Whipping up
your own

If you're generating your own power, we can pay you for any excess power you generate and top you up from the national grid if you get low.

How does it work? If you're a Contact Energy customer and your local Network company has approved your connection, we can install a distributed generation meter for either less than or greater than 10 kilowatt (kW) output. 

Already have an approved/certified distributed generation meter installed? Great! Join Contact and you can earn some bikkies by selling us your leftovers. 

To find out more about our offer and application process, check out our FAQ's below.

1) Contact Energy doesn't sell or install solar panels/systems or other generation equipment. This is organised by specialist generation providers. Your first step is to contact your preferred provider to find the best solution for your energy needs.

2) Your next port of call is your Network Company to apply for a connection contract. The connection contract will permit you to connect new generation equipment and allows you to send any surplus energy into the Network. Click here to help you contact your local Network Company.

3) With the help of your generation provider, you can then arrange a qualified installer/electrician to help with the job (including certification of the generation equipment).

4) To enable you to sell any surplus energy back to the grid, you need a special import/export meter installed. That's where Contact comes to the rescue. A distributed generation meter has 2 registers, one to record the energy you use and the other register to track any surplus you would like to sell back to Contact.

5) If you're not already a Contact customer, sign up with us now. When you're ready, complete your online application form to request a distributed generation meter (also referred to as import/export meter) be installed.

6) Provided you have met all the application form requirements and your electrician got the wiring and required certification in place, Contact can order your distributed generation meter and organise a contractor to replace your current meter.

7) Once your generation equipment is installed and certified and your new import/export meter is in place, you can start selling your surplus energy to Contact.

Distributed generation rate for less than 10 kilowatt peak (kW) standard metered sites:

Our offer is 8 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) excl. GST for any electricity that you export to us (prices are subject to change with 30 days' notice)

Distributed generation rate for greater than 10 kilowatt peak (kW) standard metered or time of use metered sites:

Price on application. Call 0800 271 271 or click here to send us an e-mail. We will take a look at your supply details and discuss our price offer with you.

Your electrician will be able to tell you. You may also find this information on the Network connection/approval letter confirmation if you already applied for a connection with your Network Company.

Note: The majority of residential solar installations will be under 10kW.

The installation of an import/export meter will incur a cost of $125. This metering fee will be applied from 01 August 2016 onwards.

Additional costs outside the installation of the meter should be discussed with your installer or electrician prior to Contact requesting the new meter be installed. It's important to note that we may not be able to install distributed generation metering at sites where there is asbestos, a meter mounted directly to a house with no fire proof meter box or where the meter is not protected from the elements, substandard wiring, etc...

In relation to the above, if our contractor attends and finds your meter board or the wiring does not measure up, we'll let you know and we can talk through options with you.

If you apply to have an import/export meter installed, your current meter will be replaced with an import/export meter. This may mean that the pricing plan we currently bill you on may need to change to ensure it is compatible with the new import/export meter set up.

If we find that your current pricing plan needs to be changed, we will contact you to discuss the pricing plan options for your import meter load.

Talk to and get advice from your preferred provider for sustainable electricity options and generation equipment.

Contact's expectation is that the customer should contact their Network Company and Contact before completing any installation of generation equipment.

  • Requirements vary between each Network and Contact recommends that the installation of the distributed generation meter occurs on or as close to when the generation system installation is completed and ready for use.

A distributed generation meter has 2 registers, one to record the import meter usage and the other register which records any surplus power you sell back to Contact Energy.

Our Field Services Contractor will install your meter once your application has been approved. Ensure your electrician has completed any necessary wiring before our contractor installs the meter and has arranged for any inspections and/or certificates of compliance.

It can take up to 30 working days to have an import/export installed and the contractor may attend on any day within that time frame. Once installed you can start selling back your surplus energy to us.

We endeavor to install our distributed generation metering using smart meters wherever possible.

At this stage we don't have the ability to receive remote reads on all smart distributed generation meters but are working towards a solution for this in the near future.

We will read your meter regularly (provided that you give us access to your premises during normal meter reading service hours). Our meter readers will call to read your meter, typically every two or three months.

On the months we don't take a reading, we work out an estimate of your energy use, based on what you've used in the past at a similar time of year. On your bill, you'll see a note saying 'Based on estimate read.'

Any surplus energy you generate cannot be stored for future usage unless you have a battery installed at your home. We will buy back any surplus energy you generate.

  • Be a Contact customer at the address you would like the new import/export meter installed. You can sign with Contact up here.

  • If you're not the property owner, you must get consent from your Landlord/Property  Manager to install the new meter.

  • Apply for a connection with your local Network Company and wait for your letter of approval. Click here to help you contact your Local Network Company.

  • Discuss, select and purchase the generation equipment and organise a qualified installer to install it.

  • Check if you need any resource and/or building consents depending on the generation type you selected.

  • Get your electrician to get the wiring ready and arrange inspections/certificate of compliance requirements.

  • It is preferable that you ensure your solar panels, wind turbine or similar have been installed, or are in process of installation, and will be ready to wire into the new distributed generation meter when the contractor attends.

For new customers, effective 1 June 2016, Contact will include the amount of distributed generation you're selling back to us on your electricity bill, where applicable.

We're currently in the process of writing to our existing customers who have a distributed generation meter, and the plan is to move them all across to this new and improved billing process in the coming months.

Distributed generation output for less than 10 kilowatt (kW):

Click here to send us an email.

Distributed generation output for greater than 10 kilowatt (kW):

Contact our Account Management Team on 0800 271 271 or click here to send us an email.

  • Sign up here to be a Contact customer. For existing customers, read the instructions below

  • Check that you have received a copy of your network application form

  • Check that you have received your letter of approval form your local network company

  • Organise a qualified installer to install your purchased generation equipment (this should already be underway or almost completed when sending your application)

  • Ensure your electrician has completed any necessary wiring before our contractor installs the meter and has arranged for any inspections and/or certificates of compliance

  • Complete our online Distributed Generation application form by clicking on Step 2 below.

Get the tick

Get approval from your current network company in writing

If you’re ready to apply, click here to download and complete your form.

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