Price rises no joke for solar and electricity customers

The Green Party is calling on electricity lines companies like Unison to join the 21st century and adapt to work with solar energy, instead of raising charges on households with solar panels.

Unison controls the electricity lines network in the central North Island and is introducing an extra charge on customers with solar panels of up to 26 percent, effective today for new customers and to be phased in for existing solar customers.

“This solar penalty looks like an uncompetitive move by lines companies to protect their profits and old-fashioned business models,” Green Party energy spokesperson Gareth Hughes said.

“The industry is targeting and blaming solar for the things that they’ve been ignoring for decades, like the need for real-time pricing.

“Instead of penalising solar, lines companies should be charging what it actually costs to run the network at any given time of the day.

“Given that today Genesis Energy, Mercury Energy, and Contact Energy are all raising their normal residential prices too, no wonder people are looking to solar as an alternative.

“The Green Party tried last year to get the Government to set fair conditions and rates for solar customers, but National said no and left the increasing number of households with solar exposed to being unfairly treated by the power industry,” Mr Hughes said.

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