Power Companies Discourage the Use of Solar Panels

Household solar energy generation has just lost some of its incentive.

Contact and Meridian Energy have cut the rates they will offer new customers for their excess electricity.

Contact Energy's buy-back rate has gone from 17 cents per kilowatt hour to eight cents.

Meridian's has dropped by almost 75 percent from 25 cents per kilowatt hour to just seven cents in summer and 10 in winter.

"Thousands of Kiwis go solar to try and escape the high and rising power prices, and now you've got the big electricity companies using their market power to try and discourage Kiwis from doing it," says Green Party MP Gareth Hughes.

Meridian Energy says its buy-back price of 25 cents wasn't economically viable when compared to its other renewable energy sources.

"We're paying solar customers about three to four times market rate for electricity, so that's three to four times what you'd pay for electricity that comes from a wind farm or a hydro station or a geothermal plant," says a company spokesperson.

The Green Party wants an independent body to regulate buy-back prices but the Government ruled that out in Parliament today, saying it is not necessary.

 

Source (3 News, 7/11/2014)  Read more: http://www.3news.co.nz/nznews/power-companies-discouraging-solar---gareth-hughes-2014110618#ixzz3IK3dlLD1

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