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Review of electricity supply obligations

Hon Trevor Mallard - 02/06/2005

A review of the requirement for electricity line companies to maintain electricity connections will be undertaken in 2007, Energy Minister Trevor Mallard announced today.

"Electricity line companies are required to maintain existing connections until 31 March 2013. The requirement is contained in s62 of the Electricity Act 1992, which expires on that date. The expiry of this section will remove the obligation on line companies to continue to operate in "uneconomic" rural areas.

"I know that rural communities have been concerned about this issue and that is why I intend to undertake a review of whether that obligation to maintain existing lines should continue beyond 2013 or expire as currently provided for in the Electricity Act.

"A review would allow consideration of all the options for ensuring that good arrangements are in place to ensure affected communities continue to have a reliable electricity supply.

"By holding the review in 2007, it will allow sufficient time for the legislation to be amended if necessary and for the continuing development of new technologies to supply electricity to homes and businesses.

"By then we will also have a good idea as to the likely alternative technologies available for electricity supply after 2013 and the economics of these technologies," Trevor Mallard said.

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