We are enjoying our power rebate from Northpower this month so when the Northpower Summer Consumerline Report 2015 arrived in our letterbox I read it. I was really disappointed to read the comments of the CEO, Mark Gatland.
He maintains those of us who install solar panels to generate electricity are being subsidised by those that don't.
As a business that runs a large chiller 24 hours a day, pumps, greenhouses etc we have just installed a 3kw system to try and offset the rising power bills we were getting and to make use of a renewable energy source without harming or depriving anyone or any environment.
We will still use/pay for power from the main grid at night and on overcast days, paying around 45 cents per unit used. We also still pay $1.50 per day to have the power on hand just like others. We also sometimes on very sunny days put energy back into Northpower's grid that we get 7cents a unit for. I don't understand the subsidisation here?
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Mr Gatland proceeds to proudly point out Northpower has installed electric vehicle charging stations around Northland that drivers of solar cars can use for free. Why does Mr Gatland not acknowledge that we are all subsidising the cost of these? We who use Northpowers lines, own it, therefore we have paid for these charging stations.
Mr Gatland states 80 per cent of NZ power is generated by renewable energy. True but there is a "cost of production" here too, rivers are dammed and habitats are lost forever. Dams silt up and need constant maintenance.
Why do people get so upset when another dam is proposed? Because they know they have effects also. Most of us try to make small changes to decrease our CO2 emissions when we know how to.
I think it's better to support each others' trials, learn from what works and what doesn't.
This takes time and a willingness to reflect. Have a go at that Mr Gatland.
What do you think? Comment below.