Whanganui power supply survey opens

Wednesday, March 08, 2023

Powerco is seeking feedback from Whanganui customers about options to secure the growing city’s electricity supply.

As part of the local electricity distribution company’s on-going investment in Whanganui, Powerco is exploring options to strengthen the connection between the national power grid and Powerco’s distribution network, which brings the power to customers’ homes and businesses.

Powerco General Manager Electricity Karen Frew says as Whanganui continues to grow and more people choose to live and work in the area, the demand for power is rapidly rising.

“With new businesses opening up and existing industries expanding their operations, our forecasts predict a substantial rise in the demand for electricity as the commercial and industrial sector moves away from fossil fuels to reduce carbon emissions, and as more electric vehicles connect to the power network,” she says.

“Unfortunately, if we do not strengthen our connection with the national grid, the risk of unplanned outages for our customers will continue to increase. That means we need to take action to improve the security of Whanganui’s power supply, improve resilience and increase capacity to meet the rising demand for power into the future to enable Whanganui’s growth.” 

There are a number of options available to address the supply challenge, depending on how much is invested in the network, Karen Frew says.

“To determine our level of investment and select a solution, we’re seeking feedback from our customers in the Whanganui area. We want to know what will work best for them.”

Locals can share their thoughts by participating in a brief online survey available on its website, which will be open until Monday 27 March.

Karen Frew says Powerco is committed to building and maintaining an electricity network that meets the current and future needs of its customers. 

“To achieve this, we need to balance the needs of our customers with the cost required, which is passed back to customers through their power bill, to deliver these upgrades to secure the local power supply.”

In recent years, Powerco has carried out a $20 million programme of work on Whanganui's power supply. 

“Our investment programme to date has delivered enhancements to the network and given us more time to consider how to address the long-term security of supply challenges, which is what we’re consulting on now with our customers,” Karen Frew says.


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