Media Release 27 February 2012
A Win for Electricity Markets
Pulse Utilities says it is pleased to have contributed to the successful dismissal of a High Court Appeal which sought
to overturn a decision by the Electricity Authority that a sudden wholesale electricity price spike in early 2011 was an
undesirable trading situation (UTS).
“The matters raised in the Authority’s decision and the subject of the appeals are of great significance to promoting
competition in the retail electricity industry, “said Pulse Utilities Chief Executive Dene Biddlecombe. “Our
participation in these proceedings was necessary to ensure the voice of competition from independent retailers was
Pulse Utilities is one of the country’s fastest growing independent electricity retailers with a commitment to
delivering a fair deal to consumers, particularly in rural and small town New Zealand. It has taken on the role of
little battler against the industry giants in a bid to promote competition that brings consumers better deals and also
accelerates long mooted reforms to the electricity market.
“We are a responsible and active participant in the evolving electricity industry. We were granted intervener status and
made submissions to the appeal. The issues being heard were critical to our business future and also of general public
importance, both in relation to the 26 March 2011 UTS and future regulation of the electricity industry,” Mr Biddlecombe
Pulse Utilities which retails the Just Energy consumer brand has been a strong advocate for ongoing market reforms aimed
at ensuring competition, reliability of supply of electricity to consumers and the efficient operation of the
“We didn’t have to get involved in the hearings but it was important that the independent retailers’ viewpoints were
heard. Like other players we could not to react in time to this sudden wholesale price spike and its ramifications. We
believe it is vital for the Electricity Authority to continue to have the power to investigate and declare a UTS to
retain confidence in the operation of the wholesale electricity market,” Mr Biddlecombe said. “We are a responsible,
consumer-focused operator and conservative in our hedging so are well placed to manage normal market volatility.”
The appeal against the Electricity Authority’s decision to declare a UTS was brought by Bay of Plenty Energy/Todd
Energy, Contact Energy and Genesis Power.
Various parties, including Pulse, applied to the High Court to participate in the appeals. A hearing was held at the
Wellington High Court on 16 August 2011.
Pulse Utilities is an independent electricity retailer, listed on the New Zealand Stock Exchange. It is one of the
fastest growing retailers in the country with its Just Energy brand attracting 32,000 customers with a promise of
keeping prices as a low as possible for as long as possible with a full service, fair deal offer. The company believes
that Kiwis should pay much less and smaller players should have fairer access to electricity supply in order to benefit
consumers. The company sees itself as a little battler against the big electricity generators and retailers and runs a
Little Battler community support schemes in its provincial and rural markets.