I commend TECT trustees on their courage to address a structure that has worked well for 25 years, but may not be appropriate in future. Quickly improving electricity storage technology and the rapidly declining cost of renewable energy suggests the sector is in for a turbulent time. Also, Trustpower is now an Australasian business and is majority owned by infrastructure business, Infratil.
Trustpower has quickly come out in opposition to the TECT proposal. Why? Could it be self-interest?
Previously my own business, a substantial electricity user, grew suspicious when reminded by Trustpower of the benefit of the TECT cheque. We found we could make considerable savings by changing supplier, saving more than the subsidy of the TECT cheque. Perhaps all Western Bay electricity consumers could similarly save more than the annual TECT cheque with an unsubsidised, level playing field local electricity market. I believe the real beneficiary of the TECT cheque is the other shareholders in Trustpower who benefit from the captive local market.
The Western Bay needs all the financial help it can for the facilities it lacks. If TECT's income is used for such community facilities we then know the local community will be the beneficiary, rather than the beneficiary possibly being other Trustpower shareholders outside our region.
C Greenlees, Whakamarama (Abridged).