The Greens launched their electricity policy today. Most of it is wordy and not easy to get a quick understanding of it.
The Empowering New Zealand comprehensive plan for the electricity sector includes:
- $112 million for winter warm-up payments to help low-income households cover their power bills
- setting a goal for 100 percent renewable electricity by 2030 (in average hydrological conditions)
- an investigation into the electricity wholesale market
- encouraging lines companies to work together and embrace new technology to bring down costs
- modernising industry rules to encourage competition, transparency and use of data.
“Our plan will see more than half a million Kiwi households pay less to heat their homes every winter,” Green Party energy and resources spokesperson Gareth Hughes said.
“Setting a goal for 100 percent renewable electricity generation is bold, achievable, and the right thing to do for our planet.
“New Zealand can help lead the global clean energy revolution, creating jobs and exporting our clean energy expertise to the world, but we need Government leadership to make it happen.
“We have consulted the electricity industry to design a future-focused system and I’m confident the plan we announced today is ready to be acted on by the next government,” Mr Hughes said.
Of course it is subject to the Greens becoming a part of the next Government and getting Labour and perhaps the Maori Party or NZ First to agree to this policy.
A key feature is a handout to families with a joint income of less than $50,000 p.a. of varying amounts depending on where they live. You have to dig in to their documentation to find the nitty gritty:
These seems to be an odd way to help out poorer families, with a substantial administration overhead.
Why is the West Coast payment so low? Is power that cheap on the Coast? Or do they use a lot of coal and not so much electricity?
It’s not clear exactly how it would work but it appears to be a cash handout able to be used for anything, it just happens to be calculated on average power price increases for the winter. Which makes the power aspect more marketing than anything, and more complicated than it needs to be.
I don’t think this will be a ‘priority policy’ in Green campaigning. There’s a lot of other details that will sound fine to some but most won’t care if the understand.
Read it all if you like: