The Green Party's promise to save households $100 a year on power bills by lending them money to buy solar panels has been tentatively backed by energy experts, despite the Government's claims that the policy is a costly subsidy.
Under the Solar Homes scheme, New Zealanders would be able to borrow up to $15,000 from the Government to install photovoltaic panels and then pay it back via their council rates over 15 years.
The interest rate on the loan would be the same as the Crown borrowing rate - at present 4.1 per cent.
Energy Minister Simon Bridges said if the scheme required a lower interest rate, it was a government subsidy. He said solar was not a priority because of the abundance of cheaper renewable energy such as hydro, geothermal and wind.
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