8 Apr 2013

Transpower to pay customers not to use electricity

9:30 pm on 8 April 2013

Transpower is working on plans to pay big customers to use less electricity. They would also get lower bills for using less power.

The size of the payments is not yet settled, as the system would work on the basis of tender.

That means customers seeking payment would offer a price, Transpower would counter-offer and the final amount would be settled after negotiation.

The scheme would be open to industrial and commercial customers and other large users.

Transpower is setting up the scheme because it has spent $5 billion upgrading its lines and wants to be able to use them flexibly.

It tried a similar scheme in 2011, but could not reach agreement on the size of payments.

The project is separate from another scheme requiring electricity companies to pay customers in a public savings campaign during a crisis.

This scheme was set up by legislation in 2010, but has not yet been invoked.