Switching to solar power is not just sustainable, it can also save you heaps of money for the long term. In the process, it's one way to help reduce New Zealand's carbon footprint.
But did you know that you can sell your excess energy to a power company in NZ?
New Zealand retailers are willing to buy excess power from solar panels. It's a great way to make some extra money and get some of your ROI. Before you get started, you'll need to have a written approval from your lines company, which you may check at the Lines Company Map.
Take note that your lines company may be different from your electricity retailer. You need to get an import-export meter to record your power usage and output, which can be provided and installed by the power company for a small fee. You also have to get approval from your network company so they can be installed.
Mercury Energy provides a wide range of products and flexible power plans to cater to its customers' needs and offers solar buy-backs all over New Zealand.
Buy-back rate: 8 cents per unit (subject to change) (rates excluding GST and discounts)
Import/export meter: $99 (including GST)
Kiwis interested in getting solar power installed at their homes can request a solar consultation through Genesis Energy's website. Genesis-approved installers situated at different major centres all over the country would be happy to assist customers. Genesis electricity customers with approved generation equipment with less than a 50kW output can also avail of HomeGen, which allows for unused power to be sold into the grid.
Buy-back rate: 12 cents per kWh (appears as a separate credit line on a customer’s regular bill)
Import/export meter: $127 (including installation)
You can apply for solar power on Contact Energy's website. The power provider says that customers interested in setting up a solar system for their homes can install an import/export meter for either less or greater than 10kW output.
Buy-back rate: The amount of the distributed generation customers are selling can be found on their electricity bill, where applicable. If you want to know their up-to-date buy-back rates, you may get in touch with Contact Energy directly.
Import/export meter: You will have to pay $190 for the installation.
Meridian Energy is committed to increasing the use of solar power in New Zealand. They support customers who generate their own renewable energy, and is willing to buy back the excess energy at an agreed rate and will credit it on the customer's next bill.
Buy-back rate: 8 cents* per kWh (applicable for all solar panel systems with a rated capacity of up to 10kW).
*Rates are subject to change with 30 days’ notice.
Requirements: You will need to install an import/export meter, which has two registers. One is to record the amount of energy you use, while the other is to track the power exported back to the national grid. Meridian Energy will help you make sure that the proper meter is installed.
You can learn more about this through Meridian's customer service on their website.
If you want a power provider that supports and gets their electricity from many small-scale domestic generators under a 10kW capacity, Trustpower is a good choice. It has a Solar Buddies program which gives its customers an option to sell their excess power to their buddies (their chosen Trustpower user) at an agreed rate.
Buy-back rate: 8.5 cents per kWh + GST (subject to change)
Import/export meter: Installation starts from $155 + GST
Solar Buddies: If you want to get more out of your solar generation, join Trustpower’s Solar Buddies programme which allows you to sell your excess power to your family and friends at a per-unit rate (maximum of 50 units per month) you’ve agreed upon.
You can also set a rate of 0 cents and give your buddy some power for free.
Apart from providing consultation and installation of solar panels or PV systems for your home or business, they also have an extensive network across New Zealand, making them one of the best solar panel providers in the country. They’re currently in partnership with Trustpower, which means if you purchase a new Harrisons Solar PV system and switch your power to Trustpower on a 24-month term contract, Trustpower will buy back the extra power you've generated at 16 cents per unit (excluding GST).
Buy-back rate: Trustpower will buy back extra solar generation you can’t use at a big 16 cents per unit. The rate applies for up to 500 units of solar generation exported per month. If there's an additional excess, Trustpower can buy them at the standard buyback rate.
Import/export meter: Installation starts from $155 + GST
Ecotricity takes pride in providing 100% renewable and carbon zero certified electricity. They provide its customers ecoWHOLESALE and ecoSAVER plans which are both designed to support the use of solar installations. They offer off-peak and on-peak pricing, giving customers the option to use and generate power during low and high demands.
The company has also partnered with solar specialists in New Zealand to help with the installation process.
Import/export meter: Customers will be charged $80 for the meter installation
Powershop guarantees its customers that it will buy back their excess generation with a solar installation of under 10kW as well as a proper import/export meter.
Buy-back rate: 8.5 cents per kWh
Import/export meter: $150 (meter and installation fee)
Nova Energy will pay for the excess power of its residential customers who have solar panels rated to generate up to 10kW, with the buy-back power charges specified on their bills.
Buy-back rate: 7.4 cents per kWh (excluding GST on any applicable prompt payment discount)
Import/export meter: According to Nova Energy, it can provide help to its customers with import/export meter installations.
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