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Electricity Authority will investigate possible undesirable trading situation

The Electricity Authority Te Mana Hiko will investigate a possible undesirable trading situation (UTS) relating to 9 August 2021 following a recent High Court decision.

In a judgment released on 16 February, the High Court decided scarcity prices were incorrectly applied to four trading periods on 9 August 2021. The Authority will not appeal the decision and has directed the clearing manager to finalise prices for trading periods 37 – 42 without applying scarcity pricing.

The Authority wants to ensure the sector and consumers continue to have confidence in the electricity market. The Authority considers the revised pricing gives rise to a new situation that warrants an investigation as a potential UTS.

Under the Electricity Industry Participation Code, a UTS is an event which threatens the confidence in, or integrity of, the wholesale market. It’s a situation that cannot be resolved under any other part of the Code.

“Opening a new investigation is the right action for the regulator to take given the circumstances, says Airihi Mahuika, General Manager, Legal, Monitoring and Compliance.

“Spot prices have been determined by offers, in conjunction with demand management, in circumstances where scarcity pricing is arguably appropriate. This could amount to a UTS as prices may not reflect the underlying supply and demand conditions.”

The Authority has directed the clearing manager to finalise prices for the relevant trading periods which were held interim while the appeal was heard.

The investigation into the possible UTS is expected to be completed by mid-2024.


  • The Electricity Authority is an independent Crown Entity with the main statutory objective to promote competition in, reliable supply by, and the efficient operation of, the electricity industry for the long-term benefit of consumers. The additional objective of the Authority is to protect the interests of domestic consumers and small business consumers in relation to the supply of electricity to those consumers.
  • More information about the 9 August 2021 event is available on our website here.


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