ComCom looks into EV developments
Posted by Scott Morgan on May 9th, 2018
The Commerce Commission is investigating how electricity distributors are dealing with emerging technologies, including electric vehicles.
Its first step has been to publish an open letter to better understand how the industry is planning, investing and accounting for emerging technologies.
"Emerging technologies like battery storage, solar, electric vehicles and home automation systems have the potential to revolutionise the way New Zealanders live and the types of energy we consume. This work is about ensuring our regulation keeps pace with these rapid changes," commission deputy chairwoman Sue Begg says.
The letter also reminds electricity lines companies about how emerging technology costs and revenues should be accounted for in order to comply with their regulatory requirements.
"The main purpose of EV chargers is to charge cars, not transport electricity. Therefore, our starting point is that we do not expect the costs associated with chargers to be included in their regulated asset bases, as they are not a cost of providing regulated services that consumers ultimately pay for through their power bills," Begg says.
"We need to ensure that consumers benefit from advances in technology, while at the same time promoting the development of competitive energy markets. Regulated monopolies should not have an unfair advantage over existing and future competitors in this space."
Lines companies are also reminded about their obligations under Part 2 of the Commerce Act to ensure they do not enter into agreements which will substantially lessen competition, Begg says.
The commission welcomes feedback on its intention to gather further information by May 18 to email@example.com.