It was fascinating to hear on Friday the following comments on NewsTalkZB about the electricity market:
- An independent power company says the industry needs structural reform. Consumer NZ has raised concern about historically high profits made last year by our biggest power companies.
- Meridian, Contact, Genesis and Mercury made a combined $2.7 billion operating profits in the past year.
- Consumer estimates 40,000 households couldn’t afford power over the same period.
- Electric Kiwi chief executive Luke Blincoe says the market is broken.
- “You’ve got those big 4 players with excessive market power, and they’re able to extract monopoly rents from Kiwi families, really.”
The logical flaws to the supposed electricity “market” which many will remember was lauded so loudly by Max Bradford as he led the reforms which were supposed to lead to savings and cheaper electricity for us all are now transparent. Those who stood up at the time and said this would fail were called “out of date”, and worse. Well look at how these organisations which were originally owned by us all are ripping us raw.
So, we decided to invite Robert Burke to investigate this market and why it is failing to the Tuesday Club.
Robert started off his working life as an Avionic Tech in the Air Force, and then when to university studying, Math and Physics. After leaving university he became a programmer and then evolved into working with electronics developing hardware and software solutions.
For the last 25 years, he has been involved in developing hardware and software for a variety of applications from tracking concrete trucks to monitoring distribution transformers and electrical cables for electrical distributor like Orion.
His last company was Connexionz the bus tracking company in Christchurch to provide customers with bus arrival times and bus system operator’s operation performance reporting. 6 years ago, he formed WMAC initially to monitor electrical problem in large factory and then pivoted monitoring the Low Voltage network for electrical distributor.
Robert wrote to me and said:
Global warming and our need for electricity is now what drives me. But the New Zealand electricity network is not ready for electrification and the work in front of us is daunting. WMAC is focused on providing the solutions to provide reliable electrification and the controls needed to deliver this.
The poor accountability of our electricity industry is something that confuses most of us. So, it will be fascinating to hear from an industry insider who can hopefully clear up our confusion toward this topic.