‘Catalyst Homes’ and ‘Energy Alternatives’ new partnership will supply certified energy efficient solutions for NZ homes

Catalyst Homes and Energy Alternatives met in 2014 when assisting the Matakana Green housing development where it has been stipulated that all new houses are required to incorporate solar power in their homes. All homes in the new housing development are required to incorporate efficient technologies, and to achieve at least a Homestar 7 Star rating. The Homestar rating looks at a range of features, including heating, insulation, lighting, water efficiency and the materials used.

  • Energy Alternatives NZ has been selected as the preferred supplier of solar power and Aquarian heat pump water heating technology for Matakana Green.
  • Catalyst Homes offers a range of HomestarTM rated energy-smart house designs which utilize proven home building approaches from around the world, tailored to New Zealand situations.

The outcome of this partnership is a professional and integrated service for every family, and for builders and architects.

Dana Darwin, Energy Alternatives CEO, recognized a solution was needed to deliver cost effective pathway for home’s energy efficiency. Water heating is one of a home’s highest energy demands. Aquarians Heat pump water heater (HPWH) systems are seen as a key factor in achieving a Homestar 7 Star level of performance. We put together a water heating technology which delivers > 65% efficiency than a standard HWC. Plus, water heating integrated with solar power generation acts as a highly cost effective solar “battery” for homes. This results in homes using less energy to heat water, which means a reduction in cost for Solar PV, as less panels are required.

David Wildish, Catalyst Homes CEO, was inspired by his passion for engaging with clients in the property and eco-housing field to develop a new home building company that presents a range of modern architectural home designs which are innovative, sustainable and push beyond the traditional ‘eco-homes’ niche, while providing cost transparency and a customer-centric service. Catalyst Homes was founded to close a gap in the market by being a consumer focused brand that makes design and construction of sustainable and energy efficient new homes attainable for people all over NZ. We see ourselves as the catalyst which combines all the elements involved in building your new home to deliver a result that surpasses your expectations.


We work in partnership with our clients to provide a robust result, timeliness, consistency and a high level of service. We treat our customers, suppliers, contractors and professional associates with professionalism, respect and integrity.

First results of this partnership in Waiheke Island have been outstanding. Referral businesses achieved by customer satisfaction through the entire process.

Case Study: Matakana Green

Client requests/concerns / Key House Features:

  • Gravity header tank for power cuts
  • 2kw PV system
  • Wetback-ready fireplace (located at Southern end of living area)

Clients’ Concerns:

  • Water heating to be available during power cuts
  • Considering solar water heating system
  • Requested options / alternatives

Priority / key aspects overview

  • Client has had poor experience in past with power cuts / no hot water
  • Family of 4 with 1 person home all day / home office
  • 3 BR + 2 bath – 2 double + 3 single beds = <7 persons
  • Excellent solar site
  • Noted 1000L header tank & SWH on plans

Quick overview of costs: (the Customer’s current thoughts)

  • SWH system with integrated wetback – $11,000
  • Wetback & plumbing – $ 1,000
  • Gravity flow header tank & plumbing – $ 1,200
  • 2kWp grid tied solar power – $7,500

Total $ 20,700


  • Gravity flow water during power cuts
  • 50 to 70% efficient water heating
  • Solar power during day

Customers INITIAL choice = $20,700

Two options were provided:

– Independent off grid  power (pathway)•       Aquarian HPWH (powered from PV / Battery)   $3,800

•       Water pump off main tanks (from solar & battery)      $300

•       1.74kW Solar PV for water pump, HPWH & Critical systems back up power      $11,365

– Self charging uninterrupted – power supply (UPS)•       Aquarian HPWH (powered from PV / Battery)  – $3,800

•       Water pump off main tanks (from solar & battery)      – $300

•       2 x 295W panels, 2.4kW inverter4 x 6V Lead Carbon battery system –  $9,245


Energy Freedom pathway:•       Water available during power cuts

•       Hot water always available

•       >65% efficient water heating

•       Solar power during day with energy storage

•       Ability to expand system

•       Emergency backup power for light & communications

Energy Freedom pathway:•       Water available during power cuts

•       Hot water always available

•       >65% efficient water heating

•       Solar power during day with energy storage

•       Ability to expand system


Total $15,465Total $ 13,345
Energy Alternatives and Catalyst Homes recommendation:Independent Off grid option = $15,465 independent power supply for critical circuits. Provides greater ROI.Energy Alternatives and Catalyst Homes recommendation:Self charging UPS Backup option = $13,345 – activates during power cut


Both Option 1 and Option 2 provides cover in case of power interruption.

Customers FINAL choice = OPTION 1 = $15,465 gaining additional benefits and greater ROI.

The outcome:

The client received a custom solution at a reduced cost.

To assess your options for energy independence through Catalyst Homes and Energy Alternatives, speak to one of our consultants today.