Distributed generation

Installing distributed generation and connecting it to EA Networks’ electricity network

Distributed generation (DG) is one of a number of different terms used in the electricity sector to describe private generation sources such as solar or diesel. If you don't already have an electricity connection to our network, we recommend that you request a new ICP via this online form at the earliest possible stage of your distributed generation project. You can request an ICP We also recommend that you obtain expert technical advice on how to correctly install, connect and operate your distributed generation system.

Please see below for further information based on your generator size:

Distributed Generation - 10 kilowatts or less
Distributed Generation - 10 kilowatts or less Application Form only
Distributed Generation - above 10 kilowatts
To obtain a paper copy of this documentation, please contact us 0800 430 460. After receiving your application, EA Networks will start an approval process as outlined in Part 6 of the Electricity Industry Participation Code.

Statutory, regulatory and safety requirements

If you connect distributed generation to our network, safety equipment and procedures must be put in place to ensure safe interaction between your distributed generator and our network. At times, your distributed generator may be interrupted to comply with our own operation standards.

Familiarise yourself with the following documents:

Default Distribution Agreement

New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 3000 – Electrical Installations (known as the Australian/New Zealand Wiring Rules), which you can purchase and download from WorkSafe NZ’s Energy Safety website.

New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 4777 which provides standards for connecting inverter-based systems and is a useful guide for installing other forms of generation. You can purchase and download from Standards New Zealand.

The regulated terms of your distributed generation connection, as defined in Schedule 6.2 by the Electricity Authority in the Code.

The Electricity Authority also provides information on the rights and responsibilities of a person or organisation wanting to connect a distributed generation system to an electricity network and the network provider.

Network Export Congestion

There are no areas across EA Networks' low voltage network where small scale (less than 10kW) generation export congestion is, or expected to be, an issue within the next year.

In order to reduce future congestion, EA Networks restricts the phase injection difference to 5kW, which means a single phase supply can inject a maximum of 5kW. For further information please see section 10 of the Distributed Generation - 10 kilowatts or less information pack.

List of Approved Inverters

Click here for a list of inverters approved by the Clean Energy Council. If your inverter is not on this list, you will need to supply its technical specifications and Certificate of Approval when you apply.

How much will it cost?

The following fees are set in accordance with Part 6 of the Electricity Industry Participation Code and apply to any application to connect a distributed generator to EA Networks’ electricity network. The GST inclusive fees relate to distributed generation capacity and are charged for each activity prescribed below, individually.

Fees for application for distributed generation - 10kW or less in total        

Distributed generation of 10kW or less in total (1) - Fee: $80

Additional investigation (2) - Fee: $100


Fees for initial application for distributed generation - above 10kW

Distributed generation of above 10kW in total but less than 100kW in total - Fee: $250 

Distributed generation of 100kW or above in total but less than 1MW - Fee: $1,000 

Distributed generation of 1MW and above - Fee: $5,000 


Fees for observation of testing and inspection as and when required by EA Networks 

Distributed generation of 10kW - Fee: $60

Distributed generation of above 10kW in total but less than 100kW - Fee: $120 

Distributed generation of 100kW and above - Fee: $1,200 

Ongoing charges

We currently charge connections on an incremental cost basis.  For small scale distributed generation installed at an existing premise, this normally means that there is no additional charge.  For large scale distributed generation, and dedicated distributed generation connections, we will charge asset related costs for all assets that we fund, or the incremental portion of assets that we fund.  In addition, we charge for operating and maintaining assets that we fund and any assets that are vested to our ownership as part of establishing a new connection.

 In addition to our charges, we pass on any incremental increase in Transpower’s transmission charges to the generating customer that gives rise to the increase.  Transmission charges are determined under the transmission pricing methodology (TPM) which is regulated in Part 12 of the Electricity Industry Participation Code (Code) (https://www.ea.govt.nz/documents/3489/Part_12_-_Transport.pdf).  Of note, adjustments are made under clause 85 when new Large Plant is connected, which includes generation totalling 10MW or more which is owned by the same party or related parties.  Our understanding is that new Large Plant is notionally assessed as if it was directly connected to Transpower’s grid, and then the resulting charges are added to our charges (which we will pass through to the relevant generators).  This establishes a situation where we are charged for supply from the grid and hypothetical export to the grid at the same time.

 In the upper South Island grid region there is currently very little grid connected generation installed and we have been advised of an issue, which may be unintended, where the adjustment referenced above leads to a substantial additional charge for early connectors of large scale generation.  An estimate that we have been provided suggests that a large scale solar connection (exceeding 10MW) will give rise to an annual additional transmission charge of around $40/kW/year of connected solar capacity.  We have asked Transpower to provide clarification on this issue and we encourage customers to make their own enquiries before deciding to connect large scale distributed generation.