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You can now buy solar power like you do traditional power

For the first time you can now buy solar power just like you do traditional power, except it is coming off your roof. 

Solar uptake has been slow to date in New Zealand due to the upfront installation costs involved but solarcity are turning this around. 

For Christchurch resident Michael Peterson it's not costing him to install panels at his Christchurch home. "Being able to get solar without having to put one cent down, it became a bit of a no brainer for me," he says. 

Mr Peterson is the first in the South Island to take part in a new $25 million venture, where solarcity pay for the panels and then charges the home owner for the solar generated power. We are covering all the capital costs and building a power station roof by roof," says Andrew Booth CEO of solarcity. 

The 10 to $15,000 price tag of the solar panels is a huge barrier for many but once installed the solar energy is free to produce. The business recovers its costs by charging homeowners a fixed monthly fee for the solar generated power which will be less than your current power bill. 

Mr Peterson thinks he'll save around $20 per month by having the system. With the business model used by solarcity now how the majority of users in North America get their energy. It works well for Mr Peterson cause he works from home, but it's not for everyone. 

At the moment solar energy can't be stored so once it gets dark homeowners will have to revert to using power from the grid, meaning they will still receive some form of traditional power bill. 

So far around 4,500 New Zealand households have opted to go solar. solarcity are aiming to double that in two years.

To view the One News clip click here