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Electric Homes: Rewiring Aotearoa Overview

By Kristy Hoare on in Solar Power New Zealand

Electric Homes: Rewiring Aotearoa Overview

In March 2024, Rewiring Aotearoa dropped a groundbreaking report, "Electric Homes: Rewiring Aotearoa," revealing that New Zealand is one of the first countries to hit an electrification tipping point. This means that by electrifying homes and vehicles, Kiwis can now save money and cut down emissions at the same time. It's a massive step forward in our journey towards a greener country.

At My Solar Quotes, we see electrification as a no-brainer. Solar power makes so much sense, especially in homes with electric cooking facilities, electric water heating, and electric vehicles. This report gives solid evidence for the direction New Zealand should be heading.

Before we dive into the key findings, let's give a big shoutout to the awesome team at Rewiring Aotearoa. And a special thanks to Mike Casey for being the front man of this movement and for make sure this report is seen by as many people as possible.

The rockstar team members who contributed to the "Electric Homes" report are: Josh Ellison, Dominic Thorn, Michelle Pawson and Dr. Saul Griffith.

Thanks to all of you for your hard work and dedication!

Key Findings

Cost Savings and Emissions Reduction

The report highlights that New Zealand homes currently using gas or LPG appliances and petrol vehicles could save over $1,485 annually by switching to electric appliances and vehicles, supplemented by rooftop solar and home battery systems, assuming a loan rate of 5.5%. These savings can increase to $4,699 annually if low-interest financing at a rate of 1% is utilised. Electrification not only cuts costs but also significantly reduces home energy emissions, potentially bringing them close to zero.

Savings From Rooftop Solar 

Widespread adoption of rooftop solar can double or triple renewable energy production, essential for electrifying homes and vehicles. The document highlights that rooftop solar is the most cost-effective energy source, significantly cheaper than grid electricity, and likely to become even more affordable as economies of scale improve

For homes using rooftop solar, the cost of electricity is significantly lower compared to grid electricity. Over a 30 year term a rooftop solar installation can produce electricity at a price of around $0.06 per kWh if financed at 0% interest, or about $0.12 per kWh with a 5.5% finance rate. In contrast, the average cost of grid electricity in New Zealand is around $0.34 per kWh.

Declining Costs of Electrification

The cost of electric vehicles, appliances, rooftop solar panels, and batteries has decreased substantially over the past decade due to economies of scale. As adoption rates continue to climb, these costs are expected to fall even further, making electrification increasingly affordable for households. Just look at how far the cost for solar power has dropped over the last few decades.

Energy Resilience

The report describes how solar panels combined with batteries provide significant resilience during power outages caused by natural disasters, which are prevalent in New Zealand. The report highlights the importance of backup power in events such as the severe flooding of the North Island in January 2023, Cyclone Gabrielle, and the 2011 Christchurch earthquake, all of which caused widespread power cuts.

Reduction of Peak Load and Infrastructure

Increased electrification of homes and businesses usually means we need more poles and wires (energy infrastructure) to deliver electricity from centralised power plants to the end user. But with more small solar panel systems and batteries popping up across the country, along with smart tech that manages consumption, we can save billions in infrastructure costs. This forward-thinking approach would lift a huge financial burden off all New Zealanders who use electricity.

Emissions Contribution

Although New Zealand’s electricity grid is already over 80% renewable, total energy use is only around 30% renewable. As billions of dollars of fossil fuels are imported every year to be burned.

Household energy decisions are responsible for 31% of emissions in New Zealand's domestic economy. This significant share indicates that household electrification can be a powerful tool in reducing the country's overall emissions.

Implications for Policy and Community Action

The report underscores the need for supportive policies and financing options to accelerate the adoption of household electrification. By making these technologies accessible and affordable, New Zealand can lead the way in demonstrating how electrification can contribute to both economic savings and significant emissions reductions.

The major banks in New Zealand (ANZ, ASB, Westpac, etc.) have started offering financing for electrification products like solar panels, batteries, and EVs. However, more efforts are needed to ensure these options are accessible to a broader population.


"Electric Homes: Rewiring Aotearoa" provides a comprehensive analysis of the benefits of household electrification in New Zealand. It presents a clear case for how transitioning to electric appliances and vehicles can save money, reduce emissions, and enhance energy resilience. As costs continue to decline and adoption rates increase, the potential for widespread household electrification to transform New Zealand’s energy landscape is immense.

For more detailed insights and data, the full report can be accessed through Rewiring Aotearoa's website.

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