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Selling your Surplus Solar back to the Grid with the Best Rates

It is important to understand all the ways you can save money with your solar system to accelerate the time it takes for the system to start making a return on investment for you. As one of our core values at Lite Energy is: ‘Knowledge is Power’ we encourage you to arm yourself with accurate information on selling your surplus solar back to the grid with the best rates on the market, in this blog post we unpack this process in a digestible format.

When your solar power system is generating more electricity than you are using, you can sell that excess energy back to your electrical provider and gain it as a credit on your power bill. If your solar system has batteries, you can store this excess energy for later use (rather than sell it to your energy retailer); such as at night-time when power generation from the sun’s UV rays isn’t available or during power outages. This can be very cost effective to lower your power bill, however, batteries have a large initial financial investment, therefore most Kiwis are opting for solar systems within a battery which is still a fantastic investment that will pay off in the long run too.

Buy-back rates (also referred to as ‘feed-in tariffs’ or ‘export tariffs’) are the price per unit at which energy providers pay for your excess solar power from homes or businesses. The buy-back rate per kWh price in New Zealand ranges from 7c to 17c per kWh, check out the table we created below which outlines 11 of the best rates available on the market currently:

Energy Retailer

Solar Power Buy Back Rate Per kWh (Excluding GST)


Energy Provider Perks

Maximum Solar System Size

Power Edge 14.34cNo fixed contract or exit fee
  • No minimum term length of commitment
  • Commercial or residential power connections
Power Edge – Power Shield Plan(New plan)


  • Fixed price 5-year contract
  • Available for a limited time
  • Special: $150 welcome credit from March 2023
As above
  • For residential power connections only


Meridian – Residential Solar 17c
  • Fixed price 5-year contract
  • $300 credit for residential consumers. If you cease the contract within the first 2 years this credit will be billed.


  • Capacity of up to 10kW
Meridian – Commercial Solar12c
  • Variable: no set term
  • Fixed: 2 years
n/a–       Capacity of up to 10kW

–       Contact Meridian for options on a larger system

Electric Kiwi – MoveMaster plan12.5c
  • Receive up to a $1,350 discount when buying a solar system through ZEN Energy (solar installation provider).
1 hour of off-peak (between 9am-5pm and 9pm-7am). Electricity used during that hour is free.n/a
Electric Kiwi – all plans8cAs aboven/a
Comtricity15c or 14c (depending on your region)
  • Disconnection fee $30 (incl GST)
  • Rates depend on your region
  • Wellington Rates: 15c/kWh
On average donates of more than $50 a year are made to community causes.n/a
Mercury8.5cn/aRewards scheme, gain points and you can earn free power days, etc.n/a
Mercury’s partnership with Harrisons Solar18c
  • 2-year fixed-term contract
  • Residential customers only
  • Early termination fee of $150
As aboveMaximum of

500 units

Octopus Energy13c on a fixed-term option.


12.5c on a flexible option.

  • Credit can be paid to the customer’s bank account, on request, a maximum of once per year.
Half-price night rates (11pm-7am)Capacity of up to 10kW
Ecotricity12c – 16c
  • Must have a 6kWh+ battery installed at home with a system by an Ecotricity Solar partner.
  • Wellington’s partners are SolarZero and Lightforce.
  • Without a battery the rate is 11c, check T&Cs.
NZ’s only Toitū climate-positive certified electricity from wind, hydro, and solarn/a


How many kWh your solar system can sell depends on the amount of panels you have, how much direct sunlight exposure they get, and how much solar energy your property uses.

It’s important to note the energy retailer you decide to establish the buyback scheme with needs to be the energy retailer you use for your grid power use, which is the energy you pay for when you don’t have a sufficient amount of solar to use. As is rarely the case your solar system can generate your property’s entire energy use.

Therefore it’s important to understand attractive buyback rates might have more expensive electricity rates, therefore you’ll need to consider this when weighing up which energy retailer is the best fit for you.

There are a few things to note regarding the process of selling your excess energy – first, you will need to get written approval from your lines company.

Your lines company is different from your electrical retailer (those companies listed in the table above, plus many others). In the Wellington region, Wellington Electricity is the lines company you will need to contact. Electricity Networks Aotearoa has a handy map of all the line companies across New Zealand which might be useful if you’re unsure of yours.

Then you can go ahead and contact your energy retailer and discuss the buyback options available for your specific solar system. Your lines company and energy provider will guide you through their processes for selling your solar system’s excess energy back to your electrical provider, and then you are set to start earning some extra passive income!

While the initial investment for solar is high, in the long run (10-15 years) you’ll start reaping the benefits as that extra income will become a nice wallet top-up. Solar systems are a long game and persistence pays off, choosing to sell your surplus energy will help you to achieve a return on your investment in solar panels quickly.


Our team here at Lite Energy is equipped with the right skills, tools, and expertise to ensure a smooth transition to a solar-generated home or commercial property. We are passionate about providing sustainable, energy-efficient solutions to businesses and environmentally conscious individuals throughout the Wellington region, helping Aotearoa on its mission to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

During February 2024 we have a solar installation deal running, the details are as follows:

Battery deal; $24,000

Non battery deal; $16,500

x14 Candian Solar Panel 415Wx14 Candian Solar Panel 415W
5kw PrimeVolt Inverter5kw Fimer Grid-Tied Inverter
5.12kw PrimeVolt batteryFully installed. Conditions apply
Fully installed. Conditions apply

Get in touch for more information!




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