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Solar energy - a new way to power the world

All of the energy stored in Earth's reserves of coal, oil and natural gas is matched by energy from just 20 days of sunshine. And, as two thirds of the world's fossil fuel reserves need to stay in the ground if there is to be any chance of keeping global warming under 2°C, finding ways to harness that solar energy seems like the perfect solution.

Several years ago a survey about Kiwis and solar energy revealed some interesting facts. It turned out that about 85% of homeowners loved the idea of powering their homes on sunshine but the majority were put off by the upfront costs of buying a solar system ranging from $8,000 to $15,000. To make solar affordable we removed that price barrier by introducing solarZero at the start of 2015.

Qualify for our standard solarZero energy service and you can buy clean, affordable solar energy, generated on your roof by solar panels which we own and manage. You simply pay a low fixed monthly fee for energy services providing inflation-free solar power that could save thousands of dollars on power bills over the long term.

Solar energy is clean, safe and renewable. We're fortunate in New Zealand that about 80% of our electricity already comes from renewable sources. We'd like to see that raised to 100% and solar energy is going to play an important role.

While we're starting to power our homes and businesses on sunshine, solar energy can also be used to power our vehicles. Switching our petrol and diesel-powered cars to electric vehicles running on renewable energy will help New Zealand save billions of dollars on importing fossil fuels. It will also help clean up our air and reduce our carbon dioxide emissions.