Green Party policy to fund New Zealand household solar

A plan mooted by New Zealand‘s Green party to help households finance rooftop PV systems could be implemented by a coalition government with the nation’s Labor Party next year, according to a report by Radio New Zealand News.

With a general election in New Zealand expected by Saturday December 6, the Greens have formulated a policy that would see households borrow from public finances at the public borrowing rate of 4.1% with repayments made through the tax rates applied to the property in question.

According to the report, the Greens claim a typical NZ$10,000 (US$8,400) 3 kW system produces NZ$1,000 worth of electricity annually and the cost of borrowing at the rate extended to public bodies in the nation means a NZ$10,000 loan would cost only NZ$900 per year, leaving households NZ$100 per year better off while repaying the loan.

Under the proposed policy, the Greens would permit households to borrow up to NZ$15,000 for systems, from public funds.

Radio New Zealand reported today Simon Bridges, energy minister for the country’s centre-right National Party minority government, dismissed the proposed policy, stating taxpayers should not subsidize a form of energy more expensive than conventional sources. Mr Bridges added, if the government does not subsidize solar through the plan, energy suppliers will be handed the burden and will pass it on to consumers.

But today’s report says New Zealand’s Labor Party leader, David Cunliffe, described the Greens’ proposal as ‘sensible’ and said it could be implemented in the event of a coalition government being formed by the two parties after the election.