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Solar Already Being Blamed For Electricity Price Rises

By Kristy Hoare on in Solar Power New Zealand

Solar Already Being Blamed For Electricity Price Rises

It appears that lines companies in New Zealand have now started their PR campaigns against solar power.   This comes as no surprise to me as this is exactly what is happening around the world - especially in Australia which I have been following like a hawk.   Lines companies are afraid of change and they show it in their defensive strategies.

Expect to see more articles like this as solar continues to grow in New Zealand: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11344676

The first line in the article sets the tone- "Homeowners who install solar panels to cut their power bills are pushing up prices for everyone else, lines companies say".

That is an outrageous claim considering solar energy total generation in 2013 in New Zealand made up only 0.1% of renewable energy generation.   And a total of 75.1% of electricity generation came from renewables.... How could such a miniscule about energy be blamed for rising electricity prices?

Lines companies have no statistics to back up their claim, no dollar figures, no line graph correlations €¦ Are they seriously blaming solar to justify their price increases?  

This is an email I sent to a journalist at the Herald who wrote the article 'Solar costs handed on', I don't expect a reply, but I wanted to publish it on my blog to make sure it doesn't get completely lost in cyber space.

Hi Susan Edmunds

I found your article on 'Solar costs handed on' to be presented in a biased way. The title quickly indicates your slant and it's not till the last few paragraphs that you present the electricity industry commentator's opinion, while the corporations get their view presented at the start.

People that have solar power on their homes still have to pay the monthly lines company fee - which is the same amount as everyone else. The claim made that solar is "pushing up prices for everyone else" is a huge statement that is not backed up by any hard facts.

This type of article can be damaging to the solar industry, which it seems that is what the article is trying to do.

Solar power gives 'power to the people' away from corporations, so I do understand the line companies motivations for saying what they have.

I would appreciate knowing why you felt compelled to write this article and if it was the lines companies that initiated your research.

Kind regards,

Please let me know if you disagree or agree with me in the comments section below. P.s. I love being enlightened with credible statistics in case you have some to share.


1. Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment   - Publication: Energy in New Zealand 2014. Retrieved from: http://www.med.govt.nz/sectors-industries/energy/energy-modelling/publications/energy-in-new-zealand/Energy-in-New-Zealand-2014.pdf

Showing 2 comments

Posted by Kristy on 13th Mar 2015 13:35:43

Hi Julian

Glad you like the blog.

The energy companies are really starting to show their colours as solar power increases in popularity in NZ. They are really monopolistic, and will tell the media anything so they can keep their huge margins. Keep watching the media space to see what the say next!

Good to hear your system is performing so well! Hopefully more people will learn how solar power can help them. Soo many New Zealanders are missing out!

Posted by julian Clothier on 13th Mar 2015 12:00:02

I have just found your article/blog...brilliant.

In NZ we have had annual electricity unit price increases around 15% every April/May for the last 10 or 12 years. At the end of the day the consumer is nothing more than a captive cash cow.

I firmly believe that energy companies are no more than a finance vehicle at the highest level. Huge capital investments and fabulous continual returns and cash flow.

As we who convert to solar grow the energy company's profit per unit sold decreases slightly, so market forces come to play and the unit sell price is simply increased to compensate and allow profit targets to be maintained.

We installed a 3kw grid tied system in June 2014. Our power bill decreased by almost 45% during the winter and this last summer our average monthly bill has been in the range of $45 to $60, compared with $200 last summer. At these rates it wont take too many consumers changing over to effect their bottom line.

Look forward to following you.

Cheers Julian.

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