28 August 2015
AECT beneficiaries to benefit from dividend increase
Auckland Energy Consumer Trust (AECT) beneficiaries can expect to receive an increased dividend payment of $345 in late September, the AECT has announced today.
AECT Chairman, William Cairns says the annual dividend will increase from $335 to $345 for the more than 318,000 Trust beneficiaries. The dividend boosts Auckland’s economy by more than $100m, with a significant portion of the money being spent with local businesses across the city.
“We know this dividend makes a difference to many in our community – we discovered in a recent survey that more than sixty percent of Aucklanders said their family needs their dividend to meet the rising costs of living in Auckland,” he said.
The dividend distribution, which is New Zealand’s largest, comes from AECT’s majority shareholding in Vector, and has contributed more than $1 billion to Auckland since AECT was formed in 1993.
Commenting on Vector’s full year result announcement released today, Mr Cairns said it was pleasing to see Vector’s dividend increase for the ninth consecutive year.
“Vector’s financial results show a continuation of prudent investments outside of its regulated energy networks, diluting the impact of significant regulator-imposed price reductions to its energy distribution infrastructure.”
Mr Cairns says Vector’s investments in new technologies including smart metering, telecommunications and solar + battery solutions will contribute strongly to beneficiaries’ dividend over the long term as technology continues to change the energy industry.
“It is fantastic to see Vector proactively embracing new technology such as solar + battery solutions and electric vehicle charging, which other energy companies have been slow to offer to customers.
“The AECT’s willingness to look through economic cycles and encourage Vector to invest for the long term in technologies such as smart metering is now delivering AECT beneficiaries solid rewards,” he said.
Looking forward, Mr Cairns said AECT remained concerned about a proposal from the Electricity Authority (EA) which would see transmission prices increase by 59% for Aucklanders.
“The AECT strongly believes the EA should remove the historic bias in transmission pricing which currently sees customers, rather than electricity generators paying the majority of the cost to transmit electricity from often remote generation sites to cities and town across the country.
“We believe the EA proposals are complex and untested and will result in small customers being financially worse off while electricity generators and large industrial consumers would
benefit financially from the EA proposals to the tune of $23m and $74m per year respectively,” he said.
About the AECT
The AECT was created in 1993, to ensure that the power lines (or electricity network) remained in the control of electricity consumers. The AECT was established under a trust deed for 80 years (the maximum time permitted under NZ trust law) on behalf of electricity consumers in the area that used to be served by the Auckland Electric Power Board.
The AECT owns 75.4% of shares in Vector, worth approximately $2.4 billion. It holds these shares in trust for energy consumers in Auckland, Manukau and northern parts of Papakura and pays beneficiaries a cash dividend each year. Last year the dividend was $335. For more information visit www.aect.co.nz