Pricing Roadmap

This webpage is to be considered the primary and current resource for our Pricing Roadmap.

Overview

Waipa Networks is currently transitioning from legacy price plans to more more cost-reflective pricing and has chosen the ‘Time of Use’ approach where peak/shoulder/off-peak time periods have different prices applicable.  We have chosen this approach over other methods as we believe it is the easiest for customers to understand given their familiarity with the cents/unit energy pricing.  Customers can therefore understand the benefits of shifting or reducing peak electricity usage and those benefits are immediately realised through savings on the electricity bill (assuming the Electricity Retailer has provided the customer a time of use Retail plan that aligns with our time periods and price signalling ).

Advanced Uncontrolled (peak/shoulder/off-peak) is largely optional, but became compulsory for all new connections and connections with Distributed Generation from 1 April 2017.  Our reason for this is to encourage those that (for example) are building new houses or investing in solar power to make efficient decisions in terms of electrical wiring, appliances and energy management.

The following shows the transition timetable.  The timetable will be reviewed annually in consultation with Electricity Retailers.

Effective Date Detail
1 April 2016

 

(Completed)

Advanced Uncontrolled plan introduced.  Available to all ICPs with Advanced Metering.  Compulsory for all existing ICPs with Time of Use (HHR) metering.

Generation Export plan introduced.  Compulsory for all ICPs with Distributed Generation.

Existing Day/Night plan (WAx6 and WAx7) closed to new ICPs.

1 April 2017

Completed

 

Advanced Uncontrolled plan compulsory for all ICPs with Distributed Generation.

Existing Uncontrolled plans (WAx2) closed – No ICPs may change to this plan.

New requirements around 400V Capacity Contract.

Existing Day/Night plan eliminated.

New BTS price plan created for use during construction phase only.

1 April 2019

Completed

Advanced All Inclusive plan introduced as an option for ICPs currently on the legacy All Inclusive price plan.

Legacy Uncontrolled (WAx2) plans reopened – available to ICPs where AMI is not available due to unavailability of coms or if customer refuses an AMI meter.

1 April 2022

 

All ICPs with AMI still on Uncontrolled move to Advanced Uncontrolled, with exemptions (see below).

All ICPs with AMI still on All Inclusive/single register will move to Advanced All Inclusive, with exemptions (see below).

2022/23 Review Time of Use implementation.

Consultation with Electricity Retailers and customers around potential future pricing options.

Consultation

Electricity Retailers

Recognising that Electricity Retailers ultimately determine customer pricing and signals, Waipa Networks began consultation with Electricity Retailers in 2015 prior to the introduction of new pricing on 1 April 2016.  As a result of their valuable feedback, our timetable was modified to allow time for metering and billing systems to be upgraded.

We also consulted with the Electricity Authority around the need for new Register Content Codes for our Peak/Off-Peak/Shoulder time periods.  The EA sent these out for consultation and they were approved in March 2016.

Electricity Retailers were also consulted late in 2016 and a new BTS price plan was introduced to the timetable.

Retailer consultation occurred again late in 2018 and the roadmap and timetable was adjusted to cater for non-AMI metering.  The shifting of the bulk of ICPs to the new Advanced plans was also pushed out from 1 April 2019 to 1 April 2021, and then again to 1 April 2022, recognising that many Retailers still did not have billing systems set up to provide TOU data.

Waipa Network’s consultation with electricity customers has been mindful of the fact that we have an interposed relationship with them and that pricing is ultimately determined by their Electricity Retailer.  The Price Categories and lines pricing are effectively signals only to the Electricity Retailer and they are not required to pass these signals on to the customer.  Our focus has therefore been on consultation with the Retailers, while keeping customers informed of progress and signaling where lines pricing is going and therefore Retail pricing is likely to go if the Retailers reflect this.

Customers

Waipa Networks has provided all customers with newsletters (March 2016 and March 2017) announcing our move to more cost reflective pricing, our reasons for doing so, and our progress to date.  We have also published information on our website.

Waipa Networks is also engaging with customers through our membership of the Electricity Networks Association’s Consumer Engagement and Distribution Pricing working groups.  A significant part of the groups’ work is around consumer engagement in relation to future pricing options.

While Waipa Networks is further progressed than other Distributors in relation to the new pricing options, we recognise that the emergence and uptake of new technologies such as solar generation, electric vehicles and battery storage requires us to continue to consult with and inform stakeholders at each stage of our journey.

In 2022 we intend to consult with customers around potential pricing options beyond TOU.

Resourcing

Waipa Networks does not currently anticipate the need for additional resources to transition to Time of Use (Peak/Off-Peak/Shoulder) however this will depend on any additional administrative needs resulting from the level of exemptions required (see below) and Retailer/customer feedback post-implementation.

Our communication mediums include our customer service staff, customer newsletters, our website, and social media.

Our billing systems are under review however no additional costs for Waipa Networks are anticipated with the move to Time of Use pricing.  Some additional costs are anticipated for Retailers whose AMI rollout plans would need to be brought forward to accommodate our pricing implementation timetable.

Exemptions from Time of Use (Peak/Off-Peak/Shoulder) Pricing 1 April 2022

Following feedback from Electricity Retailers in the lead up to transitioning to Time of Use pricing it has been necessary to offer exemptions where ICPs can remain on existing non-TOU price plans while one or more of the exemption reasons apply.  These reasons are:

  • The current customer at the ICP has refused AMI.
  • A lack of cell/radio coverage means AMI is not possible.
  • The ICP does not have AMI installed, or the meter is non-communicating.
  • AMI is installed, but the Retailer’s billing system is unable to provide Waipa Networks EIEP1 consumption data in the required three TOU periods.
  • AMI is installed, however the Retailer does not have any agreement with the MEP for the provision of the required TOU data.

Exemptions are granted where the Electricity Retailer has requested an ICP be exempt and provided one or more of the reasons above.  Electricity Retailers are required to notify Waipa Networks as soon as the reason(s) for the exemption no longer apply at which time the ICP will shift to Time of Use.

Low Fixed Charge (LFC) Tariff Regulations

The Government is gradually phasing out restrictions present under the Lower Fixed Charge tariff regulations over a 5 year period beginning 1 April 2022.  For information on this visit their website by clicking here.

Waipa Networks, like all electricity distributors throughout New Zealand, are primarily a fixed-cost business.  This means that as LFC restrictions ease we are able to increase the proportion of costs we recover in our pricing through fixed charges as opposed to those recovered based on how much power (kW/h units) is used.  Other than the broader electricity price increases that typically occur each year, the vast majority of customers will see little change on their power bill as the proportion of fixed charges increases and proportion of kW/h charges decreases. However, customers who have traditionally used very little electricity will notice some cost increases while those who are traditionally higher users will notice some decrease on their power bill.  Ultimately this is a fairer way for electricity distributors to charge for their services and better reflects the cost of electricity supply.