In the rolling farmland of Central Hawke's Bay, an energy pilot programme is allowing customers to contract with more than one electricity supplier at a single location.
Greg and Liz Wilson's Ongaonga farm is home to what could be the future of energy, as the multiple trading relationships (MTR) scheme aims to introduce more competition into the electricity sector.
The innovative pilot programme has been enabled by New Zealand's future energy centre, Ara Ake.
Ara Ake hopes MTR will make electricity cheaper for customers, helping reduce energy hardship and allowing for greater uptake of low emission technologies such as solar.
Greg Wilson said he had "always been interested in solar power" and now his farm is at the forefront of a solar power trial that could be game-changing for New Zealand's electricity sector.
"I'm looking forward to being able to use the excess electricity to power different areas of my farm, including my family home, my mother-in-law's home, and the irrigation pump," he said.
The MTR scheme's goal is for Wilson to be able to do all those things and eventually more.
For 12 months, Ara Ake will run its pilot project on the Wilsons' farm with no cost to the Wilson family.
An Ara Ake spokeswoman said the company is co-ordinating a number of pilots within the MTR project, which aims to drive a different way of doing things in the energy sector.
"We haven't allocated specific costs to the pilot project," she said.
Ara Ake chief executive Dr Cristiano Marantes said New Zealand has started its journey to decarbonisation and Ara Ake's role is to accelerate innovation in the energy sector.
There are two solar installations on Wilson's farm property, one is 8kW and the other is 50kW.
The larger solar panel installation is being used to power the farm's irrigation system and any excess solar is exported.
However, MTR allows the Wilsons to share the excess power wherever they want.
The scheme is an example of what Ara Ake does as a company.
"Achieving our goals for a low emissions future won't be possible unless customers are put at the centre of this transition. MTR is the type of energy innovation which does exactly that - it's the Uber or Netflix of the electricity world," Dr Marantes said.
MTR is currently not allowed under the Electricity Participation Code, known as 'the Code'.
The off-market pilot scheme - supported by the Electricity Authority - will evaluate if MTR is sufficiently valuable.
For example, if MTR demonstrates long term benefits for electricity customers and the commercial prospects of new business models, it may justify a change of the Code.
Additionally, it will provide insights into any risks and constraints that may impact the electricity market if MTR is allowed.
Our Energy founder John Campbell said: "It's great to get a real-world demonstration underway."
Campbell hopes this is the beginning of a more accessible local and community energy trading model.
"There are many opportunities to explore this innovative concept further. Our Energy looks forward to working with Ara Ake on these so we can enable our communities to have a sustainable future," he said.
Dr Marantes said the MTR scheme has the potential to alleviate energy hardship for those most in need.
"An outcome that would be invaluable to our nation," he said.
"We're proud that Ara Ake has been able to test this exciting world-first pilot in Aotearoa," Dr Marantes said.
While the Wilsons' Ongaonga farm may be the pilot, Ara Ake has many more case studies planned.
A marae is currently looking at sharing excess solar energy with local houses in the papakāinga and Kāinga Ora is exploring ways to share energy between their tenants, helping to reduce energy hardship and emissions.