Frequently Asked Questions

The following is a list of frequently asked questions. If you need to talk to one of us directly then please don't hesitate to get in touch with us directly by clicking here:



What’s the difference between a DISTRIBUTION company and an electricity retailer?

Network Waitaki and other distribution companies provide  the infrastructure – the poles, power lines, underground cables and other electrical equipment – to deliver electricity to the consumer. NWL has the same delivery charges for all retailers, who then sell the electricity and also invoice for both the electricity used and the delivery of the electricity. The retailer then passes on the portion for distribution to NWL or other network provider. NWL’s delivery charges, including its costs for transmission, currently account for around 30% of the average household electricity bill in the Waitaki.

What does your power bill pay for web



Why do DISTRIBUTION companies need to keep investing more into the network?

A large part of the network was built in the 1950s and 1960s and there are requirements to ensure this ageing network is upgraded. There has also been strong growth in electricity demand and forecasts are for ever-increasing demand, based on rural (irrigation) and industrial growth as well as the advent of new technologies. Like our roads, the network needs to be maintained and upgraded to meet our future needs.




The process of getting electricity to customers involves four components as shown on the Energy Chain diagram.

Each component of the chain review their charges annually, including Network Waitaki. Transpower also reviews its costs and passes on these changes to distribution companies. These are combined with changes to our cost structure and passed on to the customer, generally through their retailer.

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As a residential CONSUMER or small business owner can I do anything to reduce my power bill?

Absolutely. The amount you pay every month for your electricity reflects a number of things, your usage behaviour (whether you use electricity during peak period, such as coldest weekday mornings when the network is heavily loaded) and which retailer you are with. To that end you can contact your retailer directly or you can visit a free service that helps you work out which power company and pricing plan is best for you.