Election 2023: Greens say Clean Power Payment will save households over $1000 a year on energy bills, slash carbon emissions

The Green Party's latest election policy is "close to a perfect" investment, which could save households more than $1000 on their energy bills every year by going solar while also slashing emissions, according to co-leader James Shaw. 

The Green Party announced its Clean Power Payment policy on Sunday morning, saying the plan will help bring warm homes, good jobs and cheaper energy bills to every part of New Zealand, while also helping people to make ends meet and cut climate pollution.

If elected, the plan will see people able to access grants of up to $6000 to cover the cost of installing solar power and making energy-efficient upgrades.

Households would also be able to get interest-free loans of up to $30,000 to cover the cost of additional zero-carbon home upgrades.

Tax deductible zero carbon upgrades for rental homes are also promised as part of the policy.

The payment will help Kiwis save money and the planet "month-after-month, year-after-year", while also making homes warmer and healthier, Shaw said.

"What could be better than that?" he said. "People are struggling and the planet is heating at a frightening speed. We can and must deal with both challenges at the same time.

"There is a clear answer staring us in the face: warm homes powered by clean, cheap, low-carbon energy, supplied straight from our roofs."

Shaw said the payment will cut costs to families while also taking the "urgent action" New Zealand needs to cut climate emissions and reach net zero.

"Instead of leaving families to waste money on cold, draughty homes, as successive governments have, the Clean Power Payment will upgrade our homes so they are warm and healthy.

"The Clean Power Payment is as close to a perfect investment as you can get: slashing soaring bills for families, slashing emissions, and creating thousands of good jobs.

Climate change and the cost of living will be two big issues in this year's election. The latest Ipsos issues monitor from May reveals what most concerns New Zealanders.

Inflation/cost of living was the number one issue that concerned New Zealanders, with climate change coming in fifth.

"Most people want action on the climate crisis and action on the cost of living," Shaw said.

"The time is now for a government that will deliver solutions that last, saving people money and cutting emissions month-after-month, year-after-year. That's exactly what the Clean Power Payment will do."

Fellow party co-leader Marama Davidson added this policy shows the Greens are the only party with "bold solutions" people need right now.

"Our Income Guarantee will ensure everyone has an income of at least $385 each, so people always have enough to afford the weekly shop, pay the rent, or cover unexpected costs," she said.

"Rent controls will put a limit on how much landlords can increase people's rent each year. And now the Clean Power Payment will cut emissions and power bills, saving people hundreds of dollars a year.

"Everything we need to upgrade our homes exists. However, most of us do not have thousands of dollars spare to pay for things like solar panels, heat pumps, or double-glazing."

The Greens believe the Clean Power Payment is an obvious answer to that problem.

"Under our plan, people will be able to access grants of up to $6000 to cover the cost of clean energy upgrades, like putting solar power on their roof or installing a heat pump. Plus, interest-free loans of up to $30,000 to cover the cost of additional zero carbon home upgrades," Davidson said.

"The Clean Power Payment will help people to upgrade their homes to be warmer, without relying on dirty fuels, so everyone can come home to a warm place which doesn't pollute the planet."

The Greens policy is part of a broader Zero Carbon Homes upgrade.