Solar power company solarcity is offering to slash Northland residents' power bills, using solar technology.
Chief executive Andrew Booth says he is amazed that traditional grid-supplied power bills in Northland are, on average, about 30 per cent higher than anywhere else in the country.
"With the combination of high sunshine hours and high power prices, Northland has the potential to become the solar capital of New Zealand," says Mr Booth.
Following a technology breakthrough, Mr Booth says his company has removed the price barrier that has stopped homeowners from going solar to date, adding it is now possible to go solar for little, or no capital costs and beat the rising cost of power with its smart solarZero energy service launched last week in Northland.
"This is the first-of-its-kind way of going solar in Northland. Rather than selling you a solar system, we sell solar energy generated by our panels which we pay for and install on your roof. We also pay for product insurance and any repairs.
"Customers simply pay a low, fixed monthly fee for energy services, guaranteed for 20 years, providing inflation-free solar power that can save thousands of dollars on their power bills over the long term."
Mr Booth says that cost is around $60 a month for an average family, though high use consumers needing power at night would need to retain access to a traditional power supplier or invest in a battery storage unit, supplied by the company, bumping the contract price up to around $145 a month. He says customers regarded as high use have traditional power bills of around $250 a month
Mr Booth also advises customers to retain access to a traditional power supplier in case of emergency.
The company will fix between seven and 14 solar panels to clients' roofs, depending on demand.
He says the cost of grid power in New Zealand has risen by more than 150 per cent in the last 20 years, adding Northland may be hit by a 10 per cent hike later this year following a review of electricity transmission pricing.
As well as homes, solarcity is also targeting businesses and local governments across the country for conversion to solar.
solarcity has partnered with McKay Electrical to deliver a complete integrated service for Northland. McKay Electrical will install and maintain solarcity's systems across the region, with the first four being installed this week.
Lindsay Faithful of McKay Electrical says: "We have been in business for 80 years across Northland serving our community and watching many struggle to pay power costs. We are proud to bring this new clean energy service to our region to help do the right thing by the environment and save money for our communities."
solarcity recently sold four units in Kerikeri. Mr Booth says the company plans on promoting it's product in Whangarei in the near future.