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Solar panels on your roof for free

The ability to go solar is getting simpler.

The decision by Meridian to cut the amount it pays customers for power going back to the grid may seem like a disincentive for local renewable energy. But a new calculation when a solar firm owns and maintains the equipment and the customer has the ability to buy the power cheaper than they could get it from the grid is leading the way. solarcity, a Nelson based company are offering this to their customers through their program solarZero. 

Andrew Booth, CEO of solarcity says his firm is able to exploit a number of economic advantages including falling technology costs and the fact generating power from the sunlight falling on your roof is as accessible as it gets. "When Meridian provides power to Auckland from its dams in the South Island, 30 per cent of the power is lost on the way, whereas we have no losses whatsoever. The price our customer pays for power pivots off the price of technology," he says. 

"They argue it's about economics, but it's about that they want to regulate solar out of the market because they know it will out-compete them." Booth says solarcity is using the same financing mechanism used to create the hydropower dams to allow ordinary families to put solar on their roof to generate power. You need to have shareholder backing from individuals and organisations willing to take a long term view," Booth says. To make the shift solarcity raised $25 million in additional capital from its shareholders who include Investment Fund Pencarrow and Stephen Tindal's K1W1 fund. 

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