Our consultations

We take our commitment to customer service very seriously.  Our customers expect the highest practicable level of service and value for money.

We need to balance the need to invest in a reliable network with our consumers’ willingness to pay for a quality service. Our approach has been guided by extensive stakeholder consultation.

The consistent message from our customers is that they appreciate the dependability of our network but are not prepared to pay for a degree of reliability greater than we currently provide.

Prior to the Canterbury earthquakes, Orion managed one of the highest performing yet cost-effective networks in New Zealand.

Since 2011, with our focus on earthquake recovery, the only customer consultation we have undertaken has been over the development of our 2013 Customised Price-Quality Path (CPP)  proposal to the Commerce Commission.

We are now planning a range of engagement initiatives to ensure that the preferences of our customers and other stakeholders continue to shape our decision making.

 If you would like to provide feedback about the quality of our service or any other aspect of our operations you can email us at any time: info@oriongroup.co.nz

Significant previous consultations include:

Back to top

Post-earthquake pricing and reliability targets

The Canterbury earthquakes had a significant impact on our electricity network.

We have invested heavily in network development to restore the robustness of our network. In the next four years we will invest a further $300m to support the wider rebuild, restore our customer service levels, and respond to the needs of a changing region.

Our prices and network reliability targets are set by the Commerce Commission. Until 2014 this has been through a Default Price-Quality Path (DPP) agreement common to most other electricity distribution businesses.

In February 2013 we applied to the Commission for a Customised Price-Quality Path (CPP) agreement that reflected our earthquake response. After extensive customer consultation, we proposed a price increase that would start on 1 April 2014 to help recoup some of the network repair costs as well as reduced reliability targets that would see our network return to near pre-earthquake robustness and resilience levels by 2019.

The Commission agreed to our amended network reliability targets and approved a lesser price increase.

Our application to the Commission was informed by significant community and customer consultation.  A summary of the feedback received is included in pages 11-50 of our proposal.  The level of detail required by the Commission means that our application was more than 2,000 pages long. The entire proposal can be viewed in the links below, or you can view the summary and a video briefing on the subject.

The Commerce Commission’s CPP decision.

Summary of our proposal:

  • a plain English guide to our proposal - November 2012 (38 pages)

  • video of Orion CEO Rob Jamieson briefing the media about our draft proposal.

Back to top

 Entire proposal

Security of supply standard

Our security of supply standard is a 'table of rules' that describes the service we aim to provide on our network. It defines whether the power will go out if something fails on our network, and the length of time that customers can then expect to be without power.

We developed our first security of supply standard with community input in 1998 and subsequently reviewed the standard in 2006 following community and customer consultation.  

The security of supply standard can be viewed here.

Irrigator security of supply, reliability and pricing

We initiated a consultation process with irrigation customers about options for future electricity security of supply, reliability and pricing in December 2004. Irrigation customers were given the opportunity to choose the level of reliability they would like: a more reliable electricity network at an increased cost or a less reliable electricity network at a lower cost. The irrigators chose the latter.

As a result of consultation with irrigation customers, we opted to continue our irrigation 'interruptibility' price rebate scheme. This scheme offers a rebate to those irrigation customers who are prepared to accept occasional interruptions to their power supply in the event of an emergency.

We now plan our network on the basis that emergency cuts are acceptable to irrigators and as a result invest less in the rural network with accompanying reduced prices to irrigators.

Back to top