Project overview

Aim of the project

To evaluate the benefits of providing customers with the option to contract with more than one supplier for electricity services.

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The electricity industry is changing fundamentally. Technologies such as solar panels, batteries, electric vehicles and smart controls for equipment and appliances (i.e. hot water cylinders and lighting) have seen considerable reduction in costs and improvements in capability. These changes, coupled with improvements in data collection and use of data (i.e. internet of things), are triggering change to the electricity industry and markets. These changes mean households and businesses are more capable of choosing when and how they use electricity. 

Currently customers contract with a single retailer for electricity services at one installation control point. The multiple trading relationships (MTR) pilot aims to evaluate how the people of Aotearoa New Zealand would benefit from having more choice in how and where electricity is being used – a customer centric electricity system. Specifically, having the option to contract with more than one supplier for electricity services at your home or business, particularly in the context of greater uptake of distributed energy resources, such as rooftop solar panels. More choice allows consumers to select services that are better tailored to their individual needs while also improving competition in the electricity sector.

MTR may benefit consumers from the unbundling of electricity services and the creation of new ones, and may result in the achievement of emissions budgets at lower overall cost.

Check out this video below that explains the MTR pilot further.


Electricity Authority

Electricity Authority consultation submission

Ara Ake provided a submission to the Electricity Authority’s consultation: Updating the Regulatory Settings for Distribution Networks in March 2023. You can read our submission here, including details on the benefits of Multiple Trading Relationships, our pilot programme and our request to the Authority, with our partner Kāinga Ora, for regulatory exemptions from the Electricity Industry Participation Code 2010 to trial solar sharing on state housing.