The Alpine Energy network has a replacement value of approximately $150 million. Alpine Energy is owned by the Timaru District Council (47.5%), LineTrust South Canterbury (40%), Waimate District Council (7.54%) and the MacKenzie District Council (4.96%) which means we are owned by the community we serve.
Alpine Energy provides electricity to homes or businesses across the South Canterbury region. The steps below show how electricity is moved through the various stages to get to you.
- Generation of electricity
All electricity generated for retail purposes in New Zealand is sold into the wholesale electricity market for supply to electricity retailers. Several private and government-owned companies are generators - they include Contact Energy, Genesis Power, Meridian Energy, Mighty River Power, Todd Energy and Trustpower.
- Transmission of electricity
Transpower is the state-owned enterprise responsible for transmitting the electricity produced by generators. It operates the national grid of high voltage power lines and tall metal pylons that traverse the landscape. These pylons connect to the power stations to send electricity around the country.
- Distribution of electricity
This is the role played by Alpine Energy and is also referred to as a lines company or network company. Alpine Energy like all distributors own the lower voltage power lines and distribution networks in local areas. Alpine Energy connects to the National Grid via 6 local Grid Exit Points (GXP’s) so we are able to deliver power to the businesses and homes in our region. Alpine Energy is one of 29 such electricity distributors throughout New Zealand.
The retail providers are most often referred to as power companies, and are more well known than the distributors. The electricity retailers purchase electricity from the wholesale market to sell to residential and business users. Seven electricity retailers operate in South Canterbury - Contact Energy (including Empower), Genesis Power, Meridian Energy, Mercury Energy, and Trustpower.
- Customer usage
The last step in the process is providing power to your home or business. You can buy electricity from any of the retailers listed above in South Canterbury.