New Zealand's "Solar Promise" Becomes Solar Policy

Nelson, New Zealand Mayor, Aldo Miccio, confirmed today that at least six more governing councils are considering solar initiatives in their towns and cities as part of their Solar Promise.

Miccio, the Nelson Environment Centre and solarcity NZ Ltd. launched the Solar Promise campaign in July 2011, calling for councils, central government, individuals and businesses to do what they can to remove the barriers to solar energy and make the technology more affordable, to help New Zealanders save money and combat climate change.

Miccio says that based on Nelson‘s experience, one of the easiest things a council could do for its ratepayers is offer Solar Saver Scheme, a rates-based financing mechanism to help homeowners spread out the cost of going solar. Councils can also waive solar resource consents to further remove barriers.

The overall goal of the Solar Saver Scheme is to increase the uptake of solar water systems in the Nelson City Council area. To support this goal, the Council‘s objectives are to:

  • Use the targeted rate process to reduce the upfront cost for customers.
  • Reduce the per-unit cost.
  • Ensure that high-quality systems are available to customers, systems that perform well and save customers money.
  • Simplify the selection and installation process for customers from start to finish, keeping administration costs low.
  • Provide excellent customer service.
  • Provide customers with a choice of systems and suppliers.

"The Solar Promise founders believe the Solar Saver Scheme is a vital policy tool for all councils, to assist their communities to reduce their energy costs, while also helping to maximise the contribution from solar to our nation‘s renewable energy target," Miccio says.