Network Pricing


EA Networks is one of 27 lines companies across New Zealand. Our job is to maintain and operate the local electricity network, connecting and maintaining the lines that provide electricity to more than 20,000 connections across Mid Canterbury.  

We are a locally owned cooperative, which means that our connected customers are our shareholders.  

When your electricity retailer sends you an electricity bill, it’s made up of four key market segments;  

  • Generation
  • Transmission
  • Distributors
  • Retailers 

In our area, about 27% of your power bill goes toward distribution (our bit) combined with the part that Transpower charges us for the national grid.  The rest of the charges you see come from generation and your retailer’s costs. You can find out more about your power bill at

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you work out what to charge customers?

Prices are determined to ensure that EA Networks recovers its regulated revenue in order to operate a sustainable, reliable and efficient electricity network.  

In simple terms we get our revenue from prices multiplied by a quantity. The quantity is generally capacity based (how big your electricity connection is) or volume based (how much electricity you use). Our focus is developing price structures that are equitable across the various customer types we have in our region (general supplies, irrigation etc).  

The structure of our pricing is subject to regulations, where we must follow a set of pricing principles. Our charges are set within the Commerce Commission’s ruling on pricing, and we must publish pricing categories and charges, and our related methodology. 

We are also required to re-focus our pricing when directed by the Government (such as changes to the Low-User Fixed Charges).  

Our electricity delivery charges include the costs we pass on from Transpower, who maintain the national grid.  


Why are prices going up in 2024?

Continued inflation pressures have impacted us like all other businesses. We are impacted by others in the supply chain and have been impacted by increased operating cost (such as traffic management, vegetation management, goods and services). These all flow through to what we need to charge for our services. There is also the need to continually invest in business systems to maintain the quality and reliability of the power supply. 

This year we are increasing our prices by 6.8% on average.  Our charges make up about a third of residential power bills, so this works out to about 2.3% extra, or $5 per month for an average residential customer. 

What's the difference between fixed and variable charges?

Fixed charges are a set amount charged on a daily basis that covers the delivery of electricity to your site, whether it’s your farm, residential home or business, and linked to the capacity (or size) of the supply.  This is all about your peak demand for electricity, even if it might just be for a short period of time. 

Volume charges are what you pay for the amount of electricity that you use on a daily basis. It is charged using a per kWh price.  This is all about how “much” electricity you use. 

At EA Networks, we build our network to meet maximum demand, which means our asset costs are largely driven by capacity needs, your peak demand, and your contribution to network peak demands.   

Can I change the capacity of my power supply to reduce costs?

Yes.  As we move away from volume pricing, we are working to enhance our pricing structures to provide more choice for customers to “right size” their supply capacity and reduce costs. 

  •  Small residential customers can select a half size supply (that has 30 amp fusing) and move to the smaller general supply category, 
  •  We’ve created additional categories for commercial supplies to better reflect different sizes.  Customers can move between the categories by requesting an upgrade or downgrade, 
  •  Industrial customers can select a booked capacity that meets their current and future needs, and downgrades will reduce the amount we charge. 

Sometimes I get an EA Networks discount in my bill, what's that about?

All customers of EA Networks are entitled to receive a consumer discount. This is calculated in March each year and we advise retailers of each consumer’s share of the discount. If you move property during the year, we’ll make sure that the discount from your time at the old property is transferred over to your new property.  You then receive the discount via your electricity bill.  

Discounts are a great way for us to ensure our charges stay low.  We could lower our prices instead, but we don’t think that would be reflected in retail electricity prices.  Retailers are required to pass on our discounts and can’t pocket the money. 

You can find out more about our consumer discount here 

Why are Low User Fixed Charges changing?

The Government has made the decision to phase out low user fixed charges over a 5-year period from 2022 – 2027.  

The goal of Government is to create a fairer and more equitable system, as well as ensuring there are no barriers to electrification – meaning it’s easier for people to switch to EV’s and electric forms of heating, which in turn is better for our environment. 

MBIE have some great information about the upcoming changes here (insert hyperlink to MBIE

Here to help

Feel free to call us if you want to talk about your situation. We are happy to help you understand electricity prices and the services that we provide.

Let’s chat – 0800 430 460