Q1. What’s the difference between a Lines Network Company and an Energy Retailer?
A. Top Energy is your local lines network company, which distributes Transpower transmitted electricity to your home or business, in a set geographic area (see the network area plan). Top Energy is responsible for seeing that the local network of power lines, poles, underground cables and other electrical equipment is managed and maintained so that your supply is as reliable as possible. Energy Retailers (such as Contact Energy, TrustPower and Mercury Energy) actually sell you the electricity you use. Your power account includes the fee charged to your Energy Retailer by Top Energy for its services and those of Transpower.

Q2. How do I apply for a new or upgraded electricity supply?
A. If you are building a new property or upgrading your existing supply you need to apply to connect to Top Energy’s network first. See our Getting Connected page for more information. If you are moving into an existing property you can contact any of the Energy Retailers directly.

Q3. How long should the application process take?
A. If the application is to connect the electricity supply to a house or other straightforward installation and suitable network is available then your application should be approved within 2-4 working days.

The time for the design to be completed and priced, the power consumer contribution quotation to be sent and accepted and the construction work to take place may vary , but typically be between 4-12 weeks

Q4. What’s an ICP Number?
A. An ICP (Installation Control Point) Number is a unique number that identifies an individual metering point, at a property’s street address. If you change your Energy Retailer your customer and account number will change, but your ICP Number will always stay the same. Using this unique ICP Number means your electricity supply should not be confused with any other.

Top Energy will assign your ICP Number and when you select your Energy Retailer, they will ask you for this number.

Q5. How do I organise metering for a new connection?
A. Complete a Customer Initiated Work Application Form and forward this to Top Energy.

Q6. Why do I have to pay towards the cost on my new connection?
A. Top Energy power consumers have over the years paid for the existing electrical network. It is not reasonable that they also pay toward the cost of connecting new customers to this network.

Power consumers with new connections are therefore required to contribute on a ‘user pays’ basis for the cost of connecting them to the Top Energy network.

Q7. Top Energy will charge me for the use of the network every month after I have been connected – does this mean that I am effectively paying twice?
A. No. The capital contribution required for new connections is rebated to take into account the ongoing value of those new assets to Top Energy which is paid for through your power account.

A capital contribution is required because the cost of the cables, transformers, pillars and any switchgear required for a new connection is often far greater than the ongoing revenue collected by Top Energy from a new power consumer.

Q8. Since I have paid for my new connection why do I have to pass ownership to Top Energy?
A. Once Top Energy receives ownership of any new reticulation we take permanent responsibility for managing, controlling, maintaining and ultimately replacing those assets in the future.

Q9. How do I get my Service Main livened?
A. Only when the Top Energy Application for Network Connection Form is approved, the metering is installed, all Top Energy endorsements are complied with, the service main is connected and the electrical compliance completed, will the installation be livened.

Q10. What is deemed to be an increased load to a Network Supply?
A. Installation changes that are classed as an increased load to supply are:

  • An increase in the number of phases (e.g. single phase to three phase)
  • An increase in the required connection fuse rating (e.g. 60A to 100A)
  • Any additional meter and/or controlled load/relay
  • Any significant increase in load within the installation