Tiki Taane shines light on the solar tax

Tiki Taane (Tiki Taane/Greenpeace/Twitter)
Tiki Taane (Tiki Taane/Greenpeace/Twitter)

Kiwi singer Tiki Taane has teamed up with Greenpeace to protest electricity companies charging customers extra if they use solar panels.

Lines company Unison introduced a fee in April, saying people with solar panels weren't paying a "fair and equitable amount" towards the cost of maintaining electricity networks.

The Electricity Authority ruled in July the company was within its rights to do so, which angered Taane.

"We should be celebrating the fact that so many Kiwis are behind solar," says the former Salmonella Dub frontman.

"Solar is a vital part of the solution to dangerous climate change. Sunshine is free, it's clean and it's everywhere."

On Monday he took "45,000 paper suns" to the Electricity Authority, bearing the names of all those who signed a petition against the Electricity Authority's decision.

In the authority's foyer Taane played a song written especially for the occasion, 'Shine Your Love', which is being made into a music video and will be released on Greenpeace's YouTube channel.

"The Electricity Authority must step up to the plate and protect people's freedom of choice to use clean energy like solar," said Greenpeace climate and energy campaigner, Kate Simcock.

"This includes stopping power providers from penalising solar users by introducing ridiculous policies like a tax on sunshine."

Taane admitted he has a slight financial incentive to have the "solar tax" removed - he has solar panels on his own place.

"I wanted to do my bit for the planet and my family. It's been a really rewarding process and feels empowering to be able to live sustainably."

Greenpeace said another stunt is in the works if the petition reaches 100,000 signatures.