The New Zealand Electricity Commission, which took over the governance and regulation of the electricity industry in March this year, forecasts that its cost will be NZ$42.6 million in the first full year of operation. Much of this amount is made up of the commission's payments to service providers to run the wholesale electricity market.

Industry players will pay for the commission's costs via a levy, and the costs are likely to be passed on to consumers by way of an increase in electricity prices.

The Commission's statement of intent says that its priorities are to set up hedging arrangements for the wholesale electricity market, to have reserve power generation on standby for dry years, and to review and approve national grid owner Transpower's proposals for upgrading the grid.