Release: Doubling rooftop solar to reduce bills & emissions

Labour will double the number of houses with rooftop solar in New Zealand, lowering household power bills, reducing emissions and boosting renewable electricity generation.

  • Up to $4,000 rebate to help New Zealanders install rooftop solar panels and battery to lower household power bills
  • Households could save up to 50 per cent on bills or $850 annually
  • $20 million boost for energy projects in local communities
  • 1000 Kāinga Ora homes a year to be fitted with solar panels, reducing tenants power bills
  • Continuing to lower emissions and make energy cheaper for all New Zealanders

“We need to increase renewable electricity generation by 68 per cent by 2050. Solar on roofs lowers bills, as well as generating electricity locally, reducing reliance on the grid,” Labour Leader Chris Hipkins said.

“I am absolutely focused on lowering household costs at the same time as driving New Zealand to become a global powerhouse of renewable energy. This plan does both of those things.”

“We’ll boost New Zealand’s renewable energy production and make Kiwis’ power bills cheaper, through a fiscally responsible plan that contributes up to $4,000 towards installing rooftop solar panels at home – $2,000 towards the panels and $2,000 for a battery.

“There are well over 40 thousand New Zealand homes getting cheaper, clean electricity with rooftop solar – this will more than double that with approximately 60 thousand more rooftop solar systems.

“Experience from projects funded through our Community Renewable Energy Fund shows household solar panels can reduce energy bills by up to 50%. That’s a saving of up to $850 a year.

“This package of new measures builds on Labour’s plan to see New Zealand lead the world in renewable energy, creating jobs and protecting Kiwis’ power bills from international price volatility,” Chris Hipkins said.

Labour Energy spokesperson Megan Woods said the plan will also put $20 million of new funding towards community energy projects to help boost energy generation, and put more renewable energy back into the grid, helping to lower the overall cost of energy nationwide.

“That funding will see new pilot programmes like mini urban solar farms, which provide revenue to those with spare commercial roof space by installing solar panels which feedback into the grid, trialed before being rolled out wider,” Megan Woods said.

“We will also fit 1,000 Kāinga Ora homes a year with solar panels, which will give financial relief to some of our lower income families by reducing monthly energy bills.

“With Transpower forecasting a 68 per cent increase in electricity generation needed to meet demand by 2050 we need to boost New Zealand’s renewable energy capacity to provide greater economic security.

“By transitioning the bulk of our energy generation to renewable sources, like wind, solar and hydro in a fiscally responsible way, we can better protect New Zealanders from international pressures on energy prices like we have seen over the last two years with the war in Ukraine.

“With emissions coming down it’s clear Labour’s plan is working. Today’s announcement builds on the success of the Clean Car Standard and Discount which has increased EV uptake by 35 per cent since 2017. And the funding of the more than 1300 EV charges, one in almost every New Zealand town.

“It’s further to BlackRock’s $2 billion fund and the work of New Zealand Green Investment Finance to accelerate investment in innovative and dynamic companies, new technologies and significant projects that create jobs.

“We can either remain vulnerable to volatile global economic forces or follow Labour’s affordable plan that boosts energy production, reduces emissions, lowers energy bills, and positions New Zealand with a future proof economy,” Megan Woods said.