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12/10/2018 — General
Vector looks for settlement with CC

Listed energy and communications company Vector Ltd (NZX: VCT) has agreed to a settlement with the Commerce Commission relating to breaches of an electricity network quality standard in 2015 and 2016.

Vector said a penalty hearing will take place in due course at which the details of the settlement will be heard.

The company said this week that like other lines companies, Vector’s prices and service quality are regulated by the Commission using a price-quality path, which means Vector is required to meet certain network quality standards, relative to its own historical performance, and is limited in the amount of revenue it can earn.

One of the Commerce Commission’s quality standards is the average duration in minutes of network interruptions. The Commission found Vector breached this quality standard by 51 minutes in the 2015 regulatory year and 13 minutes in the 2016 regulatory year.

Vector noted to the Commission the circumstances that it believes contributed to its breach of the service quality standards in 2015 and 2016. These conditions included increased storm frequency and other weather-related impacts, increases in Auckland’s traffic congestion, which slowed travel times and can prevent maintenance crews from reaching network faults in a timely fashion.

Vector’s chief network officer Andre Botha said, “We understand the disruption these breaches have caused for some Aucklanders and we have been working hard on a range of measures to reduce the impact.

“However, we also believe the existing regime for quality control no longer reflects the reality of the changed operating environment, particularly in Auckland, and meeting these legacy quality standards will remain a significant challenge for ourselves and others in the industry.”

She said it was pleasing the company was able to table these concerns with the Commerce Commission directly.

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