Overview of the electricity industry

Broadly speaking, the industry can be broken down into four main components – generation, transmission, distribution and retail.

Electricity Networks Aotearoa is the membership organisation for the businesses that operate in distribution part of the sector - the 27 lines companies.

overview diagram mediumGeneration

Electricity in New Zealand is generated by five major companies, with the government a major shareholder in the three of those companies. Nearly 80 percent of New Zealand’s electricity comes from renewable sources.



State-owned enterprise Transpower owns and operates New Zealand’s national electricity transmission system, which supplies electricity to lines companies using high capacity, high voltage transmission lines.



Twenty-seven lines companies (all members of the Electricity Network Association) distribute electricity throughout New Zealand. Lines companies connect to the national grid and distribute the electricity to consumers through their local networks. For more information on New Zealand’s extensive network of lines companies, see our map.



Electricity retailers are the companies that sell electricity to you. Retailers buy electricity from generating companies and bill customers for the energy they consume. Their bills to customers also include the cost of national transmission and local distribution.