People who have solar panels and sell electricity back into the grid deserve a fair price, Green MP Gareth Hughes says.
â€œAlmost every region had different rules, regulations and need for resource consents in order to install.â€
Power companies held the literal and metaphorical power when it came to setting buy-back rates.
The rates had fluctuated from 17 cents to as low as 4 cents, without more than a monthâ€™s notice, leaving those signed onto solar energy in a constant state of uncertainty.
â€œIâ€™m not asking for it to subsidized, Iâ€™m proposing the Electricity Authority to act as an independent umpire and set a fair and reasonable buy back rate.â€
Hughes, also the Green Party energy spokesman, had his Electricity Industry (Small-Scale Renewable Distributed Generation) Amendment Bill drawn from the ballot and the issue was set to be voted on around November.
The bill was politically passable but solar energy on the whole should not be looked at from a political perspective.
â€œWhen people are asked why they went solar, it wasnâ€™t about the environment or money back as such; it was about having energy freedom.â€
According to Hughes, the idea of being more self sufficient and independent was a huge appeal for those going solar, but the use of the renewable energy source was being hampered by varying levels of red tape throughout New Zealand.
This was Hughes’ first bill to be pulled from the ballot in his more than five years in Parliament. It had been three years since a Greens bill had been pulled out.
Over those past five years power bills have increased by 25 percent, whilst in the last two years solar uptake has exploded by over 330 percent, Hughes said.
Originally from Taranaki Daily News