Kiwis want to take advantage of technological change in the electricity sector. In future, households and businesses could buy and sell a range of services through their electricity connection. 

These could include electric vehicle charging, connection of solar panels and linked battery storage systems, automated management of water heating or batteries to take advantage of cheaper power or incentives, and smart energy management.

This is quite a shift from the current arrangement, which is primarily about buying electricity from a single supplier. We want to make sure there are no unnecessary barriers to more diverse products and services being offered.

This is an update on this work and what we plan to do next.

We have already sought and received views from several businesses and organisations about what the barriers might be.

We found their concerns centred on four main issues:

  • The current arrangements for all kinds of providers to use what we call “input services” which help them offer their products and services through the electricity connection, such as metering, customer data and access to the distribution network 
  • tracking who is supplying what services at a particular connection (ICP)
  • tying in to the electricity market processes and systems 
  • who is responsible for consumer obligations, such as the Electricity Industry Participation Code requirements.

To progress from here, we will now focus on real-life examples and practical measures to test the barriers. Over the next few months we will develop and test specific options to address these concerns. We expect to consult on these in the first part of the 2019 calendar year.

Also, we will ask IPAG to assist with addressing the question of how to facilitate all service providers getting access to the input services as needed.