One is inclined to think that lines company Unison probably did not anticipate the fallout from its decision to increase charges for households generating their own electricity through solar systems.

The announcement was made on Friday (April Fools' Day) and at first it did seem like a big joke. But Unison confirmed that it was not.

The reasoning behind the increase, according to Unison manager of business assurance Nathan Strong, was to make sure grid users paid their fair share. Solar power users pay less because of lower electricity volumes but Mr Strong says they still used the network.

Electricity pricing is one of those hot button issues that always get people angry. Many people believe there are three certainties in life - death, taxes and electricity price increases.


Hawke's Bay Today has received a large number of responses from readers and not one person was supportive of Unison's move.

Many of the comments on our website and Facebook page made the point that surely people who were making the effort (at quite a cost) to be more energy efficient, should be rewarded and not penalised.

A few even suggested that people should go the solar power route and get off the electricity grid completely.

That probably isn't feasible but it does give some insight into the depth of feeling that this move has provoked.

My electricity comes entirely from the grid but I don't begrudge those who have gone through the effort to install solar panels. They should be admired and encouraged, rather than hit with an increase.

Don't be surprised if Unison has a rethink on this decision as it does not seem to have been a well-formulated move.