Research into renewable electricity on Stewart Island is taking too long, and residents are tired of waiting for a result, a local councillor says.
Expensive diesel-fuelled generators are the only source of power, and the community of about 400 pays three times more for electricity than do people on the mainland.
Councillor Bruce Ford said research into renewable options had been done since the diesel station was installed 20 years ago, and the community had had enough.
"We're getting a bit sick of the research. We're quite sure that we need a hydro scheme and that there is a proposal to do just that," Mr Ford said.
"We could have been saving money by now if we'd been able to attain some proper alternative energy."
Residents believed hydro was the best option and hoped research by Venture Southland would focus on this option, he said.
Other options such as solar and wind were being researched as well but Mr Ford said the community just wanted to get on with the installation process.