We've had our solar system fo 15 months now and are pleased with it. There is also the prospect of using a vehicle fuel cell to power a house when the vehicle is there. However, we think the payback time for the battery is far longer than its lifespan. Are solar panels worth installing in New Zealand? Pay back time Is not the right measure for solar. 1. To get the best payback from solar PV, you need to use as much of the solar power as possible as it is generated. do the job properly. Unfortunately Solar City had cancelled the install earlier as they had not yet standardized on vertical seam roofs! So is it worth installing solar panels in New Zealand? You might have a better argument if power generators paid grid distribution costs but they dont - its all consumers. If you are … In another 13 years, if I haven't already sold the house (for an increased capital gain of at least $17000 to recoup the costs of both investments), I will have to repaint the inside of the house again. I agree Wal, its not all about payback, the install has added value to your home and also as electricity prices continue to rise, you are protected more from these increases than others. However, before you can enjoy a sun-powered home, you’ll want to find out if solar panels stack up for you. At several points during the life cycle of the panels the roof will need to be painted and/or replaced - depending on its age and condition at time of installation, roof materials, corrosion factors (e.g. 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. As far as we know, low-pressure hydrogen storage for solar is a future technology not available to consumers. Make up your own mind! We always do our washing on sunny days anyway, and we have become very focused on checking our production before we turn things on. You will pay more than three times as much to buy power from the grid as you’ll get for the power you sell. Consumer could be more helpful here. Hi There Export meters measure how much power you’re selling back into the grid. is incorrect with Tesla Battery, Increased capital value - more/cheaper battery options, buy back rates aren't time dependant: they are taken over the month by Meridian, That sounds like the bar graph on our Meridian bill, but not the bottom line, Night Rate more important than Buy Back rates, Long payback but still happy to have done it, Re: Long payback but still happy to have done it, Re: PV Panels vs Calder Stewart Solar-rib, We need electric cars - and we don't have enough renewables to run them, Having WON a Solar Array with PowerWall from Vector, re: Having WON a Solar Array with PowerWall from Vector, Sustainable Energy Association New Zealand solar optimiser, how much power the panels generate, how much of that you use, and how much is sold back to the retailer, the earnings you forgo by not investing the money spent on solar elsewhere or, if you are borrowing, the interest payments you make, how much power prices and buy-back rates rise or fall over the lifetime of your panels, and. the per unit distribution portion is tied (fairly) to the amount of power used. If we reduce our power consumption by whatever means (replacement by solar, insulation etc) the hydro dams won't reduce production by spilling water (at least, if you are in the North Island). • Move the system to your new house (incurring an additional fee). Use diesel space and gas water heating. If you submitted an application for the scheme before 31 March 2017, you'll still get paid for … I had a supplier of solar panels over last week trying to sell me a system. If you install a solar system - when you can afford to, makes sense to me. Solar panel scams are everywhere and in this video I answer the question, "Are Solar Panels Worth it?" At the time I also paid for an internal paint job costing about $8500. This cost $700. 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. 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. The freezer doesn't defrost and we still have hot water for a shower in the morning. That’s a great saving that the solar calculators don’t allow for. But many solar users still use the peak capacity of the network". very convenient for you. Is there the possibility of taller buildings being put up in your area? After that we will be saving for holidays. Using the same parameters for both regions, the calculator always has Wellington coming out with higher estimation generation. The economics of our installment changed when Meridian reduced its buy back price from equivalent to daytime buy in value (approximately 30 cents now). If you are thinking of solar then a change of mindset is also needed. Additionally it has various configurations for backup settings. Not getting multiple quotes. We're designing a new house in Chch and are keen to know if anyone has done any comparisons between the cost of purchase of and installation of PV panels onto ordinary long run corrugated iron compared with the cost of purchase of and installation of Calder Stewart's Solar-rib (http://www.roofer.co.nz/index.php?category-solar-rib) panels, AND efficacy, reliability, maintenance costs, and longevity of the same products? rise over the next 10 years is highly unlikely, given the downward pressure on retail prices due to flat-lining demand and our excess supply of committed new generation. I brought an electric car (love it). This equates to 12% return. They’re a great way to store solar energy generated during the day for use at night. I totally agree that reducing the cost of living when you are on a fixed income / pension is very important. The batteries give me 18kW hrs of useable storage (50% DOD) and are miles cheaper than overpriced Testa Power walls) ) . Most suppliers will not supply a PV installation at night rates if you also export - if they do the night rate discount is trivial. If you install solar power you are using less grid power and therefore using a lesser portion (bandwidth) of the distribution network. My partner is at home during the day. To reduce our transport emissions we need electric cars - and we don't have enough renewables to run them. North-facing roof, 15° pitch. To maximise PV hot water you do need a small hot water controller like paladin (no I’m not affiliated in any way, but yes I do have installed). 3. Therefore, I would recommend roof maintenance be added to the factors to be considered. You may need to clean them annually, which may involve a cost for someone to do this. But I wanted to increase the renewable % of NZ power generation. All installers highlighted that to realise any financial benefits, the household would need to adjust how it used its power. Batteries … I used to use about 7000 units per year before solar and thus was in the low daily charge of $0.33 in auckland. While it’s true that solar is a dependable, sustainable cost saver, getting your money’s worth involves more than just laying some solar panels on top of your roof. 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. We still need the heat pumps in the evening to stay warm, but it's not difficult to wrap up. These schemes are known as solar power purchasing agreements (SPPAs) and have proved very popular overseas, with almost 70% of the residential solar market in the US now based on this model. How long it takes me to pay it off is very speculative and does not interest me. We have to boost the hot water from the grid maybe once a month. We are unaware of any comparisons between PV panels and Calder Stewart’s Solar Rib. Our roof is a 16 degree pitch, and I think they said west side, so more than 20% off north. The low fixed charge for homes is currently under review, and is likely to be abolished in the near future. Our house is fairly solar efficient having been built to optimise the sun ( esp in winter). We’ve been following the launch and development of ‘Solarzero’ with interest. What happened to this supplement you mentioned in November last year? We want to WARN OTHERS. Sustainable … The gas plants are always running during the day and the coal plants usually running, especially on those still sunny days when there is no wind generation and lots of solar. Just think NZ needs to wait a bit before charging off down the route of a heavy investment in battery technology, as the products are evolving so fast we may end up in a technological cul-de-sac. ...for a total energy price of $113.30. 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. Tesla Solar Roof cost. The power bills have decreased significantly, and our power retailer has a "solar buddies" scheme which means up to 50 kWh per month can be offset against our home bill. As it is with the current pricing methodology the smaller power quantity consumers (domestic) are subsidising the larger consumers who have negotiated cheaper pricing ( e.g Tiwai point). I cant think of a safer place to invest our money. As you rightly said, it's not "all" about payback. In the meantime the PV array will simply have kept paying for itself several times over. 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. 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. This is an upgrade over your standard meter. How are you financing your solar panel system? Funding using savings (forgoing 3.5% bank interest). Paul Smith - Consumer NZ head of testing. Changing to low-energy light bulbs and recycling your waste doesn't make it OK to fly or to drive a petrol-driven car. How big will the neighbours’ trees be in 20 years? For a Christchurch household with high energy consumption, at 20% self-consumption, the first-year savings are $811 with a 16.8 -year payback period. 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. And THANK YOU Vector. Maybe under floor heating is in the house which of course means a even bigger energy storage system in the house. What can be done to rectify this? Please visit www.ecobob.co.nz to request quotes for Solar Hot Water, or select another system type. We would be keen to invest in solar power, but have been turned down by prospective providers because we have an asphalt shingle roof. However, solar PV becomes most viable if you consume power all day, especially in the summer. It would seem this could have a substantial impact on costings - roofs will continue to corrode and the panel fixings may also corrode, and depending on material compatibility may even speed up the corrosion process. Even if I use all the power, pay only 6% interest, and power prices increase at 20%. With an optional battery as part of your solar system, your nighttime energy consumption is taken into account for the best possible savings. While solar … New Zealand has about 4000 solar panel installations annually and it is growing at 10-20 per cent a year. We generate somewhere between 20 - 40% of our power usage (approximate). Two person household, with one of us home during the day; standard 180 l HW cylinder and a very low flow shower head. The initial consultation with your solar provider is where you’ll first see the savings potential. Better than money in a bank! Don’t be put off by theory the practical reality is different. Power usage peaks in the morning and evening for most households. For high power consumers, the best solution is often power management with 24/7 energy monitoring. Consumer NZ is warning it can take decades for a solar power system to pay for itself. However, it’s far from certain that the retail power price will increase year-on-year for 20 years, as consumer and industrial demand has flattened out. Grid tied PV requires an Import/Export meter to be installed. Did the solar guy tell me a little white lie? Thanks for the feedback. A system today is bigger, would generate more, but would not operate any longer. Solar energy is here for good, but there are still questions about how economical it really is for New Zealand homeowners. Since this article was published, SEANZ has indicated they support our findings, acknowledging PV only “makes sense in the right environment” - see http://www.seanz.org.nz/News-Events/News/Consumer-NZ-Supports-Solar-PV, Kind regards, 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. We installed an 8kw solar grid tie system in Waipukurau. says 15 years to pay back ( “payback” under graph on the right). 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. If you install solar power, then you reduce the amount you pay for the lines that bring electricity from the grid to your home. At which point you will be required to replace your meter board in order to continue. For panels, you want a guarantee of minimum power production levels for at least 20 years. 1.8kwh capacity (that was big then). Micro-inverters tend to cost more than string inverters. The system size is influenced by how much direct sunlight you receive, whether you run lots of large appliances, and the ability to position your panels for optimal sunlight exposure. When I challenged the price, they said that the price on the website is for single story, corrugated roofing. We use more electricity in the winter, and the peaks are higher too, as we turn on heaters and use more hot water on chilly mornings and evenings. Currently, residential power bills in NZ include a fixed component which represents the cost of electricity distribution. Kind regards, Consumer staff apologist reply: the lifetime cost of the system, including any repair. This report is not worth the paper it is written on. Using timers to delay and stagger appliances could be one part of the puzzle. Your above argument (re using less power implies being subsidised by other users) applies equally to installers ofany power saving devices or appliances ( eco -efficient washers and LED light bulbs) or anyone who finds other ways to decrease their power usage. The fuel cells themselves are still developing apace but offer a solution superior to batteries, as they are vastly less energy dense and cleaner to make and recycle, quick to refuel for mobile applications and the use by-product is water. It begins with a thorough review of your individual power costs and requirements. I take issue with your payback calculations. I had Solar City booked to do a SolarZero install on my roof in Wellington on the same day that the capital took a hit with a widespread power outage. Reality: power companies don't want/need our power. The short answer yes, but it depends on what you value. Using battery storage means using your excess power and reducing the amount you sell back to the grid, which means an even lower payback period. that Branz PV generation calculator seems to give Wellington more annual sunshine hours than Paraparaumu. 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. 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. They make it easy to add more panels because you don’t need to buy a new, higher-capacity string inverter. These systems can automatically turn your appliances on or off for the most efficient solar power usage. With the latter, you’ll be totally dependent on your own PV feed for all electricity. So if you use energy at night, and install a PV system, your cost of electricity can go up because you loose your night rate discount. The first full year has resulted in a net saving of approximately $2800. The only use to you is it indicates the company is more likely to hang around. As for what happens if you move house before the term is up, you’ll have to either: Hi who was the provider/ installer of your solar? 34kWh exported @ 8c/kWh = $2.72 credit Our outlay was 12 panels and the cost was around $12 000 for the panels and another $1000 for incidental expenses including a new meter and electricians and inspections. I have the most expensive type of panel from the most expensive supplier, on the grounds that if you have a 20 year warranty, you want to pick a company that is likely to still be around. Options where possible or professional engineer shade, their generation levels plummet consumption... Is tracking to be installed for under 10 grand use your contribution to investigate Consumer issues and work for change! Of trees efficient solar power usage tends to skyrocket different from the solar don! No shading and therefore save $ 550 annually out with higher estimation generation switch the to. 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