Alternative energy

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.

So 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. 

How do I apply?

Get the tick

Get approval from your current network company in writing.

Ready to apply?

Download and complete the application form. If you have trouble opening this form, you may need to install a new version of Adobe Acrobat.

Send your docs

Send your Network Application Form and Network Approval Letter to


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

How distributed generation or alternative energy works

You're only steps away from generating your own power.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • You can view the terms and conditions here.

How to apply for distributed generation?

  • 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 can have 2 or more registers with at least 1 register that records the surplus energy exported from your generation equipment to the network.
  • 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. Ready to apply? Click here.
  • Provided you have met all the application form requirements and your electrician has the wiring and required certification in place, Contact can order your distributed generation meter and organise a contractor to replace your current meter.
  • 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.

How do you pay me for the surplus export meter units?

For most customers, you will see the amount of distributed generation you’re selling back to us on your electricity bill, where applicable.

For our Residential customers, you can contact us on 0800 266 841 or click here to send us an email if you have any questions.

For our Commercial and Industrial customers with a Time of Use meter, you will need to invoice us for your surplus export meter units. Please contact our Collaborative Solutions Team on 0800 100 249 who can explain how to do this or click here to send us an email.


How will I know if the capacity of my distributed generation is less than or greater than 10kW?

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.


How much does it cost to install an import/export meter?

The installation of an import/export meter will incur a cost of $200. 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. 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.

Will my current pricing plan remain the same if I change to an import/export meter? 

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.

Who will install the new meter and how long will it take?

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.


Contact for additional information

If you have further questions on distributed generation, we are happy to help!

  • Distributed generation output for less than 30 kilowatt (kW): Click here to send us an email or call us on 0800 266 841.
  • Distributed generation output for greater than 30 kilowatt (kW): Contact our sister company Simply Energy on 0800 100 249 or click here to send Simply Energy an email.