Firstgas, Powerco and Vector provide the gas distribution networks that connect 96% of New Zealand’s natural gas customers. The group has come together to provide network payment deferral programmes to retailers serving business customers on the group’s networks.

The three companies are conscious that the restrictions posed by the COVID-19 Alert Levels 3 and 4 put financial strain on many business customers.

All of the companies are proposing payment deferrals of at least three months to gas retailers to assist with immediate business customer cashflow challenges that businesses are experiencing during this time. Details of each of the deferred payment options are being finalised in conjunction with gas retailers, but may include for example, a deferral of fixed line charges. It is up to each gas retailer to take up this offer and pass it on to its business customers.

On behalf of the group of companies, Vector Chief Executive Simon Mackenzie said, “It’s clear that many businesses are struggling with maintaining revenue at this time and we are pleased to be able to offer some relief in the form of a temporary payment deferral. We hope this support will help companies to continue their operations through this time, and to recover faster in the long term.”