How to use these tools
These tools are interactive and simple to use. Hover over the icons to explore the data and find out more about the retail electricity market.
For an explanation of the terms used in the tools hover over the information icon in the bottom left hand corner.
To compare data across different years and regions. click on the drop-down menus in the right hand corner.
Click on the orange arrow icons to visit a more detailed Electricity Market Information (EMI) report.
The EMI website has a wide range of information and tools available covering all aspects of the electricity market. Users can gain insights and understanding by exploring data within reports, downloading information, interacting with complex modelling tools, and engaging in discussions related to the information presented.
Visit the EMI website for more in-depth insights into the performance of New Zealand’s electricity market.
The retail market snapshot highlights key changes in the New Zealand retail electricity market over time. We encourage users to engage and interact with the information to see how the electricity market has evolved since 2010.
This tool is designed to allow you to simulate the outcomes of purchasing electricity futures contracts. It describes the role futures contracts may play from the perspective of either a pure retailer or an industrial consumer. The retailer would be looking to adopt a hedging strategy that achieves a degree of wholesale price certainty so they can be assured that their purchase cost remains lower than the price they are charging their retail customers. The industrial consumer would likely have a budget for electricity purchases and would adopt a hedging strategy that ensures they stay within budget.
Some scenarios to try:
The scenarios below illustrate some of the upsides and downsides of taking out a hedge position, compared to purchasing all electricity at the wholesale spot price.
Dec 17 quarter, purchased 92 days in advance of maturity
The December 2017 contract price trended down slightly just before the quarter started but then rose continuously throughout the quarter. Buying at the start of the quarter locked in a favourable price compared to the final settlement price and, depending on the amount of cover purchased, it is possible this position could have lowered the overall net cost by up to two-thirds.
Dec 18 quarter, purchased 364 days in advance of maturity
The spot price was highly volatile during the last quarter of 2018 due to unforeseen gas outages and low hydro storage. Futures prices increased dramatically towards the end of 2018, resulting in very high ask prices in the early part of the quarter. If a large contract position had been taken early enough, a very favourable price could have been locked in, and, with the benefit of hindsight of course, the net cost of electricity purchases could have been lowered by up to 90% compared with purchasing at spot prices. On the other hand, if futures contracts were purchased late and at the highest ask price observed during this period, i.e. $320 per MWh 68 days before maturity, the decline in spot prices towards the end of the quarter would have seen the net cost increase by about 30% compared with going unhedged and purchasing at spot prices.
Sep 2019 quarter, purchased 199 days in advance of maturity
The contract settlement price trended up about six months prior to maturity but then subsequently declined, leading to substantial margin calls against this position. In hindsight, taking a large position early on may have significantly increased the overall cost compared to an unhedged position, however the price certainty it provided may still make it worthwhile compared to remaining exposed to the spot price uncertainty exhibited in other quarters.