Frequenty Asked Questions
One of the co-operative principles is Member economic participation. While Energyshare aims to minimise any upfront costs and maximise member benefits, we require that members purchase a member share to join. This gives members a share in the business along with a vote and share of company profits.
The current member share nominal value is $150 and this share value is redeemable when members stop transacting with there co-op company.
Also, depending on your roof type and the condition of your electrical wiring, there may be additional costs which Energyshare will notify you of in our Picosolar proposal.
For a standard steel roof and a relatively new electrical switchboard, your PV system is installed with no upfront cost from Energyshare and you only have to pay the monthly subscription amount. You’ll also get a credit on your electricity retailer bill for any surplus electricity exported to the local network. See next question for explanation of additional fees.
There are addition fees required that relate to the electricity supply at your property.
These fees are listed below with approximate costs which are dependant on your electricity retailer, your local network distribution company, the location of your property and the capacity of the installed solar PV system.
These costs are outside the control of Energyshare and we believe the fairest method for all members is for each member to pay these costs direct to the oorganisation providing the service or electrical components. If Energyshare is required to pass through these fees, we will do this with no additional fees added.
Import / Export meter provision
Your electricity retailer provides the meter and will charge approx $175 for this service. This will be charged to your electricity bill
Solar PV install application fee
Some network companies charge a fee for connecting a solar PV system to their network to cover the administration costs. This is usually approx $150.
Electrical inspection costs
Your network company may require a 3rd party inspection before connecting the Picosolar system to their network. This cost is approx $250 and will be included in the Energyshare Picosolar proposal is required.
Energyshare can provide battery storage units for our members at very discounted prices.
Currently, Energyshare analysis indicates that battery storage devices are not a cost effective addition to our Picosolar lease programme for an average electricity user, whereas solar PV definitely is. On this basis, Energyshare provides battery systems but requires members to purchase the battery units themselves and Energyshare will ensure that warranty and disposal processes are followed.
Additional Installation fees
The cost of installing a Picosolar system to Energyshare is dependant on a number of factors including
- number of stories of the property
- type of roof materials and slope of roof
- condition and type of the electrical switchboard - potentially require new switchboard
- distance between the solar PV panels and switchboard - underground wiring required etc
To cater for members with different property types, Energyshare will invoice any of these possible costs as a pre installation charge to ensure equitable charges for all members. These costs can be seen as improvements to your property which are not owned by Energyshare shareholders.
Energyshare owns the solar PV equipment installed on members’ roofs. Energyshare cooperative also maintains and operates this equipment for the benefit of its members and provides you with a web app to monitor what your PV system is producing and the power you’re using.
The Energyshare Picosolar subscription agreement describes the responsibilities of members with Solar PV systems installed at their premises.
Energyshare provides standard residential and commercial solar PV systems designed for your roof area and property energy use.
We can also provide a battery storage system as required for your property needs. Our battery systems contain no cobalt and are manufactured by CATL, the 3rd largest battery maker.
All Picosolar systems come with a minicomputer to monitor the data and provide distributed energy resource monitoring and control via the Energyshare webapp.
When you lease a Picosolar PV system from Energyshare, you are adding electricity to you house from the solar panels which then displaces electricity that would be normally imported to your house / building from the local electricity network.
The Picosolar system reduces the amount of electricity that you end up purchasing from your electricity retailer. You still pay the same fixed daily charge to your electricity retailer but the total volume electricity decreases.
If you have a ‘Time of Use’ retail electricity tariff with higher prices during morning and evening peak use times then a battery Picosolar system will help reduce you electricity bill further. This happens by solar electricity generated during the day is stored and then used in the peak evening time to reduce the higher cost retail electricity.
Same thing happens for the morning electricity price peak time but low price night-time electricity can be used to charger the battery and then its discharged during the morning price peak to offset that higher priced electricity. Double whammy benefit !
The initial Picosolar subscription term is 20 years. You can then extend this for a further 3 + 3 years at a reduced subscription rate or upgrade your Picosolar system to newer technology while Energyshare looks after ensuring disposal of the old system is managed in the best manner available at the time.
At this point we expect the system to still be fully functional and producing electricity. There will be some reduction in efficiency of the solar panels as they get older, but they are expected to still be producing 80% of their original output.
If you sell you house or building you can novate the subscription agreement to the new owner. If the new owner doesn’t want to agree the subscription contract, you can purchase the remaining subscription term at a discounted rate to release the agreement.
If the new owner would like the system removed for whatever reason, Energyshare can attend to this need for a small charge and re-deloy the system if possible.
The Picosolar system is owned by Energyshare who will attend to technical maintenance and any repairs. There are a few things you need to look after though.
- Make sure there is a wired Internet connection from your internet router to the Picosolar system it is connected all the time. See explanation below.
- Any roof maintenance to ensure the roof is in good repair for the subscription term
- Trimming nearby trees to prevent any shading on the solar panels. Shading creates performance degradation which you may notice.
- If the solar panels are exposed to a lot of dust and pollen, you will need to wash the surface of the panels occasionally to restore full power.
The PicoPower system has a small computer installed which collects data and allows some control of the PicoPower PV system. In future it will provide monitoring for Electric Vehicle chargers and other equipment.
To make sure these services operate correctly, the system needs to be connected to the internet and the most cost-effective way to do this is via your home or business internet connection. The connection should be an ethernet wired connection between the PicoPower computer and your internet router, so it is permanent and isn’t impacted by changing passwords. This is part of the subscription agreement as it’s a very important part of the PicoPower system.
This will be connected when the PicoPower system is installed but Energyshare members need to ensure it remains connected when any changes are made to your internet router or connection.
The amount of data transmitted is very small, about 100 MB per month. In comparison, streaming one video is about 1000-3000 MB.
The PicoPower monitoring and control solution is provided by two New Zealand companies (www.evisi.co and www.solarnetwork.net) so we know where the data is located and how it is managed.
- Data privacy
- the data belongs to your co-operative and is managed in accordance with the Privacy Act 2020.
- The system provides monitoring and control of the charge and discharge of the battery system. It can also provide demand response services to local networks for a fee to your co-operative.
Energyshare will purchase and install solar PV equipment that is high quality to give a reliable operational life of more than 20 years. Inferior (cheaper) quality equipment will cost the cooperative in the long term, and this does not benefit the members.
Energyshare is incorporated as a cooperative company because we think it’s the best way to operate a distributed energy company. The energy assets are installed at your property and the electricity is primarily used by you or your business.
The problem we’ve found is that many people don’t have the spare capital to by a solar PV system and if they do, often aren’t sure if the economics actually stack up; especially if, on average, kiwis only live in their current home for around 7 years before moving to another. So we might even buy a PV system and then not use the amount spent before moving.
Energyshare has been created as a cooperative so we can overcome these problems together and you won’t get overcharged cause its your business and you get a share of the profits it generates. Energyshare finds the capital and leases the PV system to you to make this easy. Because Energyshare does this in bulk, it can get far better rates than otherwise possible.
You get a vote in who’s responsible for running the business and you get to see the books. Best of all, you know the products are designed for the company shareholders (that’s you, Energyshare members) best interest.
We think New Zealand needs and easy way to get PV systems on their roofs. We want to see more of this kind of renewable electricity generation and so does Transpower. They wrote several reports to encourage distributed solar PV systems to be installed around New Zealand. You can read about this in their reports Te Mauri Hiko and the second report Whakamana I Te Mauri Hiko.
Australia state governments have supported solar PV system installations financially which has resulted around 15-25% of homes having a solar PV system installed depending on the regional state. In contrast, around 2% of New Zealand homes have solar systems installed.
While New Zealand doesn’t have quite as much solar energy availability as Australia, we still have an awful lot, and we think we can put that to good use to
- support climate change mitigation goals
- help with increased electric vehicle charging over time
- make your electricity bill cheaper
and we can do this together as a co-op.
The FMA (Financial Markets Authority) sets the rules for how companies are allowed to raise capital or debt from other parties in their normal operations. They do this to protect people from making investments that are not planned well and where the risks have note been disclosed.
As cooperatives are owned by their transacting members and members actually buy a share in the business, they are also required to comply with FMA regulations. Energyshare is required to provide a Product Disclosure Statement to make clear what type of share you are purchasing with your $150, what the risks are and that there is a chance you may not be able to redeem the share when you leave the cooperative at some future time.
The Constitution explains the rules of how the Energyshare cooperative is run by both the company directors and also the shareholders. This is also registered on the online companies register.
Energyshare is limited liability company and as such, the liability of member and investor shareholders is the amount they have paid for or have an obligation to pay for their shares.
Beyond that amount, shareholders are not responsible for any costs if there were any problems with the business.
Energyshare charges its members a monthly subscription dependant on the capacity of the solar PV system installed as well as selling other services and energy efficiency products. Our business model allows Energyshare to charge its members less than the average price charged for the same volume of network supplied electricity and still be able to pay the lending costs for solar PV systems, run the business and provide a rebate payment back to you over time.
No. Your Picosolar subscription will save you money now and even more over the subscription term.
By installing a Picosolar system that matches your electricity consumption and approximate usage profile, Energyshare aims to reduce your grid retailer electricity bill by the monthly cost of the PV subscription so that your total combined cost of subscription and grid retail invoices doesn’t change or is preferably reduced on average over the 1st year.
Your current grid retailer charge is dependent on the total volume you use and when you use it if you have a Time of Use type tariff. Your address location also plays a big role in your electricity costs which is most influenced by the network lines company that supplies your electricity.
The cost of your grid electricity supply is likely to rise over time (average increase of 3.7% per year over the last 10 years) while your Picosolar subscription rate stays fixed which saves you money over the term of the subscription. But what’s best about Energyshare is that your co-op will distribute any company profit back to its member’s so you get a way better deal.
Energyshare estimates that members will get around 5% of the Picosolar subscription cost back each year as a co-operative rebate (dividend) once Energyshare has achieved enough members to break even. Energyshare has to be run as a normal business by the rules of the Companies Act 2003 and aims to make a profit, but this goes back to the co-operative members, not the few financial shareholders which is normal business practice.
That’s why we think Energyshare is the best choice for getting a solar PV system on your roof.
Good question ! and we’ll give the honest view.
Energyshare has done quite a bit of analysis on this question to ensure members know what the cost difference is to them between the following options. After all, this is why the Energyshare co-op exists.
- Buying and owning Solar PV system outright
- Buying and owning Solar PV systems outright using you own bank finance
- Leasing a Picosolar PV system as an Energyshare member
- Do nothing, continue purchasing grid electricity.
A brief comparison is displayed in the following table.
It shows that the lowest cost option of the full 18 year period is to buy your own PV system… but not by all that much at all, and if you move home before 12 years from install, Energyshare Picosolar subscription is still a far better bet. In fact, up until year 13 after installation, you are almost better to not install a battery PV system at all and just use grid electricity.
But, we think the Energyshare benefits more than make up for this.
- If you move house you haven’t wasted your Picosolar subscription payments as your’ve actually saved more than you would have if you didn’t subscription from Energyshare
- You don’t need to worry if you brought the right system from a retailer. Energyshare will make sure it works as advertised.
- We think you’ll be about 10% better off over the entire subscription term compared to just buying grid electricity.
As a co-operative, Energyshare operates like any other business; it is not a charity and exists to benefit its members while ensuring that it remains commercially viable by generating revenue to support its operations and growth into the future.
Energyshare is also a capital-intensive organisation tasked with purchasing and operating electricity generation systems for long term supply of renewable electricity to its members.
Money for these asset purchases is raised from community minded lenders who get a fixed return for supplying this finance. Energyshare benefits its members by sourcing finance at far better terms than each could do individually.
Energyshare members can also be Energyshare investors too. You can benefit from being able to purchase lower cost electricity from your onsite PicoPower solar PV system and invest some of your savings to get a return on your investment that’s better than the bank as well ?
The person or organisation who has the grid electricity supply contract with your electricity retailer (usually the Energyshare Cooperative member) gets paid directly by the electricity retailer for the electricity exported from the PicoPower PV system.
The terms and pricing are dependent on you electricity retailer so you’ll need to check your electricity supply arrangements with your electricity retailer.
Like any business, there are operational and financial risks to be managed to ensure Energyshare reaches and continues to be a stable business with enough members to ensure the fixed operating costs are met.
The Energyshare constitution details the obligations of the member and investor shareholders in the event of business receivership.
About your house
If Energyshare has installed solar PV equipment on your roof with a subscription agreement, you will have committed to certain obligations due to Energyshare having invested in the purchase and installation this equipment. If you no longer want to be a part of the Energyshare Cooperative you may purchase the remaining payments on your subscription agreement at a discounted value under certain conditions outlined in your subscription agreement.
Energyshare is committed to providing its members with benefits that are greater than those provided by regular retail electricity suppliers and greater than each member could achieve alone.
If you sell your home or building, you can pass the agreement (novate) on to the new owner for them to benefit from the fixed PV subscription price. If they don’t want to sign the subscription agreement, you can purchase the remaining payments as mentioned above.
Energyshare is on a mission to make Picosolar systems available to everyone.
Just like our business grade Picosolar subscription systems, residential tenants can lease a Picosolar system to benefit from fixed price solar energy and feel good about being powered by the sun too.
Energyshare can provide a Picosolar solution that benefits you and your landlord. They can feel good about helping to provide solar power for their tenants too.
Get in touch with us and we'll help enrol your landlord in the possibilities of a solar subscription.
Energyshare members are shareholders of the business and have responsibilities to ensure their business works well.
- Maintain and trim vegetation so the Picosolar system receives as much sunlight as when it was installed.
- Clean the panels on you roof to ensure power production is maintained.
- Make sure an indoor Internet connection is available with a wired and wireless ethernet port.
- Tell Energyshare if anything goes wrong or you need any assistance with you Picosolar system.
- Ensure you pay your invoices on time.
When you're not in your house or away on holiday a high proportion of the the electricity generated by the Picosolar system will be exported onto the local electricity network. This exported electricity may be credited on your retail electricity invoice dependant on your electricity retailer agreement.
But in general this retailer credit will not equal the Picosolar subscription price.
Energyshare subscription prices are calculated so you financially benefit more than only consuming grid electricity and while not as cost efficient over the lease period as purchasing a PV system outright with cash, we believe the Picosolar subscription has advantages that make Picosolar a great choice.
For this reason, Picosolar subscribers must ensure agreed payments are made for their Picosolar subscription.
Energyshare is a member owned cooperative and all its members are dependant on one another to ensure their Energyshare business is a success so that everyone benefits finanically through rebate dividends and discounted offers that we can access as a cooperative business.