When I moved into my new flat, it was connected to Genesis Electricity. Getting the bill put in my name resulted in the remains of several trees being delivered to me in the form of bills, corrected bills, bumph, "charity" begging, etc. Destroying the planet is a hard job, but somebody's got to do it.
Amongst the bumph was a document with the following statement, which is repeated at their website:
We know that New Zealanders are concerned about future generation. So we are committed to keeping the energy coming. If lake levels drop we can rely on our other energy sources such as wind and thermal energy.
Now, that would suggest to me a claim that where other generators might cut power in a crisis, Genesis would be able to keep their customers going. That's how I read it anyway.
So I checked this fact with somebody in the industry. Can the customers of power generators be selectively connected / disconnected from the mains? (perhaps in the same way as your hot water tank gets turned off at peak times through a device called a ripple relay).
Nope - can't be done either technically or legally.
So basically, Genesis are putting out a blatantly misleading statement to sell power. As a customer and shareholder (they're an SOE) I object to this.