WEL Networks

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WEL Networks
Industry Electricity distribution
Headquarters Hamilton, New Zealand
Key people
Garth Dibley, CEO (since Sep 14)
Owner WEL Energy Trust
Website www.wel.co.nz

WEL Networks Limited is an electricity distribution company, serving the northern and central Waikato Region in New Zealand.[1] WEL is the fifth largest electricity distribution companies in New Zealand, with over 80,000 connections and 5,226 km of lines.[2]

WEL was formed when Legislation in 1988 amalgamated the Central Waikato Electric Power Board with Hamilton City Council's Electricity Division from 1989 to form Waikato Electricity Limited. After amalgamation, ownership of WEL was vested in the Waikato Electricity Authority (WEA). WEA formed WEL Energy Trust in 1993, with the first election in June, so that the community could have some ownership of WEL. In 1992 a third of WEL was sold to Utilicorp for almost $40m, a third retained for the Trust and a third given to customers. The Electricity Industry Reform Act 1998 forced WEL to sell its retail business. It sold to the State owned (but later bought as NGC by Vector Limited) Natural Gas Corporation for $89.9m. The Trust then bought back all WEL's shares to become its sole owner. In 2001 WEL was renamed WEL Networks Ltd. After the Trust's 2003 elections it reduced grants given to community groups and started paying discounts to customers.[3] By 2014 the Trust had paid over $240 million to customers in discounts, but had also invested over $60 million in community and energy efficiency grants. In 2014-15, over $2m was paid in grants.[4]

WEL Networks subsidiary Ultrafast Fibre Limited has formed a joint venture with Crown Fibre Holdings to form Ultrafast Broadband Limited. This joint venture has secured government contracts to deploy, own and operate the Ultra-Fast Broadband fibre to the premises network in the central North Island.[5]

Distribution network[edit]

WEL's distribution area covers the Hamilton City and the majority of the Waikato District, including the towns of Ngaruawahia, Huntly, Te Kauwhata and Raglan. The distribution network is supplied from Transpower's national grid at four grid exit points (GXPs): Hamilton (Ruakura Road), Te Kowhai, Huntly and Meremere. WEL networks uses 33,000 volts for subtransmission and 11,000 volts for distribution. As is standard in New Zealand, electricity is delivered to homes at 230/400 volts (phase-to-neutral/phase-to-phase).

WEL Networks Limited network statistics as of 31 March 2015[6]
Parameter Value
Total system length 5,298 km
33 kV 442 km
11 kV 2,602 km
Low voltage (230/400 V) 2,253 km
Street lighting 1,165 km
Customer connections 86,738
System maximum demand 246 MW
System energy delivered 1,266 GWh

Generation assets[edit]


  • Ultrafast Fibre Limited


  1. ^ "About WEL". WEL Networks. Retrieved 20 August 2011. 
  2. ^ "Energy in New Zealand". Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. September 2013. 
  3. ^ Chris, Gilson. Wiring up the Waikato. WEL Networks. 
  4. ^ "WEL Energy Trust - About the Trust". www.welenergytrust.co.nz. Retrieved 2015-10-26. 
  5. ^ "Chief Executive for central North Island Local Fibre Company appointed". Crown Fibre Holdings. 22 July 2011. 
  6. ^ "EDB Information Disclosure - Wellington Electricity Lines Limited - year ending 31 March 2015" (PDF). 28 August 2015. Retrieved 8 April 2016. 
  7. ^ "Raglan wind farm wins top award". Waikato Times. 19 August 2011. Retrieved 19 August 2011. 
  8. ^ "Wel's windfarm critic has plenty of hits at hearing". Waikato Times. 29 February 2008. Retrieved 19 August 2011. 

External links[edit]