Regulation ensures quality and value for New Zealanders

Regulation is important because we are the only electricity transmission provider in New Zealand. Regulation ensures that, as an organisation, we have incentives to innovate, invest, and meet quality standards. It also limits the return we can earn. This helps to make sure that all New Zealanders receive a good service at a good price.

We are a state-owned enterprise, and any profit we make is returned to the New Zealand Government as a dividend.

Our regulators

Transpower has two key regulators.

The Commerce Commission reviews our proposed five-year work plan. It then determines our spending allowance, our quality targets, and what we are allowed to earn on our investments.

The Electricity Authority, sets out how we charge our customers for the services they receive, and the standards of grid reliability we must meet.

More information about the way those costs are allocated is found in the Grid Pricing and Transmission Pricing Methodology pages of this website.

We meet regularly with our regulators to discuss how we’re going. We also formally report back each year through a number of mechanisms, including our Annual Disclosures.

How we ask for funding

In addition to our five-year workplan, we can also ask the Commerce Commission for other types of funding.

We can submit additional proposals to the Commerce Commission for certain types of work that were uncertain or unknown at the time of our workplan proposal. The Commission examines each submission and decides whether the work we want to do – and the cost recovery we are seeking – is appropriate. This information is here.

If we are seeking funding for any individual project that costs more than $20 million we must go through an extensive consultation process and even closer assessment. Such projects must deliver net benefits to the electricity market or enhance the reliability of the grid. These are called “major capital expenditure proposals” and must be submitted to the Commerce Commission separate to our workplan proposals. Recent examples include WUNIVM and NZGP1.