Meridian Energy released improved figures with improved
storage, and growing retail sales and customer connections
over the previous financial year.
Australian customers now exceeded 8000 and another 2800 were
in the process of switching.
In a market report, Meridian, which remains 51% owned by the
Government, said in the month to May 12, national hydro
storage increased from 71% to 92% of historical average.
In the South Island, storage was 94% of average and in the
North Island, 69%.
Improved storage resulted in a reduction in ASX forward
prices for 2014.
Meridian's inflows were 75% of average during April and its
Waitaki catchment storage sat at 81% of historical average at
the end of April.
Demand in 2014 remained flat compared with the corresponding
period last year, the company said.
South Island storage was back near average, having dropped
below 70% of average in mid-April.
In the financial year to date, inflows were 103% of
historical average, largely due to high spring 2013 inflows.
New Zealand Aluminium Smelters' average load during April was
slightly below the base agreement between the operator of the
Tiwai Point smelter and the company.
Meridian's New Zealand generation in April was 5.1% higher
than in the same month last year.
In the financial year to date, Meridian's New Zealand
generation was 7.5% higher than the previous corresponding
Continued dry weather kept the average price Meridian
received for its generation in April high. However, even
drier conditions in 2013 meant it was 6.5% lower than in
April last year.
The number of people switching supply companies in March
exceeded 40,000, the second-highest monthly number on record
and 16.5% higher than in March last year.
The 12-month average switching rate was 20.1% at the end of
Meridian's New Zealand customer connection numbers had
increased by 2.1% since July 1, 2013, reflecting growth in
Meridian North Island and Powershop connection numbers.