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Centralines growing together with Central Hawke’s Bay

Central Hawke’s Bay consumer-owned electricity distributor, Centralines Limited, has demonstrated a solid result for the financial year in its 2021/22 annual report.

Centralines Chair, Ian Walker, said the company has been a key partner in supporting the unprecedented growth of Central Hawke’s Bay, by delivering a reliable electricity supply, investing in network growth, connecting customers and providing returns for its power consumers and shareholders.

“Centralines has continued to reinforce and extend its network to power the growth of the district, resulting in yet another year of significant investment to facilitate sustained levels of network connection growth,” said Mr Walker.

“During the 2021/22 reporting period we connected 178 new consumers to the network, as well as 81 solar distributed generators, more than double the previous year.”

Despite the continued external impacts of COVID-19, resulting in staff shortages, heightened uncertainty and disrupted supply chains, Centralines delivered another strong financial result for the year, with an after-tax profit of $2.2 million. This is after the Company returned $2.2 million to its consumers through two discount payments on their electricity bills in May and July.

“Our sponsorship and donations portfolio also remains an important tool for supporting our region, and during the year we pledged $149,249 in community funding to 63 charitable organisations that support the wellbeing of our rural community, including sports teams, community events, social services and schools.

“As a consumer-owned company, it is rewarding to play an important role in supporting the Central Hawke’s Bay community as it continues to evolve as a thriving and desirable district to live and work,” says Mr Walker.

The 2021/22 year has seen Centralines take strides forward in its journey toward a prosperous and sustainable future for Central Hawke’s Bay, with the Commerce Commission now recognising Centralines as ‘consumer owned’, improving the environment that the business operates in by excepting it from cumbersome regulation, and putting Centralines in the same regulatory position as other EDBs of a similar size.

Central Hawke’s Bay Consumers Power Trust Chair, Alistair Setter, said the Trust continues to be very happy with the performance of Centralines – operationally and financially, and is optimistic about the future of the business.

“The environment that Centralines operates in has likely never been as challenging, and the Trust on behalf of consumers thanks Centralines staff for their considerable efforts and ability to grow and operate our electricity network,” says Mr Setter.

“The Trust is confident that Centralines is ready for industry changes, and that it is in a position to continue to give back to our consumer beneficiaries through responsible growth and investment in the business.

“This also ensures that Central Hawke’s Bay is in a position to grow on the back of an energy network that is reliable, scalable, fit-for-purpose and cost effective.”

The 2021/22 Annual Report also notifies of the retirement of two long-serving Directors, Chair Dr Ian Walker and Audit and Risk Committee Chair Mr Derek Walker.

“On behalf of Centralines I would like to thank Dr Walker and Mr Walker for their outstanding contribution and many years of service, including leading the Board and Audit and Risk Committee, and working to bring our new depot to fruition,” says Jason Larkin, General Manager of Centralines.

As the sole shareholder, the Central Hawke’s Bay Consumers Power Trust appoints the directors of Centralines to operate the company in the interests of consumers.

Centralines’ new Chair and Board Director will be announced publicly following the upcoming August Board Meeting.

Centralines new depot opening

In direct response to the sustained growth of the business and wider district, is the establishment of Centralines’ new Coughlan Road depot, which opened its doors in May 2022 after five years of planning.

The purpose-built depot houses close to 50 employees, with room to expand further, and includes several multi-purpose rooms available for community use.

The new depot plays a key part in continuing Centralines’ sustainability journey, constructed featuring a 100kW solar array producing renewable energy, reducing Centralines’ carbon footprint with surplus energy flowing back to the network.

Simultaneously, a new policy was implemented to replace Centralines’ vehicles with electric alternatives as they become due for replacement.

An official ceremony to celebrate the opening of the depot will take place on Friday 29th July, with invited guests including Minister Meka Whaitiri, Central Hawke’s Bay District councillors, iwi, local dignitaries, Centralines staff, customers and building contractor

Gemco Construction.

“The new depot is a true asset for not only Centralines, but for the wider community, and has been designed and built with the people of Central Hawke’s Bay in mind,” says Jason Larkin, General Manager of Centralines.

A family day to celebrate the opening of the depot with the wider community is being planned to take place in Spring.

Notes for the Editor:

Centralines is a consumer-owned and operated electricity lines business.

Centralines is one of 27 distribution companies in New Zealand. It distributes electricity to customers across the Central Hawke’s Bay region.

The Centralines network has over $65 million worth of assets, is 1,856km in length, and supplies around 8,900 connection points. Centralines is owned by the CHB Consumers Power Trust on behalf of the consumers in Central Hawke’s Bay.

Centralines is responsible for distributing electricity from Transpower’s national grid to electricity consumers.

Key highlights of Annual Report for the 12 months to 31 March 2022:

  • Total Revenue (net of discounts paid) - $14.1 million
  • EBITDA - $7.1 million
  • Net Profit After Tax - $2.2 million
  • Network Capital Expenditure - $4.9 million
  • Total Capital Expenditure - $12.8 million
  • Discount Paid - $2.2 million

For full results, please see Centralines’ Annual Report on the website:  www.centralines.co.nz/annual-reports