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Fundamentals of the New Zealand Electricity Industry

As a non-technical manager working in or with the NZ electricity industry, this course will give you a strong foundation knowledge and general understanding of how the New Zealand electricity industry operates from a technical, business and political perspective. Learn about the principles underpinning electricity market functions, the roles of key industry players and regulators, impacts of potential reform and forces shaping the power industry, including landscape shifting changes such as electric vehicles. Gain insight into key global trends that are likely to shape NZ industry and much more.

Gain a rounded-off understanding of the environment in which you operate and what forces are working to influence the success of your organisation. Understand the shape of the market, the key players, key technical concepts & how the electricity industry operates including: generation, transmission, distribution and retail sectors.

 Key Learning Outcomes

  • Understand the shape of the market and how it works
  • Gain an understanding of electricity industry jargon and technical terms
  • Understand how the electricity industry operates including: Generation, Transmission, Distribution and Retail sectors
  • Understand key legislation and market influences such as weather, price and the role of regulators
  • Get an outlook on future trends for the industry, new opportunities & challenges

The Shocking Truth about Electricity

  • What is it/common terms/understanding the lingo
  • How is it made
  • Types of generators
  • High and low voltage
  • Mains power or batteries
  • Facts and figures


The Supply Chain and Who is Who

  • Who are the generators
  • Who are the generators?
  • Transpower, transmission and their role
  • The Lines companies
    • Who owns them?
    • Why so many?
  • ​Retailers and Gentailers


The Distribution Network

  • Transmission vs. Distribution
  • How are networks built
  • Everyone is different
  • Common performance measures


Markets and Financial Transactions

  • Market size
  • Where do the costs lie?
  • What is the Wholesale Market and how does it work?
  • The system operator
  • Spot prices and forward markets
  • Who pays money to who


Electricity Pricing

  • Turbulent history of price setting and balancing
  • Electricity Price Review
  • Current pricing reform
    • Cost reflective pricing
    • TPM – transmission pricing methodology


The Customer

  • Often forgotten
  • What do we know about customers?
  • Major categories
  • Retail Competition
    • Churn/switching
  • What are their rights
    • Contracts and obligations
  • Who are their advocates?
    • Major Electricity Users Group
    • Consumer NZ
    • Utilities Disputes
    • Grey Power



  • A regulated and competitive market
    • History of change/reform
    • The Code
  • Electricity Authority (and the Electricity Commission)
  • Commerce Commission
    • Price / Quality
    • Excess profit
  • Utilities Disputes
  • WorkSafe
  • Other regulation


Government Overview

  • An essential service becoming more essential
  • Government policy (and promises)
  • MBIE – the primary Government policy and monitoring agency
  • The role of the politicians


The Energy Sector

  • NZ – the lucky country
  • Transport; heat and electricity
  • Energy sectors
  • Climate change and the way forward
  • The third energy transition


Disruptive Technology

  • Transitions – smooth or bumpy?
  • The myths
  • Electric Vehicles – the opportunity and the challenge
  • Solar PV and battery systems – what’s really going on?


New Opportunities and Challenges

  • Decarbonisation – the biggest change since electricity was first harnessed
  • Electricity as a major mitigation of climate change
  • The digital utility
  • DERs
  • NZ – what’s happening?
    • Net-Zero
    • Deindustrisation
    • Transport and process heat to progressively decarbonise
    • Hydrogen

Jonathan Kay


Jonathan brings over 25 years’ experience working in the New Zealand electricity sector in a variety of roles spanning retail, networks, metering and adjacent technology sectors.  He has held senior leadership positions with Vector, Unison Networks and Landis+Gyr.

Jonathan is currently a Director of two electricity companies and is independent Chair of the Electricity Networks Association’s Smart Technology Working Group.

Jonathan has been at the forefront of change in the sector and has worked with a number of companies looking to commercialise emerging technologies as we move to a low emissions future.

Jonathan has a Master’s degree in Engineering and a Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing and Finance.

He lives in Auckland with his wife Lisa.

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Super Saver Price $2299 + GST (ends 14 August)