New Tax On Solar Panels Introduced In New Zealand
A group of organisations today expressed shock at the fact that a New Zealand energy company is introducing a tax of up to 26% on solar power and batteries from today, April 1.
North Island energy provider Unison Energy will quietly introduce higher user lines and electricity charges on any new rooftop solar or battery system in the Hawkes Bay, Rotorua and Taupo area installed from 1 April. The tax will be extended to all solar power users on April 1, 2019. It will increase customers’ bills by up to 26%, increasing them by between $128 and $258 a year.
Unison has held private, one-on-one meetings with solar energy companies, informing them of the move.
“Solar customers have already suffered after the power companies slashed the rate they pay for solar energy fed back into the grid. People are saving money and energy by installing solar power, doing their bit for the climate,” said Kevin Hunter of local Hawkes Bay solar business Cellpower. “Isn’t this what we should all be working towards to limit climate change and reduce electricity costs?”
“Today might be April 1, but this is no joke,” said Executive Director of Greenpeace New Zealand, Russel Norman. “That, in 2016, only months after the world agreed in Paris to reduce emissions to stop climate change, a New Zealand company is specifically taxing solar energy users is extraordinary – and wrong.”
“In virtually every other nation in the OECD, solar power is subsidised to encourage uptake and clean tech job creation, yet here in New Zealand our monopoly power companies are taxing the technology to kill the industry at birth,” said Brendan Winitana, Chairman of the Sustainable Electricity Association New Zealand (SEANZ).