Real Time Pricing Project

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What is the project about? Project Status
Project Timeline Industry Involvement

What is this project about?

Currently spot prices for energy and instantaneous reserve are determined in the wholesale electricity market. At present, the spot prices published in real-time are only indicative. The pricing manager publishes final prices for any given day at least two days after real-time. These indicative prices are normally a sound guide to final prices, but large differences can arise—especially when the system is under stress. This makes spot prices uncertain, making it harder for parties to make efficient real-time decisions about their consumption and generation.

In late 2015 the Electricity Authority engaged Transpower as system operator to start working with them on a proposal to move to real time pricing. Four options were presented presenting four options for people to consider with a preference on a dispatch-based option.

The proposal is to adopt real-time prices set by the dispatch schedule the system operator uses to issue dispatch instructions. This typically occurs every five minutes or so. These are called ‘dispatch prices’, because they are derived from the dispatch process in real-time. It is proposed the final price at a node for each trading period would be the time-weighted average of these dispatch prices. These prices would be published in real-time, as they are created.

Project Status

The Electricity Authority have undertaken two rounds of industry consultation and a final consultation to seek feedback on the remaining market design components is scheduled for early 2019. Details of previous consultations can be found on the Electricity Authority’s website at the following locations:

The Authority also held two Real Time Pricing project public briefings, content and selected recordings from these briefings can be found on the Electricity Authority’s website at the following locations:

The project is currently in the investigation phase the delivery phase has been planned and is awaiting approval by the Electricity Authority.


It is hoped that the delivery phase of the project will commence at the start of the 2019/2020 financial year, this is subject to approval. The duration of the delivery phase is expected to be 38 months, if project approval is received in July 2019 as hoped this provides for an estimated completion date of September 2022.

Ongoing Industry Involvement

The system operator will engage with industry over the duration of the project, this will be by way of a combination of updates to this website, industry briefings and a regular targeted industry engagement group. A proposed schedule of briefings and engagement groups will be published  on the RTP Workshops page on this website in due course.

Further Information

Transpower has established a monitored email account for the RTP project Queries sent to this email address will be responded to in a timely manner.