Energy Minister Simon Bridges

Don’t let Big Energy penalise solar customers!

Don’t let Big Energy penalise solar customers!

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The Electricity Authority just empowered electricity companies to penalise households using solar energy in New Zealand. This decision will suffocate our solar industry while keeping us dependent on fossil fuels.

The Electricity Authority ruled that local electricity company Unison was not breaking regulations by charging solar households an extra fee. This is effectively a tax on solar energy that flies in the face of New Zealand’s Paris Climate commitments to phase out fossil fuels.

A tax on solar energy strengthens Big Energy’s hold on New Zealand and weakens our fight against climate change. Households making use of sustainable solar energy should be incentivised, not punished. We need to come together to tell Energy Minister Simon Bridges to overturn this nonsense ruling.

The Electricity Authority claims that homeowners who harness their own solar power have an “artificial advantage” over other customers.

But what’s really artificial is the Authority’s blatant favouritism for dirty fossil fuel power providers.

Just months ago, New Zealand joined the international community’s commitment to phasing out fossil fuels at the Paris Climate Agreement. So why is the Electricity Authority now facilitating Big Energy’s crusade against solar?  

More and more consumers are switching over to solar energy as an alternative to dirty fossil fuels. Big Energy is playing dirty to stop the trend could, and should, render it obsolete. When our government just committed to reducing fossil fuel use, the Electricity Authority shouldn’t be stifling investment and innovation in solar energy. We need to call on the Energy Minister to make things right.

The SumOfUs community together with our friends from Action Station just won a major fight in New Zealand: When we learned about the corporate buyout of water in the Canterbury Plain, ten thousands of us signed a petition and 60 concerned Kiwis hand-delivered it to the Ashburton District Council — and we won. The Council backed out of the buyout plans. Our water is safe.

Now, we need to fend of Big Energy’s crusade against solar. Together, I am sure, we can win again.

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