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Technology changing the face of retail, exec says

By Sam Worthington, Fri 18 Nov 2016
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Electricity retailers are calling for robust debate around emerging technology.

Jennie Langley, independent chair of the Electricity Retailers Association ERANZ, says that technology is changing the face of the electricity market, and the customer must be put at the centre in order to truly benefit.

“The retail sector strongly believes that the opportunities for the use of emerging technologies should develop in a competitive environment,” she says.

“We encourage the regulatory bodies - the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, the Electricity Authority, and the Commerce Commission - to continue to review the regulatory framework or they will risk blunting the benefits from smart appliances, solar panels, storage batteries and smart meters that could be available to customers.”

Langley explains that retailers are not only committed to safety and reliability of supply, but also to the ongoing need for innovation and being able to provide options for their customers.

“This shapes the focus for ERANZ. It determines our active participation in resource-intensive submissions to ensure the retailers’ views are heard on those key issues that have impact on the success of our changing sector, including the interests of customers,” says Langley.

She explains that retailers want to engage in robust, considered debate and are looking for pragmatic ways to be part of the solution.

“We are in this industry because we believe in its importance and in its future. It’s a tough environment, it’s facing disruption and mounting challenges, but there are exciting opportunities that demand new ways of thinking and operating,” she says.

“We look forward to collectively making sustained progress from which everyone will benefit.”

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