Under the Electricity Industry Act 2010, the Electricity Authority will oversee the electricity sector from 1 November.

The Authority, which has been established as an independent Crown entity under the Crown Entities Act 2004, will be responsible for promoting competition, reliable supply and efficient operation of the electricity market for the long-term benefit of all electricity consumers.

The establishment of the Electricity Authority is one of 29 measures designed to improve the electricity market's performance, arising from the 2009 review of the electricity sector. Others include:

  • streamlining the sector by transferring some functions from the Electricity Authority to other bodies, namely:
    • Transpower will become responsible for emergency management and provision of information and forecasting on security of supply, subject to rules set by the Electricity Authority;
    • the Commerce Commission will undertake approval of grid upgrade plans by Transpower; and
    • the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority will take over the Electricity Commission's energy efficiency programmes;
  • a new Electricity Industry Participation Code comes into effect on 1 November.

On 13 October 2010, Energy and Resources Minister Hon Gerry Brownlee announced that five members had been appointed to the Electricity Authority. Dr Brent Layton (Chair), Susan Paterson and Elena Trout have been appointed for five year terms. David Bull and Roger Sowry, both current members of the Electricity Commission, have been appointed for eighteen months.

As a result of these changes, the Electricity Commission's website will close on 31 October, and a new Electricity Authority website will be launched on 1 November at www.ea.govt.nz.