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solarcity teams up with Vodafone to transform Kiwi houses into smart homes

4 September 2017 - Kiwis can now save on powerbills and turn their houses into smart homes thanks to a new app launched by solar power company solarcity.

It's all down to a new intelligent energy management system that gives homeowners the power to manage their homes their way - bringing Vodafone's "Internet of Things" (IoT) technology to life in the home.

The solarZero IoT app uses a cloud-based network to give homeowners personal insights into their electricity use, to determine how to most effectively manage energy.

"The intelligent smart home has arrived, giving Kiwis the ability to buy cheaper, cleaner power locally from their own roof and power their homes the way they choose from their smartphones," said Andrew Booth, solarcity CEO.

"The average Kiwi showers for seven minutes a day yet our hot water cylinders are often left on all day, using 30% of our home's energy.

"Our platform lets you control appliances by switching them off when they are not needed and scheduling hot water systems, heat pumps and pool pumps, to run at optimal times to save money."

The solarZero app uses Vodafone's global "Internet of Things" networks through a cellular connection. It enables homeowners to manage their home's appliances using their smartphone from anywhere in the world, at any time.

"The Internet of Things has the potential to completely change how Kiwis work, live and play," said Scott Pollard Vodafone NZ IoT Country Manager.

"It connects machines, devices and objects to the internet, turning them into 'intelligent' assets which can communicate their usage and respond to activity around them in real-time.

"We are proud to be at the forefront, helping to transform Kiwi homes into smart homes to take advantage of the latest technology that will reduce their energy bills and reduce their carbon footprint, and we are excited to be partnering with innovative companies in this space."

The solarZero app will be able to remotely manage and control over 50,000 appliances in the home - such as whiteware and the hot water system. It allows the homeowner to maximise their use of solar, allowing them to use appliances, batteries and smart electric water control to automatically modify energy usage based on how much solar power is available. It also integrates with electric vehicles to help manage and optimise charging times.