Regulations & Consent For Solar Power in NZ

Home > Home Solar Info > Regulations

Regulations & Consent For Solar Power in NZ

Grid-connected solar power systems must comply with local lines companies, along with NZ electrical standards and local council regulations. The council will look at certain installation and electrical safety requirements. Solar power systems can overload power lines; it is lines companies that make sure this doesn't happen.

Do solar power systems in NZ need council consent?

Some council's in New Zealand require consent applications.

Building or resource consent is a bit of a grey area as the Building Act of 2004 exempts energy work from requiring a building consent. Some New Zealand solar installation companies suggest that there is no need for anyone in New Zealand to get council consent.  Be cautious, you may wish to call your local council or ask your installer to find out the councils exact requirements.

Some council's do not differentiate between solar power and solar hot water systems.  You might be forced to fill out an application for solar hot water consent'¦ it happens!

Heritage-listed buildings may require a: resource consent and strict zones may also require consent.

Solar Power Council Consent Requirements and Fees Around New Zealand

District Council Consent Requirement
Auckland Council No consent required (unless you are in a heritage zone or if the solar panels affect height-to-boundary restrictions.)
Christchurch City Council No consent required.
Dunedin City Council No consent required.
Far North District Council No consent required.
Gisborne City Council Yes, applied through the minor building consent form.
Hamilton City Council Building consent is required : No fees
Hastings District Council No consent required.
Invercargill Council No consent required.
Manawatu District Council No consent required.
Nelson City Council No consent required.
Napier City Council No consent required.
Porirua City Council No consent required.
Tauranga City Council No consent required.
Wellington City Council No consent required.
Waikato District Council Yes, (the fee is to be confirmed)
Western Bay of Plenty Council No consent required.
Whangarei District Council No consent required.

Lines Company Regulations

All lines companies require consents. If you are going to be exporting solar power to their power lines, then they need to know!

They want to make sure that the technical specifications of your system meet their prerequisites.

Lines companies on occasion reject grid connection requests based on the size of the system. Often, this will be resolved by installing a smaller system or installing a zero export device.

To find lines companies requirements, and applications forms for each area of New Zealand, please see the list below;

Lines Company Name and Link to their DG Page

Districts: Serviced

Alpine Energy

Geraldine, Temuka, Pleasant Point, Timaru, Twizel, Waimate

Aurora Energy

Dunedin, Alexandra, Cromwell, Queenstown, Arrowtown, Wanaka

Buller Electricity



Waipawa, Waipukurau

Counties Power

Auckland (southern Papakura and Drury only), Pukekohe, Waiuku

Eastland Network

Gisborne, Wairoa


Foxton, Shannon, Levin, Otaki, Kapiti

EA Networks - Electricity Ashburton


Electricity Invercargill - Powernet

Invercargill (inner suburbs), Bluff

Horizon Energy Distribution

Kawerau, Murupara, Edgecumbe, Whakatane, Opotiki

The Lines Company

Otorohanga, Te Kuiti, Mangakino, Taumarunui, Turangi, Ohakune


Kaikoura, Hanmer Springs, Oxford, Rangiora, Woodend, Kaiapoi

Marlborough Lines

Blenheim, Picton

Nelson Electricity

Nelson (CBD)

Network Tasman

Takaka, Motueka, Nelson (suburbs), Brightwater, Wakefield

Network Waitaki



Whangarei, Dargaville


Christchurch, Lincoln, Rolleston, Darfield, Leeston

OtagoNet Joint Venture

Milton, Balclutha

The Power Company (Powernet)

Gore, Te Anau, Winton, Riverton, Invercargill (outer suburbs)


Coromandel, Whitianga, Tairua, Thames, Whangamata, Paeroa, Waihi, Waihi Beach, Te Aroha, Morrinsville, Matamata, Putaruru, Tokoroa, Katikati, Tauranga, Te Puke, Waitara, New Plymouth, Inglewood, Stratford, Eltham, Opunake, Manaia, Hawera, Patea, Wanganui, Raetihi, Waiouru, Taihape, Marton, Bulls, Feilding, Palmerston North, Pahiatua, Masterton, Carterton, Greytown, Featherston, Martinborough


Dannevirke, Woodville

Top Energy

Taipa Bay-Mangonui, Kaitaia, Kerikeri, Russell, Paihia, Kawakawa, Moerewa, Kaikohe

Unison Networks

Rotorua, Taupo, Napier, Hastings


Wellsford, Warkworth, Snells Beach, Helensville, Waiheke Island, Auckland (excluding southern Papakura and Drury)

Waipa Networks

Cambridge, Te Awamutu

WEL Networks

Huntly, Raglan, Hamilton

Wellington Electricity

Wellington, Porirua, Lower Hutt, Upper Hutt


Reefton, Greymouth, Hokitika

Electrical Standards

There are several standards in which grid connect solar power systems must comply;

  • AS 4777.1:2005 Grid connection of energy systems via inverters.
  • AS/NZS 5033:2012 Installation and safety requirements of Photovoltaic (PV) arrays.
  • AS/NZS 3000:2007 Wiring rules.

Off-grid solar power systems must comply with;

  • AS/NZS 4509

Battery installations must comply with;

  • AS 4086
  • NZS 4219