Our Electricity Network

Distributed or embedded generation

Distributed, or embedded, generation (DG) refers to electricity generation that is either:

  • Connected directly to a distribution network, or
  • Part of a building, premises or other equipment that is in turn connected to a distribution network.

Both of these circumstances are distinct from generation that is directly connected to the national grid.

Electrical safety is paramount

We treat electrical safety as paramount … the safety of our staff & contractors, our customers and the public at large is our first priority. According we have set stringent safety requirements for all distributed generation that includes the following:

  • You must obtain a Certificate of Compliance from a registered electrical inspector for your generation prior to connection, just the same as you would need to for any other connection to our network.
  • Your generation must include certain protective devices that automatically disconnect and prevent re-connection to our network under specified operating circumstances.
  • You must place clearly visible notices both near your own switchboard and at the point of connection to our network stating that there is connected generation that could back-liven the circuit.

We can and will physically disconnect any generation that we consider to be unsafe.

The laws and regulations for connecting distributed generation

The regulatory framework for connecting distributed generation is set out in Part 6 of the Electricity Industry Participation Code (“Code”) which is amended from time to time by the Electricity Authority on their website. This replaces the previous Electricity Governance (Connection of Distributed Generation) Regulations 2007.

Information you should read before applying to connect distributed generation

You should download, read and understand the following information before applying to connect distributed generation:

You may need to be become an “industry participant” at the time you connect your generation

The Electricity Industry Act 2010 defines the following people as “industry participants”:

Section 9 of the Act requires every industry participant to:

  • Register by supplying the Electricity Authority with the information specified in Section 27(2) of the Act, and
  • Comply with the Code.

Section 10 of the Act exempts an industry participant from registering if the participant is a member of a class of participants that has been exempted, or if that participant has been granted an individual exemption. However, an exempt individual must still comply with the Code.

The 3 categories of distributed generation

The regulatory framework for connecting distributed generation sets out 3 categories:

Technical and operating criteria that you will need to comply with

You will need to visit the following sub-pages of our website and ensure that you understand the technical and operating criteria that you will need to comply with:

Obtaining building and resource consents for your distributed generation

Your generation may require the following consents:

  • A building consent from the District Council to ensure that your generation is structurally sound and compliant.
  • A resource consent from either the District or Regional Council if for example your generation involves using natural resources (particularly water), discharging smoke or erecting tall structures.

We are unable to assist you with any aspects of such consenting.