The Electricity Authority (EA) of New Zealand has this week controversially ruled that a residential ‘solar tax’ is lawful – potentially clearing the path for similar charges on solar customers across the country.
Hawke’s Bay lines company Unison has caused uproar among environmental groups in New Zealand for charging residential and commercial solar customers an additional fee to connect to the grid.
This solar charge has been deemed by the EA as lawful; a decision that has triggered a public backlash against the authority, resulting in a 30,000-strong petition calling on the EA to protect solar customers.
Greenpeace NZ has called the EA “unfit for purpose” following the ruling, and worries that other utilities and power companies in New Zealand will now feel they have a mandate to introduce similar charges.
“This is a blatant move by the EA to wash its hands of protecting and promoting renewable energy like solar, so that it can continue to massage New Zealand’s electricity monopoly,” said Greenpeace NZ campaigner Simon Boxer.
“It’s no secret that the EA isn’t a big fan of solar. In the past it has even publicly advised New Zealanders not to rush into installing PV.
We can only wonder how long B4 we see it here..