Greens' electricity policy improved

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20 Apr 2017

Greens' electricity policy improved

BusinessNZ has welcomed the Greens' electricity policy announced today.

BusinessNZ Chief Executive Kirk Hope says it is a big turnaround from the party's policy at the last election, which would have introduced state control of electricity pricing and driven private investment out of the electricity sector.

"The new Greens policy appears to recognise the value of competition in keeping prices down.

"This year's policy rests more on encouraging outcomes such as renewable energy and new technology, rather than seeking to impose state controls.

"The Greens have worked actively with the electricity sector in developing their new policy, and the results are more pragmatic and practical.

"Positive areas of the policy include encouraging more use of new technology allowing people to produce and trade their own electricity; encouraging more use of time-of-use pricing to help manage demand; and encouraging more transparency around pricing and billing practices of electricity retailers.

"But as we know, the devil is in the detail of how such proposals will be implemented and we encourage the Greens' to continue to work with the sector to flesh these ideas out.

The Greens' target of 100% renewable electricity generation by 2030 is a case in point. It's an aspirational goal that will appeal to the party's constituency. However it's unclear how the current level of resilience will be maintained, at what cost, and how it will be paid for.

"The Greens' continued policy of banning new fossil fuel generation seems out of step with the rest of its electricity policy and could in fact dampen investment in both renewable and non-renewable energy, leading to a less - not more - resilient energy future," Mr Hope said.