Prior to 1993, residents of Tauranga and Western Bay of Plenty purchased their electricity through the Tauranga Electric Power Board (TEPB). Following the Government’s 1993 restructuring of the NZ electricity sector, the Tauranga Energy Consumer Trust (TECT) was established in line with an agreed establishment plan. Under the plan, 84 million shares were issued in the newly formed Trustpower. 49% were allocated to individual consumers (previous customers of TEPB) and 50% of the shares were allocated to TECT to establish the Trust.
The restructuring of the electricity sector saw more electricity retailers enter the market. TECT beneficiaries (consumers) were confirmed as those that held a Trustpower power account in the Western BOP. Residents who chose to purchase their power from another retailer were now no longer beneficiaries of TECT.
In 1999, further market reforms required Trustpower to choose between generation/retailing and owning a distribution network. The decision was made to focus on generation/retailing and exit distribution.
Over time, TECT acquired additional shares through a share split and also an additional purchase of shares bringing its total shareholding to approximately 103m shares.
In early 2015, TECT sold 20m shares in Trustpower and invested the proceeds in a diversified portfolio with the aim of diversifying the asset base of TECT. In 2016, Trustpower underwent a demerger that created Tilt Renewables Ltd. Existing Trustpower shareholders including TECT were issued one share for each share they held in Trustpower. In 2018, TECT sold its holding of Tilt Renewables shares and these funds have been reinvested through the Diversified Portfolio.
TECT’s income and capital is used to provide benefits to its beneficiaries during the term of the Trust. Beneficiaries (consumers) are Trustpower account holders basically in Tauranga City and the Western Bay of Plenty district (approximately 56,000).
TECT provides benefits to its consumers in two ways:
Direct - via the annual Rebate
TECT has distributed $338 million direct to consumers since 1994 and the minimum amount has grown from $20 per consumer in 1994 to $435 per consumer in 2018.
Indirect - via the Grants Programme
TECT makes grants and donations to non-profit community organisations throughout Tauranga and the Western Bay of Plenty each year. The Trust makes grants to many secotors including education, arts & culture, sport & recreation, environment, and health and social services. We take a keen and active interest in our grant recipients to ensure that the funding truly benefits the wider community.
In the past 25 years, TECT has returned millions of dollars back to consumers and the community, supporting thousands of people and good projects throughout the district.