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Contact's buy-back drop 'bad news for Kiwis with solar'

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Contact's buy-back drop 'bad news for Kiwis with solar'

The Green Party are calling for a law change to establish an independent umpire to set fair and reasonable buy-back rates after Contact Energy announced, from today, new small scale solar and wind generators will receive 50 percent less for their exported energy

"New Contact customers exporting small amounts of surplus solar or wind electricity to the grid from today will see their rates reduce from 17c to 8c which is a big drop," said Green Party Energy spokesperson Gareth Hughes.

"The electricity companies have all the power in setting the terms, contract length and buy-back rate for exporting surplus energy and this decision will greatly increase uncertainty for Kiwi homes going solar.

"It is high time New Zealand established an independent umpire to set fair and non-subsidised rates for surplus energy with greater contract certainty.

"Power prices have risen at more than double the inflation rate since National took office and many Kiwis are looking to gain greater energy freedom by installing solar panels.

"Solar generation has seen a 30 percent increase for the year ending 31 March 2014 and Contact customers planning on investing in solar will be feeling disappointed and powerless from this decision.

"Feed-in tariffs or buy-back rates are the norm in many countries from Australia, Germany and the U.S.

"My Electricity Industry (Small Scale Renewable Distributed Generation) Amendment Bill would empower the Electricity Authority to set a fair and reasonable buy-back rate for the thousands of Kiwis thinking of going solar.

"The Green Party wants to make it easy for families to generate their own clean power and to receive a fair payment for it," said Mr Hughes.

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