Rather than bill customers directly, we charge the electricity retailers for the cost of delivering their electricity. They then ‘bundle up’ our line charges along with power generation, transmission (through Transpower’s national network) and their own retail charges into the bill that a customer receives.
Our line charges, which amount to about 28% of a residential customer’s power bill, are regulated by the Commerce Commission.
As this graph shows, we operate one of the more cost-effective electricity distribution businesses in New Zealand.
Reducing peak demand
Like roads, electricity networks have limited capacity. Orion’s ‘rush hours’ typically occur on very cold winter mornings and evenings – when people get up and go to work and when they arrive home from work, turn on their lights and heaters and cook dinner.
We could just spend money to increase the capacity of the network, which is like building bigger roads to cater for extra traffic. But this would lead to increased prices for capacity that is only required about 2% of the time.
We prefer to handle the peaks through load management and to have pricing that encourages more efficient use of our network.
For example, if a customer allows us to switch off their hot water cylinder for short, peak periods (generally this does not affect their hot water supply) they should achieve savings.
Pricing guide and information
Shortly we will publish an updated Pricing Guide, which will explain in plain English our approach to residential and business pricing. Our last Pricing Guide was published in 2010 before the Canterbury earthquakes.
Our more comprehensive Methodology for Deriving Delivery Prices was updated in April 2016.
To see a list of our disclosed pricing documents, please visit our pricing information page.
Orion has the same delivery charges for all electricity retailers. The retailers have responsibility for deciding the final price that is charged to their customers. To find out which energy retailer is best for you, visit Powerswitch, run by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs.