Getting PV panels installed on your roof is only part of the equation. If your average monthly electricity bill is high, and you’re living in an area with high energy rates then it’s worthwhile installing solar panels in your home … That could be because your home is occupied all day, you heat a spa pool, run a swimming pool pump, or have an electric car charging. For high power consumers, the best solution is often power management with 24/7 energy monitoring. Export meters measure how much power you’re selling back into the grid. If you want to feed PV into your house to use as and where needed, you either need to be grid-tied (maintaining a connection to the grid for times when your PV system doesn’t provide the power you need), or go totally off grid. Cheers, It has operated for 35953 hours (daily average 11.29 hours). It drops to about $90,000 for 3 days power, and $30,000 for 1 day. Canterbury is a great place for solar because of the clear skies. The projected annual and lifetime savings advertised for SPPAs rely on 100% in-home consumption, and you’ll only get close to this if you have someone home all day every day, or have a high level of baseline demand like a heated swimming pool. Reducing your daily connection charge is awesome. I brought an electric car (love it). This report is free thanks to EECA (Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority). Over the 20+ year life of the system, there are likely to be changes to interest rates, electricity prices and buy-back rates, and household electricity use that could reduce or increase the actual return provided. We are at $800 so for this year. You might have a better argument if power generators paid grid distribution costs but they dont - its all consumers. And THANK YOU Vector. The projected savings are based on 80% solar power consumption, 3.8 daylight hours, a current power cost of 25 cents/kWh, and 3% annual increase in electricity prices. However, before you can enjoy a sun-powered home, you’ll want to find out if solar panels stack up for you. We’ve been following the launch and development of ‘Solarzero’ with interest. The cost of solar power systems has flat-lined in New Zealand after … A string inverter is a large centralised inverter that’s usually mounted to a wall in your garage or housed outside. Payback time is tracking to be less than 10 Years, mainly due to the battery storage displacing costly evening imports. Whether solar batteries are worth the cost is a question that I’m being asked more and more. Your solar panel review was very interesting. With the power wall? Check out Powervault episode Oct 2018 from Fullychargedshow on Youtube - we could do with this type of set up here for when we run short of power. Hi. My payback time for the panels is at least 20 years. Even if Tiwai Point closes, electricity prices will increase. We want to WARN OTHERS. Don’t mistake it for anything regarding panel performance. As more EVs arrive in NZ there will be more and more of these available, as when they reach only 70% capacity they are generally replaced in a car, but still viable for Solar storage. When it was first installed we had a net bill - as they were paying the same rate for each unit we sold back to the grid as the units we consumed/used/bought from the rid - but that ended several years ago - maybe in 2014 or 15. Depending on the cost of installing solar panels, it may no longer be worth it if you're thinking of getting them. By my estimate, the array cost would have to about 1/2 to be acceptable, and storage, well my "off grid" estimate a few years ago (3 days power) was about $250,000 for batteries. We always do our washing on sunny days anyway, and we have become very focused on checking our production before we turn things on. Hi Roger & Jodie, We think a 7% p.a. When making any assessment, it’s important to note solar PV is a long-term investment, which brings added risk and uncertainty. You will inference people incorrectly, be responsible. Power optimisers can improve shaded performance, but they add extra cost to the system. Meanwhile, the bar graph just showed a single figure of 356kWh for the month, which I suspect is what your solar guy was referring to. I don't know the actual cost of that yet, but one electrician in Australia says "800 to 2,000". They will be able provide an assessment and advise you on the technicalities of installing panels on that type of roof. Enter your household details to find out how much you could be saving on electricity and gas. Paul Smith - Consumer NZ head of testing. Given that the pay back price is minimal, do you actually have to be grid tied. Micro-inverters tend to cost more than string inverters. I agree with your article than solar panels alone are a dubious investment, but when used intelligently with other strategies are worth while. With the right approach, a solar installation could reduce your monthly energy bills by 40-70%. This system generates between approx 15kWh (winter) and peaking at 50kWh (summer). It’s important to check your warranty. For grid-tied systems you’ll need a grid-tie inverter to synchronise your system with mains power and sell electricity back into the grid when you’re producing a surplus. An average Solar … The only extra we were warned about by all installers was a charge of a few hundred dollars for an import/export meter, paid to our electricity retailer. After 10 years the batteries will probably need replacing, but the entire system will be paid for. If it is already connected, it can be worth adding solar if you can use most of your power during the day and using the grid-provided power as your back-up and night power source. This means that over the next 15 years, each power unit fixed cost is 2.7c. String inverters only work as well as the worst-performing panel – if one panel is shaded, it brings down the power generation of the whole array. We’ve heard the same from a number of other members who’ve installed PV and ended up changing their consumption patterns to increase the amount of power they draw from the panels, and to improve their energy efficiency in general. 5. The conclusion: Yes, solar is worth it when done right! And I used ALL the power myself (unlikely). I used a BNZ Term Deposit earning 3% interest to pay about $8500 for a 2.5kW solar array that I have estimated after two years production will pay for itself in about 5 years. A Wellington household with average energy consumption, using 20% of their generated solar power, would save $564 in the first year of using solar and would take 16.9 years to pay off the system. But many solar users still use the peak capacity of the network (for example on cold winter nights when solar power’s not generating and they need to run their heaters or stoves). I have not had solar fitted yet but that is what we are going to do. I have solar panels on the roof on my work building, but not my home. We have to boost the hot water with power from the grid about 6-8 times per year. Savings are much more significant and payback period is less if you are smart about usage. The maths I use shows saving 11 Kwh/day x 365 = 4 015 Kwh/ year x 36 cents unit (yes thats Northland for you) = $1 445.40 year or 11% return on our investment and it is tax free, We have also added capital value to our house. I am contemplating replacing my 1950's concrete tile roof and have considered solar panels, including with battery storage. * Shining a light on solar power - customers told to make sure it's worth it * Solar systems will put heat on prices, Vector boss says ... New Zealand Solar Systems, went into … Other renewable energy options, such as hydro, wind and geothermal, are considerably more cost effective and a better fit for New Zealand’s electricity demand profile. Solar energy is here for good, but there are still questions about how economical it really is for New Zealand homeowners. Conclusion: Parity it ain't. So batteries need to be about 1/4 or less the price before they are cost effective. Whether you choose to buy or lease your solar panels will have a major impact on your system’s long-term value. If you have enough to make a purchase in cash, you’ll save more than with any other option – but even with a $0-down solar loan, your savings could still be in the tens of thousands.. This this could have a significant impact on the economics, in addition to any other considerations. PVs will be part of the mix. We've done the research so you don't have to. There was variation in recommended panel array sizes across the board. However, many recommended pairing the panels with a larger-than-required inverter. People with solar eligible for the LFC rate aren't contributing their fair share to the cost of maintaining the lines which were never designed to cope with reverse power flows, and the cost is ultimately footed by the people less able to buy electricity let alone pay to install solar. This site uses cookies to help us understand how visitors engage with our website. But we get all our hot water off peak because our installer offered a $700 gizmo called a power reducer, which senses when we are importing from the grid, and only puts power (from the panels) to the hot water when we are not importing. You can fit a PV system that isn’t grid-tied, but it needs to be connected to specific circuits with no direct link to the grid, rather than the entire house. The need to acknowledge the big picture and report accordingly, in support of this not just weighing up the costs and drawing simplistic conclusions. Occupied by a family with three kids, no one home during the day. The main issue we have, and many other home owners in New Zealand have, is that scaffolding is now required for all solar installs. For a start its 2 fixed components, one part of the daily charge, the other part of the per unit rate ( the greater part actually). How are you financing your solar panel system? Consumers concerned about carbon emissions from their air travel may wish to consider low-carbon transport options where possible. We run our heat pumps in the summer to stay cool from the solar energy. To get the best payback from solar PV, you need to use as much of the solar power as possible as it is generated. Hi who was the provider/ installer of your solar? It was the first solar company in the world to achieve Toitū carbonzeroCert TM certification and is still the only solar energy services business in NZ with that green credential. We got a quote for 10 panels from Harrisons about 5 months ago at around $10,000. According to Tesla, the average Tesla Solar Roof cost a property owner can expect to pay is around $21.85 per square foot.This estimate was made based on a roof made of 35 percent solar tiles. Total system cost $36K. The cost of scaffolding isn't cheap either, and can almost double the cost of the solar installation, meaning solar isn't a viable solution for a lot of kiwis. Along with the home solar systems we customise for efficient power consumption, World Solar provide a great energy storage solution: the SolaX Power Station, featuring a 13kW-capacity LG lithium-ion battery. To take your power independence to the next level, invest in a Solar Battery to store the excess solar energy your system produces during the day to store overnight. Unfortunately Solar City had cancelled the install earlier as they had not yet standardized on vertical seam roofs! By using Consumer NZ, you accept our use of cookies. Thanks for your interesting comment. Here are a few helpful examples of what you can save with efficient solar power usage (assuming the NZ average export rate of 8 cents/kWh, as of October 2018): When done effectively with a thorough initial consultation, and optional built-in power management or battery storage, solar is a very effective way to save on lifetime power costs. 3. The system has recycled Renault EV batteries in it and software to price monitor - so the technology is already there for people with a PV system to tap into this type of market. Micro-inverters sit on the back of each panel. Now with the electric car I should be using over 10,000 units per year and thus should be paying the much higher daily charge of $1.84 per day. Power management often takes the form of a solar power diverter, which redirects excess solar energy towards a high power consumers like water heaters. The daily fixed charge is unchanged grid-tie solar or not, Each company offers several brands of panels and inverters. ...for a total energy price of $113.30. It's about reducing my carbon use. I am not try to change to subject but heating water directly with the sun is much more efficient than using electricity collected from the PV to then run the element. Try: Smaller monthly bills are really important to people on fixed incomes like pensioners. I ride an Avanti Inc E that I find to be a great bike (and would have thought it just as worthy of evaluating as any of the 14 on your list); if the option had been there, I would have commented then. Sorry, you need to have JavaScript enabled to use our website. I take issue with your payback calculations. 1. Was wondering if you have any information on low-pressure hydrogen storage for solar installations - Hylink have one installed in Soames Island in Wellington. The trouble with solar panels is that they don't reduce local infrastructure costs and it is hard to get the electricity generated to where is it needed if you can't use it yourself. The only use to you is it indicates the company is more likely to hang around. Additionally it has various configurations for backup settings. It also takes into account shading:, You may also be interested in NIWA’s historical (1981-2000) mean annual sunshine hours for various locations around the country: Garmin's New Solar-Powered Watch Is a Beast In More Ways Than One Why isn't the comments option a regular feature of your articles? As a result there are concerns that an increasing number of PV users may shift the cost of building and maintaining electricity distribution infrastructure onto non PV-owning households, who are usually not as well off as PV-owning households. Are solar panels worth installing in New Zealand? We installed an 8kw solar grid tie system in Waipukurau. Consumer could be more helpful here. But it’s not all bad news on the air travel front, as there are a number of ongoing projects seeking to develop low carbon aviation fuels from captured CO2 and waste biomass. And power prices increase at 7% per annum, which is possibly way too high. We’re putting together a supplement to this article covering SPPAs. 1.8kwh capacity (that was big then). There are different types of inverters: Inverters are unlikely to last as long as the panels, and over 20 years you’ll need to replace them at least once. Here are a few helpful examples of what you can save with efficient solar power usage (assuming the NZ average export rate of 8 cents/kWh, as of … LED lighting, heat pump heating and heat pump hot water system. Lightforce's battery is ahead of the … You can find more information on SPPAs at the bottom of this page — see the section “No money down”: that Branz PV generation calculator seems to give Wellington more annual sunshine hours than Paraparaumu. This is just plain wrong. In all the examples water heating was by gas. When doing a google search to get the online form it is very easy to inadvertantly go thru an agent, and pay US$89 instead of US$14 for the same form. Another is switching electric water heating to come on during the day. Not getting multiple quotes. Solar panel prices hit five year low, so are they now worth the investment? Solar is the single best way you can help produce clean low carbon electricity and is great for your wallet. solarcity is one of the fastest … In the UK there are people who have a small battery set up from Powervault which they charge up on cheap night rates then sell back to the grid at peak times. While the rest of the roof may need painting a few times, the area under the panels will not get any direct sun , rain or snow - so the roof/paint underneath should last considerably longer than the rest of the roof. To clarify – the SEANZ response was in reference to a 2013 article of ours on grid-tied PV systems (superseded by this article) which was more negative on the economics and environmental benefits of PV. Panels are roughly 1.6m by 1m with outputs of about 270 to 300W. The thing is, after about two weeks of testing the damn thing, I’m not entirely sure it’s worth it even for die-hard triathletes. Solar PV isn’t much help with winter power peaks. Totally not understanding the reasoning, and that they can break an installation contract like that. We're with Meridian and have solar. Though since 'deregulation' that (price increases) has been the only way to bet. If the water heating is timed during the day it will reduce the power being exported for a rip off price. The invoice includes a bar graph of monthly consumption over the last 2 years. What amount you are using (importing) you are paying the same proportion of grid costs that a non-solar connected user does for the same amount of energy. In other words, it’s the price homeowners will pay for every watt of solar … • Move the system to your new house (incurring an additional fee). As for the fixings, everything that went through the roof was stainless steel, had rubber grommets or watertight seals - so should be no issues there either. My unit cost is 30c import and 10c export . Photovoltaic (PV) solar panels can seem an attractive option – who doesn’t want lower electricity bills and clean, green energy? Solar power is completely worthwhile in New Zealand and 2015 will be an interesting year to watch for new solar technologies. We’re putting together a supplement to this article covering SPPAs. On a summer day, you’ll get peak production for a few hours either side of midday. But as you’ve shown, if people are willing to change their consumption patterns and combine PV with LED lights etc., it can be a good option. Brian and Libby Richardson wanted a single energy source to … We still need the heat pumps in the evening to stay warm, but it's not difficult to wrap up. We generate somewhere between 20 - 40% of our power usage (approximate). While solar … It seemed self-evident to me that the pattern of use of the work building was far better suited to the pattern of use at home. (It blew a fuse when we turned it on the first time, but our installer fixed it immediately.) Solar City has yet to send anybody out to repair them. Jessica Satherley Posted 24 April 2019. Kind regards, (Its not buy back since retailers never owned it in the first place), "Currently, residential power bills in NZ include a fixed component which represents the cost of electricity distribution. the lifetime cost of the system, including any repair. H2 storage and a fuel cell are a vastly cheaper and cleaner option than batteries. The other installers in Auckland and all of the installers in Hawke’s Bay and Christchurch told us batteries weren’t economical, and didn’t recommend we install one. To do such work the panels may need to be removed and refitted. 7kW of panels 5KW inverter, and 36kW hrs of lead acid battery storage. Among other things, it includes an assessment of your yearly power usage and the number of solar panels needed. We know how much every appliance in the house uses. While your utility might pay you 7 to 8c/kWh for exported energy, the real savings come from using nearly all your generated power. the per unit distribution portion is tied (fairly) to the amount of power used. Same for hydrogen fuel cells in cars. But if I was starting again, I might look at a battery without any solar, as the battery stores off-peak power and reduces peak demand, and hence reduces fossil fuel use. In winter, the generated power runs up to about 8 kWh on a sunny day, whereas in summer, it can reach 22 kWh. For example, travelling by rail instead of short-haul domestic flights is considerably more carbon efficient, and can be almost as quick where high speed rail is available (e.g. In the southern hemisphere your panels need to face north to get the best power production. We have a meter that shows how much we are producing. Rather, the gas and coal fired stations will run at a lower capacity, so have have to think of the solar panels replacing electricity generated 100% by fossil fuels. Panels and inverters should also be covered for physical and electrical issues. The aim of our report was to show that solar PV is only economic for certain household consumption patterns, and that there are cheaper ways of improving energy efficiency and reducing your carbon footprint. 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