This is one of our customer's conversations with genesis energy had during the time they were investigating installing solar power - it is both a little amusing and a little informative...
From: Joe Public
To: Home Generation (HAM)
Subject: Solar grid tie
I am investigating the pros and cons of generating domestic power using a 3.36Kw grid tie solar array/inverter and reducing my power bills, saving the planet etc which the company so strongly promotes while waiting for assistance on your automated telephone system.
I note the Genesis website has a link to Homage info dated 2006 - perhaps it is time this was updated?
I understand that although one NZ powerco bills on a 1-for-1 usage/generated basis, at present Genesis does not. Do I take it that any power I generate that is fed to the grid versus the grid tie is accepted by you for no credit against what I may draw? This surely can't be the case!
At the present I have a dual fuel account with Genesis - would installing an inverter prejudice this in any way?
I would appreciate clarification on these matters, please.
Thank you for your enquiry.
We are updating the HomeGen information at present and this should be on the website soon.
Currently our prices for distributed generation 10kW or under is based on whole sale market prices but these are being reviewed this year as well.
Our emphasis is that the generation is used by our customer so they can get the full benefits.
The imported and exported electricity has to be reconciled to the market separately and this is why we cannot credit export electricity against imported.
If you install Distributed generation it will not affect your dual fuel account.
If you have any other questions feel free to ask
Technical Advisor Electricity Genesis Energy
Thank you for your ultimate response.
It is disappointing to infer from your message that if Genesis customers go to the expense and trouble of generating some solar power back to the grid to help reduce not only their own electricity bill but also the need - in a minis way - for, say, a new coal-fired power station in the future, they will be generously rewarded by having to pay retail prices for what they take and receive wholesale (probably less than half retail) for what they generate. You can hardly wonder that I find this underwhelming although strictly in line with the common perception that Genesis is becoming very dollar hungry indeed - and it will become even more so after the sell-off and more influence comes to bear to make evermore "acceptable returns on the company's assets" i.e. for the shareholders, the majority of whom will reside off shore before too long.
It seems obvious that Genesis has little or no interest in promoting home generation.
And for that matter not much real interest in having good client relationships. During the last 15 years of being a client of your company I have been regularly irritated by the imposition of ever increasing "Daily Charges" on my gas pipe and electricity line installations to the point where the former is now costing me more than twice the amount charged for the actual gas supplied to heat my hot water eg $10.77 for gas $23.20 daily charge for 29 days. These charges have had all the hall marks of smoke and mirror exercises with constantly changing 'Big Gas Thank You" type rebates for a while which suddenly disappear; a plethora of plans, Brownie points etc introduced from time to time with accompanying corporate tub-thumping and self-promoting rhetoric. All this is masterminded behind an impenetrable automated telephonic barrier located in some dug-out - maybe overseas - designed, apparently, to prevent any meaningful verbal contact with a human being with some authority or expertise.
I mean nothing personal to you in this tirade, ------ -------. It is just that you are the one and only named one-to-one contact I have had with your company in 15 years.
It goes without saying that in the extremely unlikely event of my ever having any influence on the way things were done at your establishment there would be some sweeping changes made and the US corporate style of doing business would be "gone by lunchtime"!