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This page provides information for our residential and business customers on network pricing. 

MainPower provides distribution line services (poles and wires which deliver electricity to homes and businesses) to a population of over 65,000 people in the North Canterbury and Kaikoura region. Approximately 76% of our customer base is residential, with the majority of the remaining being small commercial, farming or irrigation customers.

We consult with our customers on an annual basis to gauge their general level of satisfaction with the distribution services we provide, as well as on price and quality expectations. 

MainPower generally performs well in terms of both reliability and quality of supply. Our customers also tell us that they would definitely not be willing to accept poorer levels of power quality and reliability in exchange for a lower price or discount.

What am I paying for?

MainPower does not bill customers direct for distribution lines services. Instead, we charge electricity retailers for these costs who then pass them onto customers via monthly electricity bills. According to the Electricity Authority website, around 26% of your electricity bill goes to paying costs involved in the local distribution of electricity.

Electricity Industry

What's changing?

Effective 1 April 2017, transmission and distribution line charges (or ‘network charges’) will increase by approximately 8.7%. 

Increased transmission charges from the national grid operator Transpower account for approximately 60% of the increase in network charges. MainPower has also increased its distribution line charges and this accounts for approximately 40% of the increase in network charges. 

A fundamental requirement of MainPower’s business is the delivery of a safe, secure and reliable supply of electricity to our region. This means investing in the network to maintain our distribution infrastructure so we can continue to deliver a level of service expected by our customers. 

While our costs are largely fixed, our revenue is highly variable and directly linked to electricity consumption. Any reduction in demand, as experienced in 2016 year, impacts our ability to appropriately invest in our network for the future. While we carefully valuate these decisions and continue to look for opportunities to be more operationally efficient, this has resulted in an increase to our distribution line charge for 2017.

What does this mean for you?

MainPower does not bill customers direct. We do not sell electricity or set the fnal price you pay for it – your retailer does that. We notify retailers in our network area of our pricing schedule and they communicate this with customers. Because retailers bundle up all of the costs associated with supplying electricity, it may not be clear what portion relates to network charges.

What about the rebate?

MainPower’s preference shareholders (also known as rebate shareholders or qualifying customers) will continue to receive a monthly rebate credited to their electricity account. Once a customer is connected to the MainPower network, they become a preference shareholder. Customers previously connected to the Kaiapoi Electricity Network are not deemed qualifying customers under the Trust Deed. 

Effective 1 April 2017, the qualifying customer rebate will increase to 2.014 cents per unit.

Need more information?

If you would like to know more about our pricing, read our Pricing Guide. It’s a short document in plain English that explains the key features of our pricing.

You can view our Price Schedule here.  

For more detailed information, read our Pricing Methodology which describes the approach MainPower has adopted to determine prices for customers connected to our electricity distribution network.

MainPower is currently reviewing its approach to electricity line charges. For more information, click here