Fix electricity market to help both climate and cost of living

Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand

The four big electricity companies should be required to reinvest massive profits into cutting both household bills and climate pollution, the Green Party says.

A new report out today by NZCTU, 350 Aotearoa and First Union shows that instead of reinvesting record profits in action to cut household bills and climate pollution, the big four big electricity companies have directed hundreds of millions of dollars into the pockets of shareholders.

“Climate action and support for energy poor households should be a core design feature of our electricity market,” says Green Party’s energy and resources spokesperson, Julie Anne Genter.

“Access to clean, affordable energy is an essential component of dignified life, yet successive governments have designed an electricity market that puts shareholder profit ahead of public interest.

“As today’s report shows, these design flaws have led to massive under investment in generating capacity and low carbon technologies.

“National’s partial privatisation of the electricity market in 2014, in particular, has held back climate action, promoted fossil fuels, and left households much worse off.

“Burning fossil fuels and keeping bills higher than necessary has become a strategy for profiteering that Mr. Luxon seems eager to promote.

“The fundamental failures of past governments cannot be addressed through incremental improvements while leaving the underlying design of the system intact.

“The Green Party is clear that the imperative to invest in a climate-friendly future is too important to outsource.

“Massive electricity profits should be reinvested into renewables, action to reduce household bills, and local clean energy projects, such as shared or community energy.

“An excess profit tax can help address the immediate challenges we face, while work is done to redesign the electricity market to build the better, cleaner and more equal future our children deserve.

“In a strong position to shape the direction of the next government, the Green Party will accelerate a just transition to a clean energy future where people and communities are better off than they are today,” says Julie Anne Genter.

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