Information about when you need a building consent to install a solar water heater or other solar hot water systems.

Exemption 38 of Schedule 1 to the Building Act 2004 allows a person authorised under the Plumbers, Gasfitters, and Drainlayers Act 2006 to install a solar water heating system if that system is a controlled heat source and if the hot water cylinder is being replaced or repositioned.

For further information, read the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment guidance on building work that does not require a building consent(external link).

Installation of other solar hot water systems

The Council will consider an application for a discretionary exemption from building consent for the installation of solar hot water systems on a case-by-case basis. This includes installation of a controlled hot water system to an existing hot water cylinder that is not being relocated. For further information, refer to exemption from building consent.

How to apply for a building consent

If the conditions above cannot be met, you may need to apply for building consent. You will need to complete and send the Council the following forms:

You can read more about the building consent processFor further advice, call 03 941 8999 and ask to speak to the Duty Building Consent Officer or email


Refer to the Building Consents Fee Schedule.

Please note: that fixed fees and minimum application fees do not always cover all of the consent related costs of an application.