decision processes for this sector.
Need we say more? "
"The Sustainable Energy Forum agrees with these sentiments. The will come back to haunt the Government and the industry before too long," concluded Mrs Melhuish.

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