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Labour adopts National's solar policy

Hon Dr Nick Smith National Party Climate Change Spokesman

24 September 2008

Labour adopts National's solar policy

National has welcomed the decision by Labour and the Green Party to adopt the solar water heating policy that National announced six months ago, saying it is an admission that their own policy has failed, says National's Climate Change spokesman, Nick Smith.

"Labour and the Greens made a complete hash of solar energy policy, causing two years of declining installations and wreaking havoc in the solar industry.

"In March, National announced its policy to drop the financial threshold test, increase the grant to $1,000, and extend the scheme to heat pump water heaters.

"It is ironic that Labour and the Greens have now adopted all three policies.

"Labour and the Greens need to be held to account for this botched solar policy that has put progress in this important area of energy efficiency back more than two years, and seen New Zealand lagging well behind the world in utilising solar energy.

"The industry and National have been arguing for two years that the price restriction was flawed, yet Labour and the Greens have dug in and insisted on its retention.

"Labour's David Parker told Parliament in August 2007 that removing the price restriction was 'just daft', and 'this government will not subsidise such systems'.

"It is only with an election approaching and the policy continuing to fail that they have done a U-turn and adopted National's policy.

"The core issue here is that Labour and the Greens insisted on being able to regulate the price down, rather than trusting homeowners to shop around and get the best deal.

"The environment has been the loser from this flawed approach.

"National's Bluegreen approach of incentivising business and consumers to adopt more environmentally friendly products while minimising busybody regulations is the right way forward."

ENDS


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