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Solar Buy Back in NZ

With the increasing popularity of renewable energy sources, solar power has emerged as a leading choice for homeowners in New Zealand. In addition to reducing carbon footprints and lowering electricity bills, solar panel installations offer another enticing benefit: solar buy back. This system allows homeowners to sell excess electricity generated by their solar panels back to the grid, creating an opportunity to earn extra income. In this blog post, we will explore how solar buy back works in New Zealand and provide insights on finding the best solar buy back rates.

Understanding Solar Buy Back:

Solar buy back, also known as net metering or grid-tie solar, is a program that enables homeowners with solar installations to feed excess electricity into the national power grid. This surplus energy is measured by a bi-directional meter, which records the electricity flowing in both directions: from the grid to the home and from the solar panels to the grid. By selling the surplus electricity to the grid, homeowners can offset their energy costs and even generate revenue.

How Does Solar Buy Back Work in New Zealand?

In New Zealand, the solar buy back system operates through the net metering mechanism. Here's a step-by-step breakdown of how it works:
Installation: Homeowners install solar panels on their property, typically on rooftops or in sunny areas of their land.
Generating Electricity: The solar panels convert sunlight into electricity, which is used to power the household's electrical needs.
Excess Generation: During periods of high solar output, when the panels generate more electricity than the household requires, the surplus power is sent back to the grid.
Metering: A bi-directional meter records the electricity exported to the grid and imported from the grid. This allows the homeowner to be credited for the excess electricity sent back.
Credit Accumulation: The homeowner accumulates credits for the surplus electricity exported to the grid, which are then deducted from their electricity bills.
Buy Back Rates: The electricity retailer pays the homeowner for the surplus electricity based on the agreed buy back rate. The rate can vary between retailers.

Finding the Best Solar Buy Back Rates:

To maximize the financial benefits of solar buy back, it is crucial to find the best rates available. Here are some key considerations when searching for the most favorable buy back rates in New Zealand:
Research Electricity Retailers: Compare different electricity retailers in your area to find out if they offer solar buy back programs and the rates they provide. Some well-known retailers in New Zealand include Contact Energy, Genesis Energy, Meridian Energy, and Mercury Energy.  Our useful table of rates below will help - click through to view.
Check Pricing Structures: Understand the pricing structures offered by retailers, including the buy back rates and any additional fees or charges associated with the program.
Contract Terms: Review the terms and conditions of the solar buy back agreement. Look for any minimum export requirements, contract duration, and any limitations or exclusions.
Seek Recommendations: Talk to other solar panel owners in your community or join online forums to gather insights and recommendations on retailers that offer competitive buy back rates.
Consult Solar Installers: Speak with reputable solar installation companies in your area. They often have valuable knowledge about local electricity retailers and can provide guidance on finding the best buy back rates.


Solar buy back programs provide an excellent opportunity for homeowners in New Zealand to reduce their energy bills and generate income from their solar installations. By understanding how solar buy back works and researching the available rates, homeowners can make informed decisions that maximize the financial benefits of their solar investment. With the renewable energy sector growing rapidly, solar buy back represents a significant step towards a sustainable and economically viable future for both homeowners and the nation as a whole.